Alongside industry support, total funding for Aerospace Technology Institute set to reach more than £1bn by 2025

Research into green aerospace technology is set to receive £685m in government funding over the next three years in a bid to put the UK at “the forefront of advancing new green technology”, it announced today.

The government said the “record levels” funding – a £235m increase on the previous three years – would be funnelled into the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI), the UK’s aerospace technology research programme which has been working since 2013 to support industry-led innovation in the next generation of zero carbon aviation. 

And, in addition, to government funding announced today, industry is set to once again provide co-funding, taking the total investment to more than £1bn, in a move expected to support tens of thousands of jobs in the emerging green aerospace sector.

ATI’s CEO Gary Elliott welcomed the government’s renewed commitment to research in sustainable aircraft, highlighting a further pledge in last week’s Spring Statement that the programme would continue until at least 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 £1bn over the next three years in the cutting-edge technology needed to move towards our net zero targets,” he said. “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 ATI Programme is set to reopen to new funding applications on 4 April.

Previous projects supported by the AIT 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 one of the largest, most efficient aircraft engines ever built, according to the government.

Industry Minister Lee Rowley said projects which previously supported by the ATI had already made a real-world impact on innovations including hydrogen aircraft and 3D printed components.

“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,” he said.

It comes as the government prepares to publish its Jet Zero Strategy in the summer aimed at delivering the first zero-carbon flight in the UK within the coming years.

Aviation Minister Robert Courts described the ATI programme as a key component of the government’s Jet Zero policy, which also includes the Jet Zero Council comprising figures from government, industry and academia.

“This funding, in addition to £180m of government funding already announced to support UK sustainable aviation fuels, demonstrates how we are supporting our aviation sector to decarbonise whilst maintaining its critical role in connecting people,” said Courts.

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