A £95 million project to develop a more environmen-tally friendly aircraft engine has been given the green light.
European Competition Commissioners have approved the project, which will be led by Rolls Royce and includes £47 million state aid package.
Named the Environmen-tally Friendly Engine project (EFE), the scheme aims to develop new technologies to improve the environmental performance of gas engines for aeroplanes.
The hope is to create an engine that will reduce both noise and greenhouse gas emissions. The five-year project will also involve a number of companies and universities in the UK.
These include the University of Birmingham, Wolverhampton-based HS Marston and US firm Goodrich Control Systems, which has a site in Solihull.
The project is thought to involve around a hundred research jobs and has the potential to safeguard jobs.
The aid will be paid in the form of grants by the Department of Trade and Industry, together with other government bodies and several regional development agencies, including Advantage West Midlands.
Meanwhile, Rolls said it had won a $250 million contract for Trent 700 engines from the Hainan Airlines Group.
Rolls said the Chinese group had ordered Trent 700 engines for a new fleet of five Airbus A330 jets, including a long term maintenance agreement.
Hainan, a new customer, will lease the aircraft from US-based International Lease Finance Corporation.
Rolls Royce shares ended the day up 4.5p at 411.75p.