EU research funding helping to boost the £10.5bn UK aerospace industry

The University of Nottingham’s Institute for Aerospace Technology (IAT), founded through EU Regional Development Funding, works with major businesses to drive economic growth and secure manufacturing jobs in the Midlands.


The aerospace industry is growing at a phenomenal rate - by 2030 it is estimated that there will be around 27,000 new aircraft in the skies, worth around £2.6 trillion. The UK is the second largest aerospace economy in the world – in a trade worth £300 billion – employing 84,000 people and with exports of £10.5 billion every year.

The IAT was established in 2009 with a strategic investment of £10 million from the European Regional Development Fund, the UK’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and The University of Nottingham. Researchers at the IAT work closely with a range of national and international aerospace industry partners, including Airbus, Boeing, BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce, to address key challenges and drive the development of innovative technologies.

Being well-connected and part of a simple, free-trading Europe is important to the industry with most aerospace companies trading in Europe, working across several EU countries and benefiting from research funding and partnerships. The IAT wins funding from the EU and many of its leading researchers, including its director Professor Hervé Morvan, are originally from other EU countries.

The UK Government is now investing £1 billion to support this sector and UK-based researchers and businesses can access funding worth €4 billion through the EU. The research from IAT is helping to make planes aircraft and engines lighter, cheaper to produce, better for the environment and safer. At the same time, it is creating and safe-guarding jobs in the UK and driving investment in the manufacturing base of the UK.

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