UK Government

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills: Government backs low carbon aerospace with £45m of research projects

Press Release   •   Feb 11, 2010 10:24 GMT

£45 million Government support to research and develop more fuel-efficient, lower-carbon aero engines will fund new partnerships between Rolls-Royce and universities around the UK, Business Secretary Lord Mandelson announced today.

Research projects will be overseen by the Technology Strategy Board and include:

  • developing lighter fans that reduce fuel consumption
  • simulation technology for virtual engineering
  • new, affordable high temperature alloys to improve fuel efficiency

Rolls-Royce will partner with the following universities:

Birmingham; Bristol; Cambridge; Imperial College London; Loughborough; Nottingham;  Oxford; Southampton; Surrey; Swansea.

Lord Mandelson also welcomed the Rolls-Royce commitment to build a new aero-engine disc facility in Washington, Sunderland.

Speaking at a Rolls-Royce Advanced Manufacturing Exhibition, Lord Mandelson said:

“The knowledge, skills and high-end production the UK offers give us huge opportunities to benefit as global demand for low carbon products grows.

“These new projects will help our world class aerospace industry to meet that growing low carbon demand.

“Rolls-Royce represents some of the best of British advanced manufacturing.  Its plans to site a new factory in the North East underline the company’s commitment to British manufacturing excellence.”

Ric Parker, Director of Research and Technology, Rolls-Royce, said:

"This is a good example of government, industry and academia coming together to expand Britain's capabilities in high value added manufacturing. The innovative, high value-added work that the SILOET programme is addressing will influence future aero-engine architecture and help to further reduce the impact of aviation on the environment."

The disc facility is one of four new facilities Rolls-Royce is to build in the UK which will secure or create 800 jobs in innovative high-value manufacturing programmes over the long term.

Notes to Editors

  • The research programmes will be funded by Strategic Investment in Low Carbon Engine Technology (SILOET).
  • The Advanced Manufacturing Strategy, July 2009, announced Government  support for Rolls-Royce with £45m Grants for Business Investment that would see them build four new advanced manufacturing facilities in the UK.  Two of the four Rolls-Royce sites have already been announced, the military fan blades facility in Barnoldswick, and the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre in South Yorkshire.
  • Department for Business, Innovation & Skills

    The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) is building a dynamic and competitive UK economy by: creating the conditions for business success; promoting innovation, enterprise and science; and giving everyone the skills and opportunities to succeed. To achieve this it will foster world-class universities and promote an open global economy. BIS - Investing in our future.


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