Funding competition ATI Programme strategic batch: expression of interest August 2022

The ATI Programme funds industrial research and investment aid for research infrastructures to make the UK civil aerospace sector more competitive.

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Competition sections

Description

The ATI Programme represents to date a £3.2billion 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

We work in collaboration to deliver a portfolio of projects to meet the objectives of the UK Aerospace Technology Strategy, ‘Destination Zero’.

This is phase 1 of a strategic batch competition within the ATI Programme. There are 2 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 6 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.The Aerospace Technology Institute make a recommendation to BEIS as to whether an EoI should progress to the Full Stage Evaluation. BEIS is responsible for making the final decision whether or not your EoI progresses to the Full Stage Evaluation.
  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 as the budget holder for the ATI Programme 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.

In applying to this competition, you are entering into a competitive process. This competition closes at 11am UK time on the deadline stated.

Funding type

Grant

Project size

The grant funding you can apply for is limited. See ‘Eligibility’ for details. The project duration must be appropriate and in proportion to the planned objectives and prioritisation within the UK Aerospace Technology Strategy.

Who can apply

Lead organisation

To lead a project or work alone your organisation must:

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


Project team

To collaborate with the lead, your organisation must be one of the following UK registered:

  • business of any size
  • academic institution
  • charity
  • not for profit
  • public sector organisation
  • research and technology organisation (RTO)

Your organisation must:

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 in your response to the costs question.

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 your application as to why you could not use suppliers from the UK.

You must provide a detailed rationale, evidence of the potential UK contractors you approached and the reasons why they were unable to work with you. We will not accept a cheaper cost as a sufficient reason to use an overseas subcontractor.

All subcontractor costs must be justified and appropriate to the total project costs.

Previous applications

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

We 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. We will conduct financial viability and eligibility tests to confirm this is not the case following the application stage.

EU State aid rules now only apply in limited circumstances. Please see our general guidance to check if these rules apply to your organisation.


Further Information

If you are unsure about your obligations under the UK Subsidy Control regime or the State aid rules, you should take independent legal advice. We are unable to advise on individual eligibility or legal obligations.

You must at all times make sure 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 we need to change the terms of this competition, we will tell you as soon as possible.

Funding

The ATI Programme has been allocated £685 million from the government for the financial years 2022 to 2023 through to 2024 to 2025 to fund innovation projects. 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.

BEIS know that demand is high for the ATI Programme. To manage this financial pressure, BEIS may need to apply an overall cap on project level funding. BEIS do not know whether this will be necessary but as the budget holder, they will decide before the full application process starts for Batch 38. If BEIS do impose a cap, it is likely that overall grant rate for each project would be capped between 50% to 60% of total eligible project costs.

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 £18 million.

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.


Of that 30% you could get funding for your eligible project costs of up to:

  • 80% of full economic costs (FEC) if you are a Je-s registered institution such as an academic
  • 100% of your eligible project costs if you are an RTO, charity, non-profit organisation, public sector organisation or research organisation


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 £18 million and the total project grant funding must not exceed 50% of the total eligible project costs. In a collaborative capital infrastructure project between business and research organisations, the research organisations undertaking non-economic activity as part of the project can claim up to 100% of their own costs. However, the total project grant funding must not exceed 50% of the total eligible project costs.

Research organisations and academic institutions acting alone or collaboratively and conducting non-economic activities can claim up to 100% funding, however you must obtain written consent from BEIS prior to submission. BEIS’ consent to request 100% does not guarantee funding and funding would be awarded on a no-subsidy basis.

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.

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.

If you are applying for an award funded under State aid Regulations, the definitions are set out in the European Commission Recommendation of 6 May 2003.

Your proposal

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 successful in this EoI competition, you will be invited to apply for the next full stage Batch competition of the ATI Programme.

Should the next full stage competition already be open, or you wish to defer your full stage application to the following Batch, you will need to contact support@iuk.ukri.org within 10 working days of receiving your successful notification.

