The UK government has announced a new Aerospace Sector Deal, following the completion of negotiations announced by Prime Minister Theresa May at the 2018 Farnborough International Airshow in July.

The sector deal builds on the UK’s industrial strategy for aerospace, and provides up to £125 million government investment in a Future Flight Challenge to develop new technology such as electric aircraft and urban air vehicles.

This investment, made from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, will be matched by industry.

In addition to the Future Flight Challenge, the Aerospace Sector Deal’s key measures include:

  • A UK Aerospace Research Consortium, which brings together universities and research institutes to better co-ordinate and collaborate on technology and capability challenges.
  • The National Aerospace Technology Exploitation Programme (NATEP) programme will receive £13.7 million in funding from Government for further rounds, with £10 million industry funding.
  • An SC21 Competitiveness & Growth supply chain productivity programme that will receive £10 million funding from both industry and Government.

Colin Smith, Aerospace Growth Partnership Chairman, said: “The industrial strategy is a continuation of the success story for the UK aerospace sector that has helped companies of all sizes boost their productivity and competitiveness, invest in innovation and technology and develop valuable new partnerships.

“This new Aerospace Sector Deal provides an important investment of up to £125 million by Government and industry in the future of flight, as well as expanding successful programmes like NATEP and SC21.

“Developing the technologies needed to make the future of aviation a reality here in the UK will take commitment and imagination, and this sector deal is an important step towards that goal.”

Fast-tracking innovation

Paul Everitt, ADS Chief Executive, commented: “A strong long-term partnership between Government and industry is essential for UK aerospace to meet the challenges of global competition and new market opportunities.

“The Aerospace Sector Deal demonstrates the UK’s commitment to continue as one of the most attractive locations for the global aerospace and aviation industries.

“The Future Flight challenge will ensure the UK takes a lead in delivering cleaner, quieter and more innovative aircraft. We must fast-track the electrification of flight, exploit the global potential of new urban mobility solutions and pioneer autonomous aviation.”

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