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ATI Programme strategic batch: Expression of interest April 2021

Overview:

The ATI Programme represents a £3.9billion joint government and industry investment to maintain and grow the UK’s competitive position in civil aerospace.

This programme is co-ordinated and managed by:

  • The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)
  • Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation
  • The Aerospace Technology Institute

Innovate UK work in collaboration to deliver a portfolio of projects to meet the objectives of the UK Aerospace Technology Strategy, ‘Accelerating Ambition’.

This is phase 1 of a strategic batch competition within the ATI Programme. There are two phases to each strategic batch competition. If you are successful at phase 2 you will proceed to final approvals and contracting. The whole process takes at least six months.

  1. Expression of interest (EoI) – this competition: opens monthly and is reviewed by the Aerospace Technology Institute only. There is no funding in this phase.
  2. Full stage application (FSA): invite only, if successful in the expression of interest phase. Independent assessment by Innovate UK, value for money (VfM) and policy review by BEIS, and strategic review by the Aerospace Technology Institute.

BEIS has the final funding decision. If you are successful at phase 2, Innovate UK will perform financial viability and eligibility checks. You will be contracted by Innovate UK.

The grant funding you can apply for is limited. See ‘Eligibility’ for details.

Open Date:

06/04/2021

Close Date:

21/04/2021

This is an expression of interest (EoI) competition. You must have a successful application in this competition before you can be invited to apply to the full stage competition. If you are invited and the full stage competition is already open for applications, you will be eligible to defer entry to the next full stage batch.

Please contact Innovate UK to confirm you would like to defer your entry to the next full stage batch. You must apply to one of the next two full stage competitions, otherwise you will need to reapply to the EOI stage.

Your project must have a potential application within the civil aerospace sector. This can include dual use technologies.

Your proposal must align with the UK Aerospace Technology Strategy, ‘Accelerating Ambition’, which is split into these areas:

  • Vehicles: strengthening the UK’s whole-aircraft design and system integration capability, and positioning it for future generations of civil aircraft
  • Advanced systems: developing UK advanced systems technologies to capture high-value opportunities in current and future aircraft
  • Aerostructures: ensuring the UK is a global leader in the development of large complex structures, particularly wings
  • Propulsion and power: advancing a new generation of more efficient propulsion technologies, particularly large turbofans
  • cross-cutting enablers: developing high value design capabilities, advanced materials, manufacturing and assembly, advanced through-life engineering technologies

The ATI Programme partners will monitor changes between your phase 1 and phase 2 submissions. Innovate UK will not accept unjustified major changes in the consortium or costs.

To lead a project or work alone your organisation must:

  • Be a UK-registered business of any size for research projects
  • Be a UK-registered business of any size, a research and technology organisation (RTO), research organisation or academic institution for capital infrastructure projects
  • Carry out your aerospace research or capital infrastructure project work in the UK
  • Intend to exploit the results from or in the UK
  • Address the specific requirements of the UK’s Aerospace Technology Strategy
  • Sign up to the Aerospace Technology Institute framework agreement
  • Claim funding

Your project’s duration must be appropriate and in proportion to the planned objectives and prioritisation within the UK Aerospace Technology Strategy, ‘Accelerating Ambition’.

For more information on company sizes, please refer to the company accounts guidance. This is a change from the EU definition unless you are applying under State aid.

To collaborate with the lead organisation, your organisation must:

  • Be a UK-registered business, academic institution, charity, public sector organisation, research organisation or RTO
  • Carry out its project work in the UK
  • Intend to exploit the results from or in the UK
  • Be invited to take part by the lead applicant
  • Sign up to the Aerospace Technology Institute framework agreement

Your business does not have to be registered with Companies House when you apply, but it must be registered before you can receive funding.

Your project can include partners that do not receive any of this competition’s funding, for example non-UK businesses. Their costs will not count towards the total eligible project costs but must be included.

Subcontractors

Subcontractors are allowed in this competition.

Subcontractors can be from anywhere in the UK and you must select them through your usual procurement process.

You can use subcontractors from overseas but must make the case for why you could not use suppliers from the UK.

You must also provide a detailed rationale, evidence of the potential UK contractors you approached and the reasons why they were unable to work with you.

Innovate UK expect all subcontractor costs to be justified and appropriate to the total eligible project costs. Innovate UK will not accept a cheaper cost as a sufficient reason to use an overseas subcontractor.

Previous applications

You can use a previously submitted application to apply for this competition.

