ATI comms • 17.04.23 •  2 mins

Aerospace Technology Institute launches new initiative to advance hydrogen capability in UK aerospace

Backed by a government investment of £1.29m, the ATI will prepare for the launch of a Hydrogen Capability Network – focusing on infrastructure, skills, research and the commercial supply of hydrogen across the UK.

The Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) has today launched a new project to enhance hydrogen capability in UK aerospace. Supported by the Department for Business & Trade (DBT), the 12-month study will develop the concept of a Hydrogen Capability Network through to the point of launch.

In the initial Phase 0 of the project, the ATI will review how a Hydrogen Capability Network could support UK aerospace to adopt liquid hydrogen as a fuel source in three key areas: test infrastructure, supply & storage and skills. It will define an operating model for a group of open-access facilities designed to accelerate the development of liquid hydrogen (LH2) aircraft technologies and capabilities.

The deliverables of Phase 0 include:

  • Defined test infrastructure requirements for the UK aerospace sector
  • Agreed supply of liquid hydrogen for UK aerospace test & research activities
  • An LH2 academy to accelerate skills development and research
  • Financial commitment to establish initial operating capability for the Hydrogen Capability Network.

In 2022, the ATI – through the FlyZero project, also funded by DBT – identified liquid hydrogen as having the greatest potential to power a new generation of zero-carbon emission aircraft. One of FlyZero’s recommendations was to address the UK’s limited hydrogen-related skills and testing capabilities through a centre of excellence that provides an anchor for UK industry.

As with FlyZero, Phase 0 of the project will be led by the ATI with secondees from industry and academia; there are also a number of roles that the ATI is recruiting for directly. The project is being funded by DBT with a grant of £1.29 million.

Harry Malins, Chief Innovation Officer at the Aerospace Technology Institute, said: “This project is driving forward the decarbonisation of the aerospace sector by implementing the recommendations set out by the FlyZero project, creating a national network of assets that will secure the infrastructure, skills and capability that the UK needs to retain a competitive advantage in this global industry.

“Through this project, we are accelerating collaboration and the development of critical enabling capabilities to address the UK’s gaps in hydrogen test, supply, storage and skills. Phase 0 will identify how a UK Hydrogen Capability Network will operate to give the UK a competitive edge in hydrogen-related aircraft technologies.”

Interested in engaging with the Hydrogen Capability Network? Please click here.

This announcement comes as the Jet Zero Council meets today at the Sustainable Skies event in Farnborough. Read more about the UK Government’s plans to decarbonise aviation in this press release.