Should you not wish to submit an application in either of the next two Batch competitions, then you will be required to submit a new Expression of Interest for assessment.

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, ‘Destination Zero’, which is split into these areas:

Zero-Carbon Emission Aircraft Technologies

Zero-carbon emission technologies are focused on propulsion and infrastructure development to enable zero-carbon tailpipe emissions. This encompasses battery, hydrogen, and fuel cell technologies, much of which are in early stages of development.

Ultra-Efficient Aircraft Technologies

Ultra-efficient technologies are focused on improving energy efficiency and hence impact CO2 emissions, NOx and noise. Continued development of crucial high value, sustainable, high productivity manufacturing technologies will position the UK to be a first-choice location for the industry.

Cross-cutting Enabling Technologies

To enable both the zero-carbon and ultra-efficient opportunities, the UK must develop cross-cutting enabling technologies and capabilities for whole aircraft design and analysis. These capabilities should extend to the aircraft lifecycle from design, through manufacture & assembly, operation, and end of life.

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

Research categories

We will fund industrial research projects as defined in the guidance on categories of research and investment aid for research infrastructure.

Projects we will not fund

We are not funding projects that:

  • focus solely on defence, space or other industrial sectors, but we will recognise dual use technologies providing the primary application is in civil aerospace
  • focus on fundamental research, early stage technologies or experimental development
  • are dependent on export performance – for example giving a subsidy to a baker on the condition that it exports a certain quantity of bread to another country
  • are dependent on domestic inputs usage – for example giving a subsidy to a baker on the condition that it uses 50% UK flour in their product
1 August 2022
Competition opens
17 August 2022 11:00am
Competition closes
7 September 2022
Applicants notified

Before you start

You must read the guidance on applying for a competition on the Innovation Funding Service before you start.

What we ask you

The application is split into 2 sections:

  1. Project details.
  2. Application questions.

1. Project details

This section provides background for the assessors and is not scored.

Application team

Decide which organisations will work with you on the project. Invite people from those organisations to help complete the application.

Team members must each complete an Equality Diversity and Inclusion survey. The lead applicant must complete their survey to submit the application.

Application details

The lead applicant must complete this section. Give your project’s title, start date and duration.

Project summary

Describe your project briefly and be clear about what makes it innovative. We use this section to assign the right experts to assess your application.

Your answer can be up to 400 words long.

Scope

Describe how your project fits the scope of the competition. If your project is not in scope, it will not be eligible for funding. We will tell you the reason why.

Your answer can be up to 400 words long.

2. Application questions

If your project is in scope, the Aerospace Technology Institute will assess your application.

Your feedback following their assessment of your EoI application will be provided in a separate notification from the Aerospace Technology Institute and will not be available through IFS.

The feedback is solely the opinion of the Aerospace Technology Institute.

Should you wish to discuss the feedback you receive, please contact the Aerospace Technology Institute directly: info@ati.org.uk

If you are successful in this competition, you will receive an email from Innovate UK inviting you to the next Batch competition of the ATI Programme.

Your answer to each question can be up to 400 words long. Do not include any website addresses (URLs) in your answers.

Question 1. Applicant location (not scored)

You must state the name and full registered address of your organisation, any partners and subcontractors working on the project. We are collecting this information to understand the geographical location of all applicants.

Question 2. Business opportunity

What is the business opportunity that your project addresses and what is the size of the potential market?

Your answer can be up to 400 words long.

Describe:

  • the business opportunity identified and how you plan to take advantage of it
  • how it is done today and the limits of current practice
  • the customer needs that have been identified and how the project will meet them
  • the challenges you expect to face and how you will overcome them
  • the target market, and how the outputs from this project are required to progress or achieve strategic targets
  • the growth opportunity your project will create

You can submit charts in a one A4 page PDF appendix to support your answer. It must be no larger than 10MB in size and legible at 100% zoom.

Question 3. Exploitation and dissemination

How will you exploit and disseminate your project results? What economic, social and environmental benefits do you expect your project to deliver, and when?

Your answer can be up to 400 words long.

