New Italian research base puts UK university on the map for R&D in low-carbon air travel

Friday, 05 February 2021

The University of Nottingham is establishing a research base in Italy that will strengthen both its close alliances with Europe’s aerospace leaders and its position at the forefront of technological innovation in green aviation.

Situated in the Campania region, the University of Nottingham Italy (UnIT) will allow its researchers to participate in High Technology-Readiness Level (TRL) aerospace programmes and maintain access to key industrial partners such as Leonardo, Airbus, Rolls-Royce Deutschland, Safran, Liebherr and Thales.

Campania is home to the Italian National Centre for Aerospace Research (CIRA), and significant aerospace industries, including one of the University of Nottingham’s long-standing partners, Leonardo Aircraft Division – the second largest manufacturer of aircraft in Europe.

“I am extremely happy that our strong links and great history of cooperation with the Italian aerospace community has achieved a new strategic level with the establishment of University of Nottingham Italy. Our presence in the heart of Italian aerospace, in the Campania Region, creates exciting opportunities and enforces our University position as a leader in research towards future green aviation.
Serhiy Bozhko, Director of the Institute for Aerospace Technology (IAT) at the University

Chris Gerada, Professor of Electrical Machines in the Faculty of Engineering, said: “Establishing a research base in Italy is exciting for us. It underlines our capabilities and is testament to the strengths of our existing partnerships with Europe’s aerospace leaders. It also demonstrates our determination to explore new collaborations in the journey towards low-emission, sustainable air travel.

“Participation in the proposed European Partnership for Clean Aviation and other Large Scale Demonstrator programmes has the potential to exploit the University’s research expertise related to the electrification of aircraft, advanced manufacturing technologies and other key areas such as hydrogen energy systems.”

Professor Dame Jessica Corner, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Knowledge Exchange at the University said: “The University of Nottingham in Italy is a testament to our strategic ambitions as a global university; playing to our research strengths in sustainable aerospace technologies, and together with our European partners, will help to deliver aviation’s net zero commitments.”


Nottingham is already the leading university contributor to Clean Sky 2, Europe’s largest research programme focussed on the reduction of emissions and increasing the competitiveness of the aeronautics industry.

Through its Institute for Aerospace Technology, the University is now planning to work with aviation leaders on the European Partnership for Clean Aviation, which is due to go online in 2021. This will be the European Union’s flagship programme dedicated to reducing the impact of aviation on the planet and strengthening the technological leadership of the region’s aerospace industry.

Nottingham has attracted £19.5m from Clean Sky 2, and its current EU-funded aerospace research portfolio is £24.5m - 40 per cent of the University’s EU portfolio. Nottingham’s participation in Clean Sky 2 has led to direct research investment by several aerospace Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), expansion of the Rolls-Royce University Technology Centre in Gas Turbines Transmission Systems and a partnership with TT Electronics.

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More information is available from Professor Chris Gerada on 0115 8466117 or or Emma Lowry (Media Relations Manager, Engineering) on 0115 84 67156 or

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Notes to editors:

The University of Nottingham is a research-intensive university with a proud heritage. Studying at the University of Nottingham is a life-changing experience and we pride ourselves on unlocking the potential of our students. We have a pioneering spirit, expressed in the vision of our founder Sir Jesse Boot, which has seen us lead the way in establishing campuses in China and Malaysia - part of a globally connected network of education, research and industrial engagement. Ranked 103rd out of more than 1,000 institutions globally and 18th in the UK by the QS World University Rankings 2022, the University’s state-of-the-art facilities and inclusive and disability sport provision is reflected in its crowning as The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021 Sports University of the Year. We are ranked eighth for research power in the UK according to REF 2014. We have six beacons of research excellence helping to transform lives and change the world; we are also a major employer and industry partner - locally and globally. Alongside Nottingham Trent University, we lead the Universities for Nottingham initiative, a pioneering collaboration which brings together the combined strength and civic missions of Nottingham’s two world-class universities and is working with local communities and partners to aid recovery and renewal following the COVID-19 pandemic.

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