UK aerospace industry receives funding boost

Alan Johnson, the UK Industry Minister has today announced the release of funds to boost research in Britain’s aerospace industry.

Almost £1.5 million will help develop new technologies and processes to reduce waste during the manufacture of aerospace components. The project will be run by Finite Element Analysis in conjunction with other supply chain companies.

A further £1.2 million has been made available to help create new materials and processes to develop the next generation of gas turbines, which will reduce fuel consumption and harmful emissions. Rolls Royce will lead this project in conjunction with the University of Birmingham, the University of Wales Swansea, the University of Oxford and the Victoria University of Manchester.

The ‘Precimould’ project led by Finite Element Analysis aims to develop a capability for high precision composite moulding by investigating and developing technologies to eliminate distortions during manufacture. This will avoid scrap, reduce rework and assembly costs.

The ‘Adam’ project, led by Rolls Royce, is seeking to reduce fuel burn and weight in aero engines whilst maintaining high levels of component integrity over increasingly longer lives. New higher temperature materials for compressor and turbine use will be required to meet new global standards.

The projects are part of the £21 million that the UK’s Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is giving to the aerospace industry for research and technology this year.

As part of the DTI’s strategy to help the aerospace sector, Ministers have set up an innovation and growth team to draw on expertise of the major Aerospace stakeholders to identify key issues that will shape the future of the industry. The team will make recommendations shortly as to how the UK can best respond to the competitive challenges it will face over the next 20 years.

‘It is crucial that the UK aerospace industry keeps evolving its technologies, processes and materials to ensure it has a competitive edge,’ said Mr Johnson. ‘I am looking forward to the Aerospace innovation and growth team report which will make an extremely important contribution to the future success of the industry.’