Consider:

  • expected project outputs, including products, services, processes and capabilities
  • your initial exploitation plan: the route to market, intellectual property, changes to business models or processes, research and development (R&D), and manufacturing services
  • spill-over or dissemination of ideas, demonstrating how your activities will contribute to the wider aerospace industry and other sectors
  • the UK benefits expected to be delivered as a result of this project, such as R&D and capital expenditure, supply chain, jobs, training and skills, and environmental benefits

Question 4. Technical approach and management

What technical approach will you use and how will you manage your project?

Your answer can be up to 400 words long.

Consider:

  • the technical approach, including the main objectives of the work
  • how and why the approach is appropriate
  • how you will make sure the innovative steps in the project are achievable
  • how you will measure your success
  • the areas of work and your objectives

You must submit a work breakdown structure (including the cost of each work package) in a one page A4 PDF appendix to support your answer. It must be no larger than 10MB in size and legible at 100% zoom.

Question 5. Innovation

What is innovative about your project?

Your answer can be up to 400 words long.

Consider:

  • how it will push boundaries beyond current leading-edge science and technology
  • how it will apply existing technologies in new areas
  • what competitors are doing, and how they are trying to achieve the same outputs
  • how and why any IP from the project will be free from restriction and readily exploited
  • for industrial research projects, how the research is novel in an industrial or academic context
  • for capital infrastructure projects, how your infrastructure is novel and unique

You must submit a table in a one A4 page PDF appendix to support your answer. It must be no larger than 10MB in size and legible at 100% zoom. In your table list the technology, why it is innovative, and the change in technology or manufacturing readiness at the start and end of the project.

Question 6. Skills, experience and facilities

Does your proposed project team have the right skills, experience and facilities to deliver this project?

Your answer can be up to 400 words long.

Demonstrate that the likely project team:

  • has the right mix of skills and experience to complete the project
  • has a track record in managing research and development projects
  • has clear objectives and roles or responsibilities
  • includes project partners with clear objectives and roles or responsibilities

If you are part of a consortium, describe the benefits of the collaboration. What advantages does being part of a consortium offer the project?

If you are subcontracting any work, explain why you need to. If you have chosen a subcontractor, explain your choice.

If you have not yet chosen a subcontractor:

  • include details of the companies you are considering using
  • explain your shortlisting process

Question 7. Adding value

How does financial support for your project from the ATI Programme add value to the UK? What will happen to the project in the absence of grant funding?

Your answer can be up to 400 words long.

Answer both of the following:

  1. Why do you need this amount of grant funding? Explain what other sources of funding have been considered, including private investment, and why it is not available.
  2. What will happen to the project in the absence of grant funding? Describe and provide evidence for what will occur if the application for grant funding is not successful.

Question 8. Finances

Provide us with estimates of partners’ eligible costs and the grant funding you are seeking. Include any subcontracted costs. If you have chosen a subcontractor, tell us their name and the country where they will carry out the subcontracted work.

Type ‘Table attached’ below and give your estimates in a table as an uploaded appendix. Give details of the total eligible costs and total grant funding requested for this project. The table can be in a one A4 page PDF or in a spreadsheet. It must be legible at 100% zoom.

Give your table the following headings:

  • partner’s name
  • country where work is being carried out
  • partner’s eligible costs (£)
  • partner’s subcontracted costs (£)
  • subcontractor (if identified)
  • country where subcontract is being carried out
  • partner’s ineligible costs (£)
  • grant funding sought by partner (£)

The grant funding sought by a partner can be zero (for example non-UK business).

Your grant funding must meet the rules listed in ‘Eligibility’.

Question 9. ATI Framework agreement (not scored)

List all organisations, including your own, within your project team and indicate whether they have signed up to the ATI Framework Agreement.

Please note, to receive funding from the ATI Programme, all partners must agree to sign up to the framework agreement within 30 days of successful notification.

Question 10. Project category (not scored)

Please tell us whether your project is an industrial led research project or a capital infrastructure project.

