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The 2119 Future of Fuels Challenge

Challenging Universities to develop a new or different pathway to achieve global leadership in the development of sustainable aviation fuels

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Looking to a sustainable future

The BA 2119: Future of Fuels challenge, in collaboration with Cranfield University, was launched by then Aviation Minister Baroness Sugg on 30 November 2018 and called on British universities to develop a new or different pathway to achieve global leadership in the development of sustainable aviation fuels. The airline posed the question of how to power a long-haul flight for at least five hours and produce zero CO2 emissions.

Today, British Airways announced University College London as the winner of the challenge. After six months of competition in which 11 universities were whittled down to a final three, teams from Heriot Watt, the London School of Economics (LSE) and University College London (UCL) presented their solutions to an expert judging panel, including representatives from the Department for Transport and Cranfield University.

Team entries were judged on a combination of criteria including carbon reduction potential, level of innovation, value to the UK economy and feasibility to implement. IAG, British Airways’ parent company, will invest a total of $400m on alternative sustainable fuel development over the next 20 years. British Airways is also the first airline in Europe to invest in building a plant, with renewable fuels company, Velocys, which converts organic household waste into renewable jet fuel to power its fleet.