Imperial College London

Uplift360 wins Babcock contract for assessment on future net zero aircraft

Two jets in the sky

Success for sustainability start-up Uplift360, a member of the Institute for Security Science and Technology's Innovation Ecosystem at White City.

Sustainability start-up Uplift360 has been selected to assess the circular economic viability of a future net zero aircraft by Babcock as part of RAFs Rapid Capabilities Office MONET Project award.

Uplift360 is set to analyse the existing fleet of Grob Tutor T.Mk 1s to study the effect of retrofitting a more sustainable drive train. As outlined in the Ministry of Defence’s Climate Change and Sustainability Approach 2021, the recycling and reuse of materials is key to future UK national security goals. This contract marks an important step toward achieving this goal in aviation.

Not only could it be key in achieving environmental goals, it would also reduce dependence on increasingly unreliable supply chains. In 2022, the UK Government announced Project Defend as a response to critical weaknesses in the supply chain, including defence and security. Uplift360’s mission is to recycle high value materials and find another high value use for them, rather than use them where other low value materials would suffice. It is, therefore, well positioned to meet this pressing need.

“This project is of real importance, both environmentally and in terms of national security. We couldn’t have achieved this without the help of our partner Etsaw Ventures, who have been fantastic. Our contract with Babcock marks a pivotal moment in Uplift360’s journey, and we are stoked to have been chosen for such a strategically important project. The learning from this project will present so many opportunities for the RAF but also in commercial aviation.” - Sam Staincliffe, co-founder and CTO of Uplift360

Uplift360 plans to gather data on the current fleet to gain insight into how sustainable the drive train currently is, before creating a model to put net zero alternatives to the test. This model will allow a judgement to be made on which material changes will achieve the net zero aim. The results of this analysis inform sustainability efforts across the RAF fleet.

“The last few years have demonstrated that sustainability and supply chain resilience need to be at the forefront of every nation’s defence strategy. Recycling and reusing waste increases core resilience and self-sufficiency in defence, and this in turn increases operational capability and reduces cost. Uplift360’s contract is a demonstration of the UK’s commitment to reduce waste and manage the impact of materials’ lifecycles in defence.” - Retired Lieutenant General Richard Nugee CB CVO CBE, Non-Executive Member for the Defence Safety and Environmental Committee and Chairperson for Uplift360

About Uplift360

Uplift360 is a greentech startup working in advanced material circular economy (redesign, reuse, regenerate and recycle), uniquely focused on the defence and security sector. The UK Armed Forces is the largest user of advanced materials, but most organisations in this sector have no end-of-life plan for their equipment, with the majority ending up in landfill or incinerated. We create sustainable and environmentally neutral chemical technology to regenerate these highly complex materials whilst also developing new materials, circular by design and non-fossil fuel derived.

About the Institute for Security Science and Technology (ISST)

The Institute for Security Science and Technology is Imperial College London's hub for security research and engagement.

Security is often only viewed through the narrow lens of conflict and war. Our mission at the Institute for Security Science and Technology is to challenge that perception and demonstrate the breadth and depth of a topic that touches everyone in society, wherever they are in the world.

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