The DTI has announced that it is to provide Rolls-Royce with funding for the ATAP-10 civil aerospace research programme, which will explore new technologies and test scientific innovations.
The new research programme will draw on £38.8 million in funding over four years; £17.3 million of which will be provided by the DTI, the remainder by Rolls-Royce.
According to the DTI, the projects will help to ensure the UK retains its leading role in the aero-engine sector. They will focus on key research areas such as combustion, materials, cooling systems, aerodynamics and manufacturing technology, leading on to the validation of a range of product-enabling technologies.
Fundamental goals centre on improving engine performance, minimising environmental impact and reducing the cost of manufacture. Many projects will involve a high degree of collaboration with universities and other specialist academic outlets.
The universities of Cambridge, Cranfield, Durham, Loughborough, Nottingham, Oxford – Imperial College, Queens University Belfast and organisations such as coatings specialist TSTL and QinetiQ will be involved in one or more of the research projects.
‘I am delighted to award Rolls-Royce this substantial funding today,’ said Industry Minister Jacqui Smith. ‘This high-tech, high value research will play a key role in developing new, cleaner technology and lower costs to manufacturing.
‘This is a great example of British business exploiting our science and academic expertise.’