The Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) Programme is to receive a record £685m of government funding the over the next three years, an increase of more than 50 per cent.

The ATI will receive £685 million from the government for the financial years 2022-2023 through to 2024-2025, an increase of £235m on the previous three-year period. Industry will provide co-funding, taking the total to more than £1 billion. The ATI Programme will also reopen to new funding applications, having already secured more than 81,000 jobs within the past decade. ATI, the UK’s aerospace technology research programme, is to receive record levels of government funding, Industry Minister Lee Rowley confirmed today (Tuesday 29 March), driving forward the research and development of green aviation technology.

Funds will be used to capitalise on the UK’s R&D system and support the development of zero-carbon and ultra-low-emission aircraft technology, cementing the UK’s place at the forefront of advancing new green technology, whilst supporting tens of thousands of jobs.

Previous projects include ZeroAvia and Rolls-Royce

Previous projects supported include ZeroAvia’s six-seat hydrogen-electric aircraft, which is the largest such aircraft in the world, as well as Rolls-Royce’s development of the largest, most efficient aircraft engine ever.

Industry Minister Lee Rowley said: “Since its formation in 2013, the Aerospace Technology Institute has been an enormous success, already funding world-leading innovations like hydrogen aircraft and 3D printed components. These projects are making a real-world impact and could one day help the global aviation industry transition to net zero.”

“Today’s commitment is a sign of our increasing ambition and will give large and small businesses the confidence to invest in the technologies that will bring civil aviation into the next generation.”

UK will see £1bn investment in electric aviation over next three years

Aerospace Technology Institute CEO Gary Elliott said: “I am delighted that the UK Government’s commitment to R&T investment in sustainable aircraft has today resulted in an uplift to £685m for the UK aerospace sector over the Spending Review period, in addition to the commitment at the Budget that the ATI Programme will continue until 2031. With the support of the Aerospace Growth Partnership, and with Government investment matched by industry, the ATI will be able to invest more than £1 billion over the next three years in the cutting-edge technology needed to move towards our net zero targets. This has allowed us to reopen ATI funding to new applications from April and we will work with BEIS and Innovate UK to ensure that this funding drives UK economic growth and reduces global aviation emissions.”

The government has also confirmed today that the ATI Programme will reopen to new funding applications on April 4.

Industry supports 81,000 high value jobs

The ATI Programme began in 2013, has secured more than 81,000 high value jobs and added £97 billion in value to the economy to date. It co-funds industry-led innovation in civil aerospace technology and manufacturing, supporting the development of the next generation of zero-carbon emission or ultra-low emission aircraft, while growing the UK’s competitive position in civil aerospace.

As a result of its success, the ATI Programme has received an extension to 2031. This commitment gives industry the confidence to continue to co-invest with the government, driving growth, jobs, innovation and reducing aviation emissions.

Aviation Minister Robert Courts added: “As the Government prepares to publish our Jet Zero Strategy this summer it is great to see new funding to support the development of new aerospace technology. This funding, in addition to £180m of Government funding already announced to support the UK sustainable aviation fuels, demonstrates how we are supporting our aviation sector to decarbonise whilst maintaining its critical role in connecting people.”

The ATI Programme is a key component of the government’s Jet Zero policy, which includes the Jet Zero Council, established to convene government, industry and academia, and jointly chaired by the Business Secretary and Transport Secretary. A final Jet Zero strategy will be published this summer. This funding is in addition to £180m of new government funding announced in the Net Zero Strategy to support the deployment and commercialisation of Sustainable Aviation Fuel plants in the UK.

Projects previously supported by the ATI Programme include GKN Aerospace-led H2GEAR (Hybrid Hydrogen & Electric Architecture), Bristol; ZeroAvia-led HyFlyer II, Cranfield, Bedfordshire and Thales-led COREF (Connected Reconfigurable Factory) in Crawley and Belfast

“Major vote of confidence in UK aerospace industry” – ADS

ADS Chief Executive Kevin Craven said: “This is a major vote of confidence in the UK aerospace industry. The uplift in funding will turbocharge our development of the technology needed to deliver net zero aviation, accelerating progress towards this global ambition.”

“Industry match-funding for Government’s investment in the ATI will mean more than £1.3bn available for investment in aerospace R&D over three years, supporting and creating high value jobs in all nations and regions of the UK.”

“Aerospace generates UK exports worth billions of pounds a year, and in this technologically advanced sector, R&D investment is vital to maintaining our competitive advantage. The Government’s commitment to the ATI for the decade ahead is set to generate a substantial return on investment for the UK, and enable our innovative large and small companies alike to be world leaders in delivering the future of flight.”

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