+44 (0)1509 261182

NATEP helping SMEs innovate in aerospace – Spring 2021

Overview:

UK-registered businesses can apply for a share of up to £2.5million to carry out industry-led civil aerospace collaborative R&D projects. This funding is from the ATI Programme.

Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, is working with the Aerospace Technology Institute and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

NATEP competition is held approximately every six months. This is call four of six and for each call there is up to £2.5m funding available.

The aim of this competition is to provide help for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to develop innovative aerospace technologies. These will enhance your capabilities and increase your ability to win new business.

Your proposal must align with the priorities stated in the UK Aerospace technology strategy, Accelerating Ambition. Your proposal will be subject to:

  • Independent assessment by Innovate UK
  • Strategic review by the Aerospace Technology Institute

You will need to pass both assessments in order to for your application to be recommended for funding. BEIS has the final funding decision.

If you are successful, Innovate UK will perform financial viability and eligibility checks. Final approvals are issued by BEIS. You will be contracted by Innovate UK.

Your project’s total eligible costs must be between £100,000 and £300,000.

Open Date:

06/04/2021

Close Date:

19/05/2021

The aim of this competition is to help SMEs to develop their own innovative technologies. These should enhance their capabilities and increase their ability to win new business in the civil aerospace sector.

Your project must have a credible route to market and preferably have identified your end users. Your project should:

  • Demonstrate improvement in business productivity and competitiveness
  • Show clear benefit technically
  • Be able to pull through new technology or processes for use in a current or future product or manufacturing process
  • Show clear benefit in creating or safeguarding jobs
  • Be able to enhance capabilities within the broader aerospace industry, as well as other sectors such as advanced manufacturing
  • 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 was insisted that a baker use 50% UK flour in their product

Innovate UK want to fund a portfolio of projects, across a variety of technologies, markets and technological maturities.

Specific themes

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, and advanced through-life engineering technologies

Your project’s total eligible costs must be between £100,000 and £300,000.

Your project must:

  • Start by 1 October 2021
  • End by 31 March 2023

They can last between 12 and 18 months.

If your organisation is a UK-registered business, or a research and technology organisation (RTO) participating as a business, you must show in your answer you can provide match funding from entirely private sector sources, across all projects you are involved in.

To lead a project, your organisation must:

  • Be a UK-registered micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME)
  • Collaborate with other UK registered businesses, research organisations, research technology organisations (RTO), public sector organisations, charities or Academic Institutions
  • Plan to carry out its project work in the UK
  • Intend to exploit the results from or in the UK
  • Sign up to the Aerospace Technology Institute framework agreement

Innovate UK primarily expect to fund businesses that are new to research and development (R&D) or are restarting R&D activity.

Academic institutions, charities, public sector organisations, large businesses and RTOs cannot lead.

To collaborate with the lead, your organisation must:

  • Be a UK-registered business, research organisations, academic institution, charity, public sector organisation or RTO
  • Plan to 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

The lead and at least one other organisation must claim funding and enter their costs into the Innovation Funding Service as part of the application.

Each partner must be invited into the service by the lead to collaborate on a project. Once accepted, partners will be asked to login or to create an account. All partners claiming funding must enter their own eligible project costs.

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

Their costs must be listed in your answer to the question on costs not the finance section.

If you are a UK registered RTO participating as a business (undertaking economic activities), you must also show how you will exploit the results of the project to grow the wider sector.

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 in the question on costs 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.

Number of applications

Any eligible UK registered business can lead on one application and collaborate in a further two applications.

Any non-leading UK business can collaborate in up to three applications.

All other organisations can collaborate on any number of applications.

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 be 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.

The ATI programme allocated up to £2.5million to fund innovation projects in this competition.

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.

For industrial research projects, you could get funding for your eligible project costs of:

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

No one project partner can be responsible for more than 70% of the total eligible project costs.

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.

UK registered large businesses in your consortium can share up to 30% of the total eligible project costs. If your consortium contains more than one large business, this maximum will be shared between them.

Academics must enter 80% of their full economic costs (FEC) into the application to match the costs on their Je-S form.

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
  • That focus on fundamental research, feasibility studies or experimental development
  • With scope outside of the UK aerospace technology strategy

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.