Innovate UK will not award you funding if you have:

Subsidy control (and State aid where applicable)

This competition provides funding in line with the UK’s obligations and commitments to Subsidy Control. Further information about the UK Subsidy Control requirements can be found within the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation agreement and the subsequent guidance from the department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

Innovate UK is unable to award organisations that are considered to in financial difficulty. Innovate UK will conduct financial viability and eligibility tests to confirm this is not the case following the application stage.

European Commission State aid

You must apply under European Commission State aid rules if you are an applicant who is conducting activities that will affect trade of goods and electricity between Northern Ireland and the EU as envisaged by Article 10 of the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland in the EU Withdrawal Agreement.

In certain limited circumstances, the European Commission State aid rules may also apply if you are an organisation located in England, Wales, or Scotland and conduct activities that affect the trade of goods and electricity between Northern Ireland and the EU. For further information, please see section 7 of the BEIS technical guidance.

For further information see the general guidance on state aid and BEIS guidance on the Northern Ireland Protocol.

For applicants subject to the European Commission State aid rules, applicants will be required to prove that they were not an “Undertaking in Difficulty” on the date of 31 December 2019 but became a UID between 1 January 2020 and 30 June 2021. Innovate UK will ask for evidence of this.

Further Information

If you are unsure about your obligations under the UK Subsidy Control regime or the State aid rules, please take independent legal advice.

You must make sure at all times that the funding awarded to you is compliant with all current Subsidy Control legislation applicable in the United Kingdom.

This aims to regulate any advantage granted by a public sector body which threatens to or actually distorts competition in the United Kingdom or any other country or countries.

If there are any changes to the above requirements that mean Innovate UK need to change the terms of this competition, they will tell you as soon as possible.

Innovate UK have allocated up to £150million a year to fund innovation projects in the ATI Programme. If your organisation’s work on the project is mostly commercial or economic, your funding request must not exceed the limits below. These limits apply even if your organisation normally acts non-economically.

Your project cannot be a mixture of industrial research and capital infrastructure investment.

Industrial research projects

Individual partners that are conducting commercial or economic activities (which may include research organisations) as part of the project can claim grant funding up to:

  • 70% if you are a small or micro organisation
  • 60% if you are a medium-sized organisation
  • 50% if you are a large organisation

The total grant funding limit for any individual organisation is £18million.

The research organisations undertaking non-economic activity as part of the project can share up to 30% of the total eligible project costs. If your consortium contains more than one research organisation undertaking non-economic activity, this maximum is shared between them. They can each claim 100% of their total eligible costs.


Capital infrastructure projects

Your project must focus on the construction or upgrade of research infrastructures that perform economic activities.

Each infrastructure project can receive total grant funding of up to £18million. Your total project grant funding must not exceed 50% of your total eligible project costs.

Your total eligible project costs must be the investment costs in intangible and tangible assets.

If the research infrastructure pursues both economic and non-economic activities, you must:

  • Account for the financing, costs and revenues of each type of activity separately
  • Use consistently applied and objectively justifiable cost accounting principles

Access to the research infrastructure for its operation or use must be open to several users without discrimination and be granted on a transparent basis. Users must be charged the market price.

If an organisation has financed at least 10% of the investment costs of the project infrastructure, it can be granted preferential access under more favourable conditions.

The access must be in proportion to the organisation’s contribution to the investment costs and access conditions must be made publicly available.

In a collaborative capital infrastructure project, the research organisations undertaking non-economic activities can each claim 100% of their share of the total eligible project costs.

Innovate UK are not funding projects that:

  • Are dependent on export performance – for example giving a subsidy to a baker on the condition that they export a certain quantity of bread to another country.
  • Are dependent on domestic inputs usage- for example if it was insisted that a baker use 50% UK flour in their product.
  • Focus solely on defence, space or other industrial sectors, but Innovate UK will recognise dual use technologies providing the primary application is in civil aerospace
  • Focus on fundamental research, early stage technologies or experimental development

Cresco Innovation works with companies to develop and implement innovation strategies. We help client companies identify opportunities to develop new products and services, and then create a package of support to ensure that the idea is turned into a commercial reality.

Our services include securing grants (as a team we have raised around £40million over three years), business planning, IP advice, access to finance and funders, project management and IP commercialisation support.

We regularly act as the interface with the funding bodies and help clients ensure that their projects are properly managed to ensure the best outcome for all.

Call to find out more

If you’d like to know more about this competition, please give us a call on 01509 261182 and one of our team will be delighted to help you access this funding opportunity for your business.