Business Secretary Greg Clark has announced new support for the UK’s leading aerospace sector and the next generation of transport to tackle ground congestion and pollution in towns and cities.
The deal will develop ‘Future Flight’ – including electric planes with vertical take-off capability, goods and service drones, to autonomous aircraft.
The package, announced yesterday at a government event in Bristol, also includes:
- A multi-million pound package of new investment to turbo-charge UK industry in support of the modern Industrial Strategy and put the UK at the forefront of the industries of the future, including up to £125 million from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund to develop future flight
- £15 million government investment for GKN Aerospace’s new Global Technology Centre in Bristol. The centre is expected to open in 2020 and will ensure the UK is a hub for world class innovative technology for the next generation of fuel-efficient aircraft
- The new government-industry Aerospace Sector Deal which includes support proposals for supply chain SMEs to boost their competitiveness on the global stage and a pledge to increase the number of women in aviation
- Follows yesterday’s announcement of the £1.3 billion Life Sciences Sector Deal 2 with record investment in diagnostics and early intervention to help people live healthier, longer lives
- The next steps for establishing a technical education system that will rival the best in the world, with an action plan for the introduction of the new T level qualifications as set out by the Secretary of State for Education in a speech at Battersea Power Station today
- Also, includes the Bio-economy strategy which was published earlier in the week to help double the size of the bio-economy to £440 billion by 2030, setting out an ambition for world-leading standards for bio-based and biodegradable plastics
New Aerospace Sector Deal
As part of the deal, the government is launching the Future Flight Challenge, which will provide up to £125 million to aerospace and other manufactures to research and engineer new technologies and infrastructure, which industry will match. This will support the development of electric and autonomous aircraft and transform the future of transport in urban areas as we utilise our airspace to ease congestion. Industry will initially focus on smaller aircraft and drones to ensure the suitability of the new technologies before developing them for larger passenger aircraft. It means that by 2026, the government and industry will have jointly invested more than £4 billion in the future of UK aerospace.
Speaking about the deal, Greg Clark said: “The UK’s contribution to the global aerospace industry cannot be underestimated. Half of the world’s modern large passenger aircraft have wings designed and built here in the UK; and every 2.5 seconds, a Rolls-Royce powered aircraft takes off or lands.
“But we are not complacent. The future of aerospace is cleaner, greener, and more efficient, and we want the UK to be the pioneers of new technology that will pave the way for increased electrification and autonomy in commercial aviation.
“This deal is our modern Industrial Strategy in action, combining the forces of government and industry to boost a sector that is vital to our future economy, export capabilities and will place the UK at the forefront of the next generation of air travel.”
Supporting the deal, Baroness Sugg, Minister for Aviation said: “The UK is a global leader in aviation innovation. From urban air mobility vehicles to small electric aircraft and drones, we are already developing exciting new forms of transport.
“Through the Future of Mobility Grand Challenge and alongside our forthcoming Aviation Strategy, we are exploring how these new technologies will change the way we travel, helping create the right conditions for the UK’s aerospace and drone industries to take off.”
The modern Industrial Strategy, published last year, sets out how the whole of the UK can build on its strengths, extend them into the future, and capitalise on new opportunities. Investing in science and research to keep the UK at the forefront of new technologies and the benefits they bring. Nurturing the talent of tomorrow – through more outstanding schools, world-leading universities and the technical skills that will drive the economy. And transforming the places where people live and work – the places where ideas and inspiration are born – by backing businesses and building infrastructure not just in London and the South East but across every part of our country.
It sets out Grand Challenges to put the UK at the forefront of the industries of the future, ensuring that the UK takes advantage of major global changes, improving people’s lives and the country’s productivity. The first four are focused on the global trends which will transform our future:
- AI and data
- ageing society
- clean growth
- the future of mobility
It has been taken forward at pace over the last year:
- Innovative ideas that bring together world-class UK science, research and innovation to develop cutting edge products and services of the future have received an extra £1.7 billion making it the largest increase for 40 years (to £7 billion). That includes £210 million to develop new medical diagnostic tools and treatments, £90 million for the food and farming industry to embrace agri-tech and £184 million for 41 UK universities to train the next generation of world-class scientists and engineers.
- six sector deals between government and industry have been published – from construction and automotive to nuclear and the creative industries, including £1.9 billion of investment in life sciences and £1 billion for artificial intelligence. They are not only about attracting investment and growth, but also ensuring we have the skilled, diverse workforce we need for the future.
- Plans for new technical qualifications (T-levels) and to transform the quality and quantity of apprenticeships. Furthered the connectivity of Britain’s towns, cities and rural areas, including the first allocations of the £190 million full-fibre challenge fund and £25 million for 6 5G testbeds across the UK.
- Opened the Transforming Cities Fund with billions of pounds ready to go to projects that drive productivity by improving connections within city regions.
- Opened the Faraday Institution in Oxford to keep the UK at the forefront of global battery manufacture. Announced plans for a new spaceport in Sutherland
- The UK now has the fastest growing infrastructure investment across the G7, providing £31 billion of additional capital spending to areas critical to improving productivity.
- Launched the £9 million Centre of Data Ethics and Innovation to act as an advisory body to government and regulators on ethics of data and its use, including for AI.
- Launched the Patient Capital Fund, which will invest £2.5 billion in our most innovative companies.