Innovate UK launches UK’s first sustainable aviation fuel business gateway


A new initiative to help build the UK sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) supply chain has been launched. To support the Jet Zero Council’s ambition to grow the UK SAF industry and ensure 10% of UK aviation fuel is SAF by 2030, a new Sustainable Aviation Fuel Innovation Programme (SAF IP) has been launched.

The programme will provide a gateway for businesses to access customers, investment, technical expertise and knowledge via a microsite which can be found here.

The SAF IP is one of Innovate UK KTN’s pledges to the Jet Zero Council and will partner with Sustainable Aviation and the Department for Transport to complement and augment the work delivered through the Jet Zero Council SAF Delivery Group.

Domain Leader for Net Zero at Innovate UK, and chair of the Innovate UK KTN Board, Mike Biddle, said:  “Today is a milestone moment with the launch of the Jet Zero Strategy to reinforce the government’s commitment to decarbonise aviation. We are pleased to be able to pledge our support to the Government ambition and launch the Sustainable Aviation Fuel Innovation Programme. Innovate UK KTN is uniquely positioned to accelerate commercialisation by building the collaboration this UK supply chain needs – something we’ve been helping with over the last decade.

“Our priority is to connect new resilient supply chains containing a more diverse range of businesses that are customers for new solutions. Through the Sustainable Aviation Fuel Innovation Programme, Innovate UK KTN will be the critical enabler to deliver the cross-sector collaborations required to support the government’s ambition to grow this world leading industry. We look forward to mobilising businesses in response to today’s Jet Zero Strategy and support the government to achieve their 10% by 2030 target.”

The SAF team at Innovate UK KTN will connect the supply chain to build a network of innovators and broker the strategic connections to expedite the off-take of SAF.

Aviation minister, Robert Courts UK, said: “Innovate UK KTN has played a key role in helping us reach our sustainable aviation fuel goals, and this new initiative will foster the partnerships required to build a thriving SAF production industry here in the UK.

“It will also help us achieve our central commitments of having at least five UK SAF plants under construction by 2025 and a SAF mandate of at least 10% SAF blended into the UK jet fuel mix by 2030.”

Jonathan Counsell, global head of sustainability, IAG says: “Innovate UK KTN has played a key role in supporting the UK’s first commercial production of SAF for British Airways.  Through this programme British Airways’ customers can now fly sustainably on SAF out of the UK and we look forward to more collaboration through the new SAF Innovation Programme to meet our 10% SAF target for 2030.”

James Hygate, CEO and founder, Green Fuels says: “Innovate UK KTN have been invaluable for Green Fuels during the development of our FIREFLY sewage-to-SAF process. Connections and introductions made have helped us navigate the industry and identify key stakeholders, not only for offtake of the final fuel, but for feedstock supply, fuel qualification and future investments. Access to the in-depth knowledge base at Innovate UK KTN has helped us gain best value from the Green Fuels Green Skies (GFGS) programme by allowing us to better understand the market drivers and dynamics, aiding the development of a robust, UK-centred, business model that is regionally deployable. With sewage being available everywhere as an inexhaustible supply, this game-changing UK innovation has the potential to impact the SAF landscape globally.”

Andy Jefferson, programme director says: “Sustainable Aviation is pleased to be partnering with Innovate UK KTN on the Sustainable Aviation Fuel Innovation Programme. Innovate UK KTN has been an important partner working with our industry members to source SAF, identify new technologies and provide us with insight on the UK chemical landscape. The launch of the SAF IP comes at a critical time where the UK government, in collaboration with industry, is driving forward the commercialisation of SAF and Innovate UK KTN is uniquely placed to accelerate the development of the supply chain.”