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Government backs pioneering aerospace SMEs with £24m fund

The business minister has announced new investments for UK small and medium businesses (SMEs) to develop new solutions to UK aerospace challenges at the International Paris Air Show.

Government backs pioneering aerospace SMEs with £24m fund
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  • Maja Garaca Djurdjevic
  • June 18, 2019
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The government has backed pioneering aerospace SMEs with the launch of a new £24 million fund for collaborative research and development (R&D) projects. 

The new funding opportunity, announced by Business Minister Andrew Stephenson at the International Paris Air Show, will help keep UK aerospace suppliers at the forefront of aerospace manufacturing, the government said in a statement. 

It announced that through the program, up to £12 million of government funding, matched by industry, will be available as part of the Open Collaborative Research and Development (CR&D) competition, supported by the Aerospace Technology Institute program. 

Mr Stephenson also announced the opening of the new round of the National Aerospace Technology Exploitation Programme (NATEP 3) to help SMEs develop innovate technology, including virtual reality training for cabin crew and 3D aerospace structures to lighten aircraft, and bring it to market quickly to boost their global competitiveness.

"Innovation and R&D are crucial for the UK aerospace sector and I am delighted that we have today launched two programs to support R&D for SMEs," Mr Stephenson said. 

To boost UK aerospace R&D activity, develop new technology and increase the UK’s share of the growing aerospace market, industry and government made a total joint funding commitment of £3.9 billion for civil aerospace research from 2013 to 2026. Of that funding, Monday’s announcements include the £24 million CR&D program and the £13.7 million NATEP 3, the government clarified. 

"The UK’s successful Aerospace Industrial Strategy is helping companies in this innovative sector to develop advanced new technology, raise their productivity and create high value jobs in every part of the country," said ADS chief executive Paul Everitt.

"Programs like these are generating new R&D investment at every level of the industry. This investment is vital to boosting our international competitiveness and to developing the technologies of the future that will deliver improved fuel efficiency and significant reductions in the environmental impact of aviation worldwide."

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