The Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) and Innovair, the Swedish programme for aeronautics, together with delivery partners Innovate UK and Vinnova, have today announced the award of four projects that are being funded under a joint aerospace funding call between the UK and Sweden.

The call, operated under the EUREKA Network Projects programme, was developed to foster industry-led collaborative R&D projects between the UK and Sweden to advance both countries’ aerospace industries. UK organisations were given the opportunity to apply for a share of up to £2.25 million to develop aerospace technology in partnership with Swedish companies.

The success of the call was announced at the EUREKA Global Innovation Summit being hosted in Manchester (14th-16th May 2019).

The projects selected will conduct research with strong market potential for the UK and Sweden and, guided by the respective aerospace strategies of the UK and Sweden, cover a range of technology areas, including materials, propulsion and systems.

Two such projects focus on high temperature electronics and the analysis of complex sensors and electric components in aircraft.

With aircraft using ever-greater electrical applications, there is a growing need for new high-temperature electronics and the project, focusing on new transistor devices, will pave the way for more electric applications in aircraft. The benefits of more electrical applications are numerous, including reduced weight, greater reliability, lower maintenance costs and increased efficiency. The project is led by Rolls-Royce and is supported by Ascatron AB and other organisations from Sweden.

The sensors and electrical analysis project, led by ESI Group in Sweden and with International Technegroup as UK partners, will look at electromagnetic interference with aircraft systems. A better understanding will enable more complex sensors to be fitted to aircraft, improving the operation of the aircraft and the passenger experience by increasing connectivity.

Commenting on the call, the UK’s Ambassador to Sweden, His Excellency David Cairns said:

For two countries such as Britain and Sweden our economic development depends on high-quality research, innovation, technology, development, and collaboration, and in perhaps no sector is this more important than aerospace. Through this joint funding call both our countries will close gaps in capability, gain access to new partners, bolster existing capability, and encourage greater levels of trade and investment between both our countries.

Simon Edmonds, Deputy Executive Chair and Chief Business Officer, Innovate UK, said:

As the UK prepares to welcome international businesses and innovation agencies to the EUREKA Global Innovation Summit, Innovate UK, alongside BEIS and the ATI, is proud to be supporting these projects funded through the EUREKA Network Project Call in Aerospace 2018, with Sweden. They demonstrate the vital role that that collaboration with the global supply chain plays in supporting the success of the UK Aerospace industry.

Malcolm Scott, Corporate Development Officer at the ATI, said:

Over the last few years we have shared our respective aerospace strategies, identified areas for mutual collaboration and have taken time to build the case for a joint R&D funding call. We are delighted to be able to award funding to these projects, which will facilitate new relationships and close capability gaps in both the UK and Sweden and we hope to strengthen ties with Swedish colleagues by holding a further call in 2020.

Director General of the Swedish Innovation Agency Vinnova, Darja Isaksson said:

To stay competitive within aeronautics you have to collaborate with the best nations to reach excellence in engineering. The long-term benefit of this funding call will be to accelerate the development of aerospace technology by working together and it is very important to do so in light of pressing environmental concerns.