YORKSHIRE scientists and engineers will be part of a £45 million Rolls-Royce project to develop new aircraft technology, Nick Clegg has announced.
The project involving Sheffield University’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) was announced as the Deputy Prime Minister opened Rolls-Royce’s new factory in Washington which uses technology developed by AMRC.
AMRC staff will work with researchers from across the UK to design new low-carbon aircraft engines.
Speaking at the factory opening, Mr Clegg said: “We should be really proud that the UK is the number one aerospace industry in Europe and a world leader in innovation.
“The highly skilled workers at the new Rolls-Royce factory are leading the charge for innovative technologies that are made in Britain.
“And the Government’s investment of £45m alongside industry will help to ensure the UK continues to build and design the planes of the future.”
Rolls-Royce is investing in a new factory in Rotherham, close to the AMRC, which will produce turbine blades for jet engines.
The £45m project will focus on finding ways to make jet engines with lower emissions and changing their design so they can be made more quickly.
Professor Keith Ridgway, executive dean of the University of Sheffield AMRC, said: “Manufacturers in the UK need to keep pushing the boundaries of what can be achieved, if they are to compete in an increasingly tough global market.
“The AMRC, and our partner centres in the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, are here to help them do that, and the new funding announced today will allow us to do even more in a very exciting area of composites manufacturing.
“This new factory is a great example of what we can achieve through collaborative R&D – it’s a great day for UK manufacturing.”
The aerospace industry contributes around £24bn to the economy every year, through 3,000 companies and supporting 230,000 jobs across the country.
Three quarters of the UK industry’s aerospace products are exported.