Grant to establish aerospace research facility in Nottingham

Nottingham University has received a grant worth £3.6m to help it establish an Institute for Aerospace Technology.

The grant has come from the European Regional Development Fund and will help fund construction of the new research facility at the University of Nottingham Innovation Park (UNIP). The East Midlands Development Agency (emda) will administer the new investment.

Once built, the Aerospace Technology Centre will house around 100 staff, making one of the biggest of its kind in the UK.

The university says it already has a portfolio of aerospace research worth £35m, with more than 70 separate projects focused on key challenges in power electronics, electromagnetics, advanced manufacturing, polymer composites, non-destructive evaluation, and thermo-fluids.

This portfolio includes two Rolls-Royce University Technology Centres (UTCs), in gas-turbine transmissions and manufacturing, and a strategic partnership with GE on advanced electrical power and actuation systems, co-funded by EPSRC.

Similarly, Nottingham academics currently work in partnership with aerospace companies that include Rolls-Royce, GE, Airbus/EADS, Boeing, BAE Systems, Bombardier, GKN and Goodrich.

The UK has the second largest aerospace industry in the world, after the US. The east Midlands accounts for around 15 per cent of the UK aerospace industry by value and numbers of people employed in the sector, which stands at approximately 25,000 people within 250 companies.