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June 2020 expression of interest: ATI Programme


The ATI Programme provides funding for industrial research and capital projects to encourage innovation in UK civil aerospace.

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

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

This is an expression of interest competition. There are three stages and the whole process takes at least six months.

  1. Expression of interest (EoI): opens monthly and is reviewed by ATI only.
  2. Full stage application (FSA): invite only, if successful in the expression of interest stage, with proposal development on the Innovation Funding Service by applicants. Independent assessment by Innovate UK, value for money (VfM) and policy review by BEIS, and strategic assessment by ATI.
  3. Final approvals by BEIS and contracting through Innovate UK.

Open Date:


Close Date:


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. A decision to proceed to stage 2 will depend on the outcomes from this EoI.

Your project must have a potential application within the civil aerospace sector.

Your proposal must prioritise areas identified within the UK Aerospace Technology Strategy, including:

  • Vehicles
  • Aerostructures
  • Advanced systems
  • Propulsion and power
  • Cross-cutting enablers

Only projects that score well against the following criteria will receive funding from the ATI Programme:

  • Strategic fit with the UK Aerospace Technology Strategy
  • Value for money for the UK and potential impact of the exploitation of your idea once the project is over
  • Project deliverables such as time, cost and quality (including risks)

Innovate UK will monitor changes between your stage 1 and stage 2 submissions. Innovate UK will not accept unjustified major changes in the consortium or costs.

Specific themes

The UK Aerospace Technology Strategy provides detailed information on the specific themes of the competition. These include but are not limited to:

  • 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

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) or academic institution for capital investment projects
  • Carry out your aerospace research or capital investment project work in the UK
  • Intend to exploit the results from or in the UK
  • Address the specific requirements of the UK Aerospace Technology Strategy
  • Sign up to the ATI framework agreement

Project team

To collaborate with the lead organisation your organisation must:

  • Be a UK-registered business, academic institution, charity, public sector 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

The lead and at least one other organisation must claim funding.

Your business does not have to be UK-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 should be included in your answer to question 7 under the heading ‘Ineligible costs’.

Organisations whose main activity is commercial or economic must make sure that the outcomes of the project such as intellectual property do not help gain a selective advantage in the market. This includes organisations that typically act non-economically but for the purpose of this project will be undertaking commercial or economic activity.

State aid

This competition provides state aid funding under articles of the General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER):

  • Industrial research projects are under article 25, ‘Aid for research, development and innovation’
  • Capital infrastructure projects are under article 26, ‘Investment aid for research infrastructures’

It is your responsibility to make sure that your organisation is eligible to receive state aid.

Industry-led research projects (Article 25)

The total grant funding limit for any individual organisation is 20 million euros. Total project grant funding must not exceed 50% of your total eligible project costs. This is regardless of the individual partners’ grant claims. Of that 50%, individual partners undertaking commercial or economic activities (which may include research organisations) as part of the project can claim grant funding up to:

  • 70% of your total eligible project costs if you are a micro or small organisation
  • 60% of your total eligible project costs if you are a medium-sized organisation
  • 50% of your total eligible project costs if you are a large organisation

The research organisations in your consortium 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 investment projects (Article 26)

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 20 million euros. The exchange rate to sterling will be given in the applicant briefing webinar. 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 for 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. 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. The access conditions must be made publicly available. Users must be charged the market price.

In a collaborative capital investment project, the research organisations in your consortium can share up to 30% of the total eligible project costs. If your consortium contains more than one research organisation, this maximum will be shared between them. They can each claim 100% of their share of the total eligible project costs.

Innovate UK are not funding projects that:

  • Focus solely on defence, space or other industrial sectors, but they 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.