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From flying taxis to electric planes, new innovation drive launched in UK

Christian Fernsby |
Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a 370 million U.S. dollar investment that will pave the way in Britain for flying taxis.

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Topics: BORIS JOHNSON    UK   

The fund is aimed at innovators to develop cleaner, greener forms of transport, said a Downing Street statement.

The British government will provide 154 million U.S.dollars which will be supported by industry co-investment of up to 216 million U.S. dollars to support new technologies including flying urban taxis, electric passenger planes and freight-carrying drones, added the statement.

Alongside the investment, five new transport research networks will receive a 6.15 million U.S. dollar cash injection for work in developing cleaner forms of fuel and other tech innovations to reduce emissions and improve air quality.

The new research networks will be led by universities in Birmingham, Leeds, Durham, Cardiff and University College London (UCL).

Johnson said: "This 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 center for green tech. Now we will lengthen our lead, supporting our industry and our citizens to reduce their carbon footprint."

Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom said: "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."

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said new technologies such as electric and autonomous aircraft can help tackle climate change, making journeys greener and working better for passengers.

A Future of Flight Challenge will be 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 government statement added.

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

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