A new Aerospace Sector Deal has been announced by the Business Secretary today. The deal will look to position the UK to take advantage of the global move towards hybrid-electric and electric propulsion and to exploit valuable emerging markets such as drones and Urban Air Mobility.

Professor Iain Gray, Director of Aerospace at Cranfield University and Chair of the UK Aerospace Research Consortium, said: “The aerospace sector is one of the crown jewels of UK industry. It drives the economy, providing jobs to hundreds of thousands and it delivers world-leading technology, ensuring that the UK is at the forefront of global innovation.  This Sector Deal is an important step in not only protecting this crown jewel but also provides the tools for the sector to grow and innovate further.

“I’m delighted to see the Sector Deal reference both the Digital Aviation Research Technology Centre (DARTeC), to be built here at Cranfield University, and the UK Aerospace Research Consortium as prime examples of industry and academia collaboration. It is only through greater collaboration between Government, academia and industry that we can realise the ambitions of the Sector Deal.

“At Cranfield, we welcome the commitment to the ‘Future Flight challenge’. This mirrors a lot of our work in projects such as Volante and the National Beyond visual line of sight Experimentation Corridor (NBEC) which are bringing the very best minds from industry and from academia together to look at how we can deliver personal vertical take -off vehicles and the greater integration of drones and aircraft.

“This Sector Deal is a very exciting announcement and we at Cranfield, together with our partners from both industry and academia, will do all we can to make sure its lofty ambitions become reality.”

About Cranfield University

Cranfield University is a specialist postgraduate university that is a global leader for education and transformational research in technology and management.