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Interdisciplinary Research Centre

His Majesty The King visited the University of Cambridge today, in his first public engagement following the Coronation.

His Majesty was in Cambridge to break ground on the New Whittle Laboratory, where he also met with staff and researchers, leaders from the aviation industry and senior government representatives. The New Whittle Laboratory, a £58 million facility, will be the leading global centre for net-zero aviation and energy. Its mission is to halve the time to develop key technologies to support a sustainable aviation industry.

Alongside the ground-breaking, senior figures from government and industry gathered for an international roundtable as part of an initiative led by Cambridge and MIT. This will present insights based on global aviation systems modelling capabilities developed through the Aviation Impact Accelerator, a project led by the Whittle Laboratory and the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership.

"We need to completely transform the innovation landscape in the aviation and energy sectors if we are to reach net zero by 2050. The new Whittle Lab has been designed as a disruptive innovation laboratory targeting the critical early stages in the lifecycles of technologies, where there are windows of opportunity to translate scientific strengths into global technological and industrial leadership." Professor Rob Miller, Director, Whittle Laboratory

The New Whittle Laboratory will incorporate the Bennett Innovation Laboratory – made possible through a philanthropic gift from the Peter Bennett Foundation – to bring together a critical mass of talent, giving them the right skills, tools, culture and working environment to solve complex multidisciplinary challenges. It will also be home to the UK’s National Centre for Propulsion and Power, built around a fast feedback model pioneered in Formula One, to cut the time to develop technologies from years to months.

Participating organisations in the roundtable included the UK Government, UK Aerospace Technology Institute, the US Federal Aviation Administration, NASA, EU Clean Aviation Joint Undertaking, Airbus, Boeing, Rolls-Royce, and the Sustainable Markets Initiative.

As The Prince of Wales, His Majesty previously visited the Whittle Laboratory in January 2020, and March 2022, to encourage the acceleration of sustainable aviation, as well as hosting an industry roundtable in February 2020 in London with the Sustainable Markets Initiative and World Economic Forum to explore solutions for decarbonising air travel.


Read the full University of Cambridge article.

Image credit: Lloyd Mann