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24. 08. 2019 09:08


Government to put £125m into flying taxis, electric planes and freight drones

Prime Minister Boris Johnson says he will “accelerate the country towards greener travel with a new £300m investment.”

The government will provide up to £125m, which will be supported by industry co-investment of up to £175m to support “exciting new technologies including flying urban taxis, electric passenger planes and even freight-carrying drones.”

It comes as the Prime Minister heads to the G7 Summit in Biarritz to urge greater action to tackle climate change and protect the environment for future generations.

Freight drone

Alongside this, five new transport research networks will receive a £5 million cash injection for their work developing cleaner forms of fuel and other tech innovations to reduce emissions and improve air quality.

The new transport research networks will be led by: the University of Birmingham, the University of Leeds, the University of Durham, Cardiff University and University College London.

Mr Johnson says: “From our shopping choices to planning our holidays, we rightly want to make decisions that protect the planet.

“This £300m investment will help speed up the development of greener flights, and new ways of delivering the goods we order online.

“The UK is already recognised around the world as a centre for green tech. Now we will lengthen our lead, supporting our industry and our citizens to reduce their carbon footprint.”


Leadsom: 'Endless possibilities'

Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom says: “The possibilities for new ways to transport goods and services - or to get from A to B - are endless.

“This investment will help make the most of the exceptional talent and expertise we have in these industries, and ensure the U.K. leads the way internationally in designing and developing technology, from electric taxis to drones delivering parcels.”


Shapps: 'Extraordinary talents'

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps says: “New technologies like electric and autonomous aircraft can help us tackle climate change, making journeys greener and working better for passengers.

“This funding will support the extraordinary talents of UK industry and academia, and demonstrate our country’s position as a world-leading transport innovator.”


UK Research and Innovation

The Future of Flight Challenge is delivered by UK Research and Innovation. Industry will initially focus on smaller aircraft and drones to ensure the 

suitability of the new technologies before developing them for larger passenger aircraft.

The additional £5m of funding has been awarded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

The first Future Flight Challenge competition, to create compelling concept studies will open on 30 September 2019.

There will be a briefing about the competition by video conference on the morning of 5 September; details of how to register for this will be released on the Innovate UK site "soon," says the Government


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