The Manufacturing Technology Centre, part of the HVM Catapult, has been awarded £60m for the development of new, advanced aerospace technology.
The funding announcement was made by Chancellor George Osborne during a visit to the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC), part of the High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult.
£30m of the aerospace technology development fund will come from government with industry committing to provide the rest.
The funding allocation is part of government’s £2bn commitment to support sustainable growth in the British aerospace sector via its aerospace industrial strategy and the Aerospace Growth Partnership. Funding tranches from this pot will be released in stages over the next seven years.
On announcing this tranche of funding Mr Osborne said: “Our long term economic plan is working and the economy is growing. But there is still work to do which is why we are working with industry to drive innovation and lead the global race in technology, engineering and manufacturing.
Mr Osborne said that he want the UK to benefit from the billions of pounds available in contracts to deliver new planes to airline operators in the years up to 2030. It is estimated that airline operators will order around 27,000 new planes in the next fifteen years.
One key area of research and development which the MTC will pursue with this funding pot is the application of 3D printing techniques for the manufacture of aerospace components. A while segment of the £60m of public-private funding will be dedicated to the establishment of a new centre for Additive Manufacturing at MTC. Other sectors targeted to benefit from this centre’s work are the automotive and medical devices sectors.
Gratefully receiving the latest funding tranche, Dick Elsy, CEO of the HVM Catapult commented: “This is a very exciting time for manufacturing in the UK. In the two years since its formation, the High Value Manufacturing Catapult is set to exceed its targets in terms of the investment generated from industry, the projects secured and the Collaborative R&D delivered.”
Mr Elsy continued to say that the expansion of capability at MTC would provide a “tremendous” new resource for building better, long term industrial competitiveness, particularly in aerospace.
The UK aerospace sector is the second largest in the world and generates £24bn a year for the UK economy.