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New initiative to create world-leading sustainable aviation fuel industry in the UK

Posted on 20/09/2017

A new initiative aimed at accelerating the production of sustainable aviation fuel
has been created by government and industry.

The Sustainable Aviation Fuel Special Interest Group (SAF SIG) will be delivered by the Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN) to build the sustainable aviation fuel supply chain. Working with businesses, researchers and government, KTN will accelerate the development of the sustainable aviation fuel sector in the UK: projected to generate £265 million GVA and 4,400 jobs by 2030.

The formation of the SAF SIG follows the historic agreement by the International Civil Aviation Organisation in October 2016 to implement a global market-based measure for carbon neutral growth from 2020. Development of sustainable aviation fuels will be one of the measures to drive the UK forward and position itself as a world-leader in this field.

The SAF SIG is a two-year programme sponsored by Innovate UK, DfT and Sustainable Aviation. The team at KTN will support UK businesses in translating innovative technologies along the supply chain – from plant scientists to airline operators – by brokering collaborations and supporting businesses to find the resources required to grow and innovate. Outputs will include an interactive tool aimed at highlighting UK’s capabilities in research and development to help inform investment and business models.

Michelle Carter, Knowledge Transfer Manager for Aerospace and Aviation at KTN and Programme Manager for the SAF SIG, is keen for businesses and researchers to engage with the team as early as possible: “The launch of the SAF SIG is timely,” she said. “The transport fuel landscape in the UK is changing, with the focus now on decarbonising the aviation sector. KTN will play a crucial role in bringing together the components of the fuels supply chain by virtue of our broad sector knowledge. We are keen to expand our understanding of who the main stakeholders are in the UK and how they can contribute to the development of sustainable aviation fuels.”

Ian Jopson, the Chair of Sustainable Aviation, said: “We are delighted to be to be supporting the SAF SIG. Sustainable Aviation has been working with Government for a while now to ensure a level policy framework with automotive fuels and welcome aviation’s inclusion in the Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation. The changing transport fuel landscape presents an exciting opportunity for aviation and the industry is now ready to capitalise on the opportunity and progress towards the 2030 projected target of creating 4,400 jobs and £265 million GVA. The Special Interest Group will play a critical role in achieving the industry targets. We look forward to working with the KTN team.”