HC Deb 09 January 2002 vol 377 cc875-6W
Mr. Todd

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what research her Department has conducted into Government research and technology support offered to the aerospace sector in(a) the United Kingdom, (b) Germany, (c) the USA, (d) Canada and (e) France; and if she will make a statement. [25313]

Mr. Wilson

In the UK, the DTI's civil aeronautics research programme supports long-term research in key aeronautics technologies by providing grants to industry, research organisations and universities. In March 2001, the then Secretary of State announced the continuation of this programme for five years covering the period from April 2001 to March 2006. Funding for 2001–02 is expected to total £20 million. Future funding of the Department's civil aeronautics research programmes will be determined alongside the funding of other DTI budgets as part of the Department's business support review and the Government's Spending Review 2002.

Additionally, funding for the science base provided through the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and related to aerospace research totalled around £14 million in 2000–01.

The DTI also invests in the design and development of major civil aerospace programmes through launch investment. The most recent examples have been for Airbus UK to design and develop the wings for the Airbus A380 superjumbo programme (a Government investment of up to £530 million) and for Rolls-Royce to design and develop the Trent 900 engine for the A380 and the Trent 600 engine for potential future Boeing large aircraft (a Government investment of up to £250 million).

As part of its Applied and Corporate Research Programmes and associated technology demonstrators, the Ministry of Defence spends about £120 million per annum on aerospace-related work for specific defence needs.

We have no directly comparable information for the other countries listed but our best estimate of expenditure on civil aeronautics research equivalent to the UK's civil aircraft research programme is about £60 million for France and £100 million for Germany. These nations also provide Launch Investment for new civil aerospace developments.

In the USA, aeronautical research activity funded through NASA totals several hundred million pounds annually though the USA does not provide Launch Investment for aerospace developments. Canada, under the "Technology Partnerships Canada" programme, has made repayable investments worth around £500 million in the last five years in aerospace and defence projects.

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