RAF collaboration with the Aviation Impact Accelerator (AIA)

Building upon the release of the Defence Aviation Net Zero Strategy and as part of its Net Zero 2040 aspirations, the Royal Air Force has entered a strategic partnership with the Aviation Impact Accelerator (AIA).

2 men looking at aviation equipment

AIA is an international industry-academia partnership led by the University of Cambridge whose mission is to accelerate the journey to sustainable aviation.

Born out of a series of roundtables hosted by HRH The Prince of Wales in early 2020 as part of the Sustainable Markets Initiative, the AIA has assembled a core team of over 60 contributors and has solicited input and insights from over 80 different companies in the sector. It is developing evidence-based tools that allow people to map, understand, and embark on the pathways toward sustainable flight.

2 people looking at equipment

On a visit to the Whittle Laboratory in Cambridge, Air Vice-Marshal Lloyd CBE, Director Support and Chief Engineer (RAF) said:

I am delighted the Royal Air Force is partnering with the Aviation Impact Accelerator who have an exceptional reputation for their whole system approach to the aviation decarbonisation challenge. The tools they have available will help to refine the RAF’s decision making on operationally critical areas such as the resilience of fuel feedstock availability and the maturity of novel propulsion technology. In addition to this, as a Jet Zero Council member it will help us to understand how the RAF can potentially leverage positive impact across the aviation sector more broadly.

Exploiting the insights and analysis of a world leading research group will allow the RAF to further understand how the service can responsibly move towards its own net zero goals. RAF personnel will flexibly embed alongside AIA researchers to maximise the opportunity for learning and understanding.

Shaking hands outside Whittle Laboratory

“This collaboration will enable the RAF to have the system of system viewpoint to make the decisions and lead in aviation sustainability.”

David Pitchforth
AIA Lead

“We are delighted to bring together the Aviation Impact Accelerator and RAF around the important mission to transform the aviation sector to one that is sustainable. Difficult problems require new mindsets and ways of working and we hope through this collaboration we can bring together the expertise of the AIA and RAF teams to provide insight to not only accelerate decarbonisation in Defence but also draw lessons to unlock change in the broader aviation sector.”

Prof. Rob Miller
Director of the Whittle Laboratory, University of Cambridge, and AIA lead