New £35m aerospace research centre to be built at Cranfield

Jul 11, 2014

The £35 million centre will provide dedicated space and specialist equipment to address future challenges facing the aerospace sector.

It will expand the regional aerospace hub of research and technology programmes, carried out by higher education and global businesses  with established aerospace expertise.

The funding has come from the Higher Education Funding Council for England and is in response to the report laast year by Sir Andrew Witty into the role of universities in economic growth.

It recommended closer collaboration between leading researchers, industrial supply chain partners and key economic players.

The AIRC will directly contribute to the competitiveness and prosperity of the aerospace industry and the wider UK economy. Due to open in 2016, it will a world leader, said a Cranfield spokesman, securing existing jobs and creating additional work opportunities within the UK aerospace and academic sectors.

Its work will focus on research into innovative aerospace technologies to enhance performance, emission control and efficiency targets on future aircraft.  

Cranfield University chief executive and vice-chancellor Professor Sir Peter Gregson (pictured) said: “We are delighted to have been successful in securing this additional funding from HEFCE.  The investment from Airbus and Rolls-Royce in this collaborative Centre will change the design of future aircraft.

“It will reinforce Cranfield’s reputation as a global leader in transformational research, strengthen our strategic relationships with world-renowned businesses and meet the needs of business, government and wider society.”

The Cranfield funding from HEFCE is one of three university and business partnerships receiving a total of £50 million of public investment for research projects to drive innovation and growth in the UK, announced by the Minister for Universities and Science, David Willetts. 

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