UK Business Secretary Greg Clark has awarded £10 million to UK regulators to help drive innovation forward and clear the regulatory path for the growth of artificial intelligence (AI) and urban air mobility.

The Regulators’ Pioneer Fund is funding 15 projects that could unlock the economic opportunities identified in the government’s Industrial Strategy. One of these opportunities was future mobility – targeting the UK becoming a world leader in shaping the space.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) will receive up to £1 million from the Regulators’ Pioneer Fund for a project that includes a ‘regulatory lab’ that “will bring together relevant bodies to unblock legislative and regulatory barriers to innovations like flying taxis”.

Regulatory sandbox

The Innovation in Aviation Engagement Capability project will include the establishment of a new advisory service, giving innovators preliminary regulatory guidance. The CAA’s new Canary Wharf London base will also be more closely located to East London’s Tech City.

The programme also includes a new regulatory ‘sandbox’ to allow testing, and a regulatory lab that convenes relevant bodies to identify future legislative and regulatory barriers to innovations such as flying taxis.

Tim Johnson, Director at the UK Civil Aviation Authority, said: “We have already seen many global aviation and aerospace innovators choose the UK to develop their new products and services whether they are traditional operators in the sector or are new market entrants. We look forward to continuing to play our role in facilitating successful innovation.

“We are delighted to have support from the Regulators Pioneer Fund to advance this innovation agenda. With its support, we will be able to give some innovators earlier guidance on proposals, allow more safe testing of new products and services and develop new regulatory frameworks for emerging technologies.”

Urban air mobility

Watch our recent FINN Sessions panel debate on the future of urban air mobility, featuring Guillaume Thibault, Partner, Oliver Wyman; Iain Macbeth, Foresight Manager, Transport for London; Michael Cervenka, Head of Future Technologies Group, Rolls-Royce; and Eduardo Dominguez Puerta, Head of Urban Air Mobility, Airbus.

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