New ERA Foundation initiatives to support engineering

The Board of the ERA Foundation has made major donations to two prestigious organisations, The Royal Academy of Engineering and the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851

The earliest known ERA logo

£8M has been given to the Royal Academy of Engineering and £2M to the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851, under Gift-Aid arrangements, to fund new activities in the general field of engineering and especially those of electrotechnology, telecommunications and IT systems.

Whilst the two organisations are still to finalise the detail of how the funds will be used, schemes under consideration include a prestigious prize, raising the profile of engineering as a career, and industrial fellowships.

The ERA Foundation, which is a direct successor to the Electrical Research Association, is committed to encouraging and supporting industry in the UK. It funds high-quality research and educational activities with the aim of providing direct benefit to the electrical and electronic engineering sectors. Its chairman Sir Alan Rudge said: “We are delighted to provide these funds to two professional organisations which we know will use them effectively to benefit engineering and industry in the UK”.

In acknowledging the donation the President of the Academy, Lord Broers, said: “I am enormously grateful to the ERA Foundation for its decision to donate such a significant endowment to the Academy. This will enable us to develop new programmes in support of our charitable objectives which will deliver real benefits to industry in the UK.”

Mr Malcolm Shirley, Secretary to the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851, said: “The Commission is profoundly grateful for the Foundation’s great generosity. The funds generated will be put to best use towards education and research in the electro-technology sector”.


High-resolution versions of the photographs are available from

The ERA Foundation is an independent research institute. It has interests covering electro-technology, telecommunications, and IT systems. Its aim is to fund world-class research projects targeted at yielding outcomes capable of direct exploitation by UK industry. Address: ERA Foundation, Cleeve Road, Leatherhead, Surrey, KT22 7SA Contact: Dr David Clark Telephone: 01372 367000, or mobile: 077-696-27272 E-mail:

The Royal Academy of Engineering – Britain’s national academy for engineering – brings together the country’s most eminent engineers from all disciplines to promote excellence in the science, art and practice of engineering. Its strategic priorities are to enhance the UK’s engineering capabilities; to celebrate excellence and inspire the next generation; and to lead debate by guiding informed thinking, influencing public policy and providing a forum for debate and engagement. For further information please contact Jane Sutton at The Royal Academy of Engineering on 020 7227 0536 (direct) or 07989 513045 (mobile) or email :

The Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 – Originally set up to stage the Great Exhibition, the Royal Commission was kept in being to invest the Exhibition’s substantial profit. It first acquired the site in South Kensington on which the three great museums, the Royal Albert Hall, Imperial College and other Colleges now stand, and it continues to own and manage the freehold of most of this estate. When the development of the estate was largely complete, in 1891, the Commission then set up the education and research awards programme which runs to this day, with over 2,000 fellowships having been given. Some 20 awards are made each year which, together with a number of special grants, exceed £1m in value. Address: Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851, Sherfield Building, Imperial College, London, SW7 2AZ Telephone: 020 7594 8790 E-mail: