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NATEP Spring 2020

NATEP: helping SMEs innovate in aerospace, spring 2020


UK micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can apply for a share of up to £2.5 million for industry led civil aerospace research projects.

Open Date:


Close Date:


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

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

Your project’s total eligible costs must be between £100,000 and £300,000. Your project’s total grant must be less than £150,000. If your organisation is a UK registered business, or a research and technology organisation (RTO) participating as a business, you must show that in your answer you can provide match funding from entirely private sector sources, across all projects you are involved in.

Your project must:

  • be collaborative
  • be led by a UK registered SME

Projects must start by 1 November 2020 and end by 30 April 2022. They can last between 12 and 18 months.

Lead organisation

To lead a project your organisation must:

We 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, and RTOs cannot lead.

Project team

All project partners must sign up to the Aerospace Technology Institute framework agreement to allow data sharing with the Aerospace Technology Institute.

To collaborate with the lead organisation your organisation must:

  • be a UK registered business, 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

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.

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

If you are an UK registered RTO participating as a business (undertaking economic activities), you must show that the match funding you are providing comes from entirely private sector sources, across all projects you are involved in. You must also show how you will exploit the results of the project to grow the wider sector.

Multiple applications

Any one UK registered business can lead on one application and collaborate in a further 2 applications. All other organisations can collaborate on any number of applications.

Innovate UK are not funding:

  • projects primarily for defence, space or another industrial sector, but will recognise dual-use technologies if the main use is in civil aerospace
  • projects that cover fundamental research
  • projects 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.