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New funding for academic innovators in aviation security

Industrial PhD Partnership grants will allow universities in collaboration with industry to conduct significant research into the future of aviation security

  • Government funding for academic research focussing on novel aviation security solutions
  • Universities throughout the UK will be eligible to apply for the Industrial PhD Partnerships
  • The funding will help create highly-trained researchers with expertise in national security

UK universities seeking to carry out cutting edge research into the next generation of aviation security solutions are set to benefit from government funding worth £1 million, thanks to a joint initiative between the Department for Transport, the Home Office and the Connected Places Catapult

The Future Aviation Security Solutions (FASS) programme is offering the funding to universities through Industrial PhD Partnership (IPP) grants. All UK universities can apply for the FASS IPPs which will bring industry and academia together to mentor students with enterprising ideas to create seamless movement of passengers and cargo in the airports of the future.

As well as enabling universities and industry to develop innovative aviation security measures, FASS IPPs will enhance the UK’s national security expertise by creating a pool of highly-skilled researchers. The dedicated funding programme will focus primarily on aviation security, adding to the UK’s ability to deliver novel solutions for the future of aviation transport.

Transport Minister, Baroness Vere, said:

“The safety and security of everyone traveling is our highest priority and the UK is internationally recognised as a centre for aviation security.

“This valuable funding ensures our world leading universities continue to create a pool of highly skilled individuals, with the right expertise vital for our national security.”

Successful students will have academic and industry supervisors helping them to build a network of contacts across the aviation sector and gain relevant work experience that could lead to employment opportunities.

FASS IPPs will contribute to national security by improving the UK’s ability to prevent terrorist attacks and could lead to the creation of new products and services that enable faster, more effective airport screening processes.

The UK has one of the safest aviation systems in the world and has made one of the largest contributions to improving global aviation security standards. The introduction of FASS IPPs builds on the Government’s commitment, outlined in both its counter-terrorism strategy, CONTEST, and the wider aviation strategy, to continually review, innovate and improve UK and international aviation security standards to ensure that the skies remain as safe as possible for the travelling public.

Home Office Security Minister, Brandon Lewis, said:

“The introduction of these grants is an important part of our work to make sure the UK continues to boast the world class skills and experience needed to remain at the cutting edge of aviation security.

“This is the latest example of the FASS fulfilling its vital role of bringing government, industry and academic experts together to ensure that we keep ahead of the evolving threats we face.”

FASS is offering the scheme as part of its commitment to funding research and innovation and will be supported by Connected Places Catapult in delivering the scheme.

Mark Westwood, Chief Technology Officer at the Connected Places Catapult, said:

“Our experience in the transport sector has shown us that there is a wealth of knowledge, expertise and creativity in UK universities and SMEs capable of solving many of the challenges facing the aviation industry. So, we are excited to help connect our extensive SME and Academic Networks with FASS to develop real solutions which could make air travel better and more secure for everyone.”

How to apply

Applications to FASS IPP will need to have both a university and industry partner in order to apply. We will be holding three brokerage events where we will bring together universities and potential industry partners to network and learn about the full application process. Follow the links below to register:

12th September Leeds

19th September Birmingham

1st October London (details to be confirmed)

Contact Us

If you can’t attend any of the brokerage events or are interested in finding out more information about the grants, please contact us by emailing

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