Rugby MP believes new scientific agency could help create the next Frank Whittle

The new agency could be up and running by next year

Monday, 29th March 2021, 4:34 pm
Mr Pawsey speaking in Parliament.

Rugby MP Mark Pawsey is backing a government bill which could see £800m spent on a project that he believes could create the next Frank Whittle.

The Advanced Research and Invention Agency Bill, if passed, will create a new agency with £800 million of new government investment high-risk, high-reward scientific research in new and emerging scientific fields.

During a Parliamentary debate, Mr Pawsey spoke about Rugby’s historic connection to the creation of the jet engine by Frank Whittle, and the need to ensure that a present- or future-day Frank Whittle could be encouraged to create new life changing inventions.

In his speech, he also praised the work of Catapult Centres such as the Manufacturing Technology Centre, based at Ansty Park in Rugby, which are currently the engine for UK research and development.

Afterwards, Mr Pawsey said: “I was very pleased to be able to support this important piece of legislation.

"Rugby has a long tradition of high-skilled manufacturing and research.

"It was here that Frank Whittle invented the jet turbine, which revolutionised flight, and we are now home to the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) and have Warwick Manufacturing Group nearby.

"These sites are delivering innovative research already, but this new legislation – backed by £14.6 billion of wider Government investment in R&D in 2021 to 2022 – will help to unlock future innovation.

“Having spoken to Warwick Manufacturing Group and the MTC I know that they support the proposals, which will enable riskier – but potentially higher rewarding – programmes to be pursued. It is important to remember that failure will have to be accepted as part of the scientific process, but the benefits of success which ARIA and it’s projects can bring will be worth it.”

“We live in a fast-changing world, and the events of the past year have reminded us all just how vital cutting-edge scientific research is. This legislation will help us to unlock the opportunities of the future and I hope that the kind of invention developed by the next Sir Frank Whittle will be more likely thanks to this work.”

Should the bill be passed, the new agency is expected to be up and running by 2022.