Boeing and Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) have launched a new two-year investment programme to support start-up companies in the UK aerospace industry.

The first round will last three months and identify start-ups, which could receive up to £100,000 each.

The maximum total investment Boeing will make over the two-year period is £2m. Start-ups are invited to pitch Industry 4.0 and sustainability enabling technologies.

GKN Aerospace, which is claimed to be the original aerospace innovator, is the inaugural corporate sponsor, with other sponsors expected to join.

The application period for the London-based accelerator closes on 15 November 2019. The programme is delivered in collaboration with Ignite, a UK-based start-up accelerator and investment network.

Boeing UK and Ireland president and managing director Martin Donnelly said: “Innovation is a common thread through the more than 80 years of partnership between Boeing and the UK.

“This £2m investment is a new chapter in Boeing’s history, providing financial support and expert mentoring to enhance the UK’s thriving start-up community and strengthen aerospace innovation and industry prosperity.”

The first cohort of start-ups will begin their participation in the accelerator in January 2020, while next April they will pitch their businesses to customers, key industry stakeholders and investors to achieve commercial and equity outcomes.

ATI seeks to sustain and grow an internationally competitive aerospace sector through investment in technologies in-line with aircraft updates, new aircraft and the sector’s strengths.

It works with government, industry and the wider UK aerospace ecosystem to make the UK’s aerospace technology strategy reflect the sector’s vision and ambition.

ATI is backed by a joint government-industry commitment to invest £3.9bn in research and technology by 2026.

Boeing, which supports commercial and government customers in over 150 countries, provides commercial aircraft, defense, space, security systems and global services.