Sustainable Aerospace

The UK has a long history of innovation in aerospace, defence, security and space. That heritage continues through programmes such as the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) and Future Flight Challenge (FFC), demonstrating a broad ecosystem of innovation that is answering the key questions of the next decade and beyond.

While full association for the UK to Horizon Europe remains a priority for industry in the UK, earlier this year ADS wrote to the UK Innovation Minister requesting that the UK Government’s guarantee of alternative funding be extended to successful applications for the Clean Aviation Joint Undertaking, a key pillar of the Horizon Europe programme. This was in support of an ASD call to the European Commission to complete a swift implementation of the UK’s association to the programme. Last week, the government confirmed that the guarantees would be extended to all Horizon Europe calls that close before the end of 2022.

This is a step in the right direction, providing a level of certainty for those applications to Clean Aviation, the calls for which closed at the end of June, that were successful will receive equivalent funding from the UK, should the UK be denied full access to Horizon Europe. Funding, however, is only part of the question.

A central appeal of participation in Horizon Europe is the partnerships with other nations across Europe, sharing knowledge, expertise, and creativity to foster a culture where new ideas and new thinking can overcome even the biggest of challenges, such as decarbonising aviation.

ADS are therefore keen for the UK to fully associate to Horizon Europe if this can be settled shortly with the EU. However, our sectors are also keen for a sense of direction and clarity in case the UK is unable to associate, so we both welcome the guarantees of alternative funding and the emerging details on the UK’s ‘Plan B’, which should competitively support UK business innovation. Clarity on timelines and available funding would go a long way to setting industry up to succeed over the next few years.

Where ADS members go from here

ADS will continue to work with industry in the UK and the EU to demonstrate the value and proposition for UK membership of Horizon Europe. ADS would encourage any member that is successful in Clean Aviation or any other joint undertaking to apply for guaranteed funding through UK Research and Innovation, details available here. ADS are available to assist and provide advice to members in this process as required.