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May 2020 expression of interest: ATI Programme

May 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

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 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.

More information is on the ATI website.

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

Only projects which 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

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 application

For both research projects and industry-led capital investment projects, the research organisations in your consortium can share no more than 30% of the total eligible project costs. If your consortium contains more than one research organisation, this maximum is shared between them.

Organisations that are primarily engaged in commercial or economic activity (known as selective advantage) as part of the project must ensure their request for funding does not exceed the limits defined below. This includes organisations that typically act non-economically but for the purpose of this project will be undertaking commercial or economic activity.

Industry led research projects

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 can claim grant funding up to:

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

Capital investment projects

If you are a single applicant, you can claim grant funding of:

  • Up to 100% of your total eligible project costs if you are an academic or non-profit RTO and undertaking non-economic activities as part of the project
  • Up to 50% of your total eligible project costs if you are a business, regardless of size

If you are in a collaboration, total project grant funding must not exceed 50% of your total eligible project costs. This is regardless of the individual partners’ grant claims.

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.

Innovate UK are not funding projects that:

  • 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
  • Have not involved an industrial end-user

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.