UK aerospace innovations take flight with £47m fund

The UK is a world leader in aerospace, and this competition seeks to further strengthen its position by awarding investment to innovative projects that align with the Aerospace Technology Institute’s technology strategy.

The programme, shaped by the ATI and delivered by Innovate UK, has led to successful proposals involving 100 different organisations including 55 small and medium sized businesses and 11 universities. Winners include:

  • A £2.15 million project by Southampton-based company Ilika, Reliance Precision Engineering, University of Sheffield, GKN and BAE Systems, will develop a new generation of self-healing alloys – those with the ability to remove micro-cracks without human interaction.
  • A £1.9 million project by TE Connectivity, who come from Swindon, will assess how lightweight printed circuits can replace wiring – reducing fuel consumption and improving emissions.
  • A £1.1 million project led by Advanced Innovative Engineering (UK) Ltd in Lichfield to develop game-changing electrical power systems for the next generation of unmanned aerial vehicles.

Business Minister Anna Soubry said: “Backed by almost £50 million from government and industry, these truly innovative projects will help maintain our position as a world leader in aerospace.

“We will continue to work closely with industry, to increase productivity and growth, raise skill levels and keep us ahead of our international competitors.”

Gary Elliott, CEO, Aerospace Technology Institute commented: “We are very pleased to see so many supply chain organisations involved in this competition. It demonstrates the richness and innovative nature of the UK’s aerospace capability. Engagement with the UK supply chain will be essential for improving our international competitiveness.”