New £65m aviation and technology centre at Cranfield Uni

The new digital aviation research and technology centre will be constructed with the help of NatWest

Cranfield University has announced the construction of a new £65m Digital Aviation Research and Technology Centre (DARTeC) after receiving a £5m funding package from NatWest.

The centre will address key research challenges facing the aviation industry including the integration of drones in civilian airspace, increasing airport efficiency and improving aircraft reliability with self-aware technologies.

As the university is the only higher education institute with a licensed airport on-site, the centre will allow researchers to develop innovative solutions for the aviation sector.

Cranfield University is a wholly postgraduate science, technology and management institution with a world-renowned reputation for high-quality teaching and exceptional research facilities. The university, which has approximately 4,600 students from over 110 countries, has close ties to industry and works with a wide range of global corporate partners including Boeing, Thales, SAAB, Rolls-Royce and Nissan.

Based near the village of Cranfield in Bedfordshire, the university is a significant contributor to the local community through apprenticeship schemes and a key economic driver in the region.

Ian Sibbald, Finance Director at Cranfield University, said, “NatWest’s contribution has helped us to expand our world-class research and development facilities and maintain our strong reputation. This centre will position us at the forefront of innovation in the sector and we’re looking forward to undertaking world leading research once it is completed.”

Sarah Pumffrey, Corporate Relationship Director at NatWest, added, “Cranfield University is a vital driver of the region’s economy and produces first-class postgraduate professionals. We are proud to provide financing for this investment and look forward to working with the university in the future.”

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