Cranfield's New Aviation Research Centre To Open By Christmas

18 August 2013, 06:00

A new scheme to keep the UK at the forefront of the global aerospace industry based at Cranfield in Bedfordshire, has recruited its first intake of students.

Business Minister Michael Fallon has told Heart 100 bursaries have been awarded to employees and graduates to study Masters (MSc) level degrees in aerospace engineering – with nineteen going to women. This will help the sector develop the high-level skills it needs to compete globally.

Industry and government have each committed £3 million over three years to help recruit 500 talented people who want to build careers in aerospace, but need financial backing to study at Masters level. The scheme will cover the cost of tuition fees up to a maximum of £9,500.

The Minister also announced that the Headquarters of the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) will be based at Cranfield Technology Park near Bedford.

The headquarters at Martell House will be operational from December, and house a core team of around thirty. As part of the Aerospace Growth Partnership, they will set the strategy for the ATI-funded research and technology programmes being carried out across the country by industrial and academic partners.

These programmes will be jointly funded with £2 billion over seven years from government and industry.

Business Minister Michael Fallon said: "The aerospace Masters programme is an excellent example of government and industry working together to keep the UK competitive as it will help us meet the urgent demand for engineers in this country.

I am particularly pleased that 19 places have gone to women – well above the average for the sector. It is essential that the aerospace industry recruits from the widest possible talent pool.

Our decision to base the Aerospace Technology Institute at Cranfield ensures it can operate with the independence necessary to work with partners from right across industry and academia. It is well situated to serve the needs of the whole UK aerospace sector.

The R&D projects funded under the programme will be carried out at a range of locations across the country so that the benefit our joint £2 billion investment with industry is spread across the breadth of the UK."

The call will be funded from £2 billion of joint government and industry investment committed to support the ATI, announced in the aerospace industrial strategy in March.