The European Commission has approved the grant of a repayable advance of €36.6m from the Spanish authorities to Spanish aeronautics company ITP to develop a low-pressure turbine for Rolls Royce engines.

The Spanish authorities were able to demonstrate that ITP could not attract sufficient investment from the private sector due to the technical and commercial risks of the project and the long pay-back period. The repayable advance covers 47.5 per cent of the R&D costs of the project and, in the event of success, will be fully repaid to the Spanish authorities, with reasonable interest and sales-related royalties. The project is expected to be a technological advance and reduce the environmental impact of air transport.

The scheme is in line with the Commission’s guidelines on state aid for research, development and innovation. In the past few years, the Commission has authorised a number of similar projects for the development of novel aero-engine components.