Background and further information

ATI Programme

BEIS is the government department accountable for the programme budget. BEIS decides which projects will be funded with government resources. It also performs value for money (VfM) assessments on project proposals.

The Aerospace Technology Institute’s mission is to help the UK realise growth by creating a coherent and ambitious portfolio of research and technology (R&T) projects. It is responsible for developing the UK Aerospace Technology Strategy and encourages projects that fit with this strategy and maximise the potential to the UK economy.

Innovate UK is the funding agency for the programme. It delivers the competitions processes including independent assessment of project proposals in phase 2 and provides funding recommendations to BEIS. Following funding award, Innovate UK manages the programme, from contracting projects, through project change requests to completion.

In securing grant funding from this programme, each industry participant receiving a grant will pay an industrial contribution to the Aerospace Technology Institute operating budget. This will be proportional to its grant. You can read the contributions detailed by the Aerospace Technology Institute.

Help with your application

The Aerospace Technology Institute can help you develop your proposal before you apply. The service is entirely optional and it does not guarantee success at this stage. If you are not already in contact with the Aerospace Technology Institute, please see www.ati.org.uk/funding for more information on how to get started.

Your project will be assigned a project lead from the Aerospace Technology Institute technology team. They will:

  • monitor the progress of your application
  • provide development feedback, where appropriate
  • meet you as necessary
  • discuss the requirements of the application process
  • give feedback on parts of your proposal that need more development

At no point will the Aerospace Technology Institute project lead give a preliminary indication of project evaluation against the assessment criteria. At all times the responsibility for the application and its completion rests with the lead applicant and its partners.

The Aerospace Technology Institute can only provide development feedback on completed draft applications, and within a reasonable timeframe. The Aerospace Technology Institute will be able to provide development feedback up to 2 weeks before the competition closing date. After this date the Aerospace Technology Institute cannot guarantee any feedback will be provided.

This is a monthly expression of interest (EoI) competition. To allow enough time to prepare your application, you may wish to submit into a future EoI instead.

Data sharing

This competition is jointly operated by Innovate UK, the department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) (each an “agency” within the ATI Programme Partners).

Your submitted application and any other information you provide at the application stage can be submitted to each agency on an individual basis for its storage, processing and use Any relevant information produced during the application process concerning your application can be shared by one agency with the other, for its individual storage, processing and use.

This means that any information given to or generated by Innovate UK in respect of your application may be passed on to the other partners and vice versa.

The ATI Programme Partners are directly accountable to you for their holding and processing of your information, including any personal data and confidential information. Data is held in accordance with their own policies Accordingly, the ATI Programme Partners will be data controllers for personal data submitted during the application.

The ATI Programme Partners complies with the requirements of GDPR, and is committed to upholding the data protection principles, and protecting your information The Information Commissioner’s Office also has a useful guide for organisations, which outlines the data protection principles.

Find a project partner

If you want help to find a project partner, contact Innovate UK KTN or the Aerospace Technology Institute.

Support for SMEs from Innovate UK EDGE

If you receive an award, you will be contacted about working with an innovation and growth specialist at Innovate UK EDGE. This service forms part of our funded offer to you.

These specialists focus on growing innovative businesses and ensuring that projects contribute to their growth. Working one-to-one, they can help you to identify your best strategy and harness world-class resources to grow and achieve scale.

We encourage you to engage with Innovate UK EDGE, delivered by a knowledgeable and objective specialist near you.

Contact us

If you need more information about how to apply or you want to submit your application in Welsh, email support@iuk.ukri.org or call 0300 321 4357. Our phone lines are open from 9am 5pm, Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays).

Innovate UK is committed to making support for applicants accessible to everyone.

We can provide help for applicants who face barriers when making an application. This might be as a result of a disability, neurodiversity or anything else that makes it difficult to use our services. We can also give help and make other reasonable adjustments for you if your application is successful.

If you think you need more support, it is important that you contact our Customer Support Service as early as possible during your application process. You should aim to contact us no later than 10 working days before the competition closing date.

Need help with this service? Contact us