ATI Programme strategic batch: expression of interest February 2023
The ATI Programme funds industrial research and investment aid for research infrastructures to make the UK civil aerospace sector more competitive.
- Competition opens: Monday 6 February 2023
- Competition closes: Wednesday 22 February 2023 11:00am
This competition is now closed.
Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, will work with BEIS and the Aerospace Technology Institute to invest up to £685 million from the ATI Programme in financial years 2022-2023, 2023-2024, 2024-2025, in innovation projects.
The ATI Programme represents to date a £3.2 billion 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
All three organisations work in partnership. Together they deliver a portfolio of projects to meet the objectives and priorities of the UK Aerospace Technology Strategy.
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 regularly 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. Your proposal will be subject to an 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.
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
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), research organisation or academic institution for capital infrastructure projects
- carry out your aerospace research or capital infrastructure project work in the UK
- intend to exploit the results from or in the UK
- address the specific requirements of the UK’s Aerospace Technology Strategy
- sign up to the Aerospace Technology Institute framework agreement
- claim funding
More information on the different types of organisation can be found in our Funding rules.
Under current restrictions this competition will not fund any procurement, commercial, business development or supply chain activity with any Russian and Belarusian entity as lead, partner or subcontractor. This includes any goods or services originating from a Russian and Belarusian source.
Your project’s duration must be appropriate and in proportion to the planned objectives and prioritisation within the UK Aerospace Technology Strategy, ‘DESTINATION ZERO’.
To collaborate with the lead, your organisation must be one of the following UK registered:
- business of any size
- academic institution
- not for profit
- public sector organisation
- research and technology organisation (RTO)
Your organisation must:
- 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
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 answer to question 8.
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.
You can use a previously submitted application to apply for this competition.
We will not award you funding if you have:
- failed to exploit a previously funded project
- an overdue independent accountant’s report
- failed to comply with grant terms and conditions
Subsidy control (and State aid where applicable)
This competition provides funding in line with the Subsidy Control Act 2022. Further information about the Subsidy requirements can be found within the Subsidy Control Act 2022 (legislation.gov.uk).
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.
If you are unsure about your obligations under the Subsidy Control Act 2022 or the State aid rules you should take independent legal advice. We are unable to advise on individual eligibility or legal obligations.
You must always 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.
The ATI Programme has been allocated £685 million from the government for the financial years 2022 to 2023 through 2024 to 2025 to fund innovation projects.
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 has applied an overall cap of 60% on project level funding.
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.
Industrial research projects
The total grant request in your application cannot exceed 60% of the total eligible project costs. This is regardless of the individual partners’ grant claims.
Of that 60%, your funding request must not exceed the limits below. These limits apply even if your organisation normally acts non-economically.
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. Contact Aerospace Technology Institute for ways to contact BEIS. 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.
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.
If the next full stage competition is already open, or you wish to defer your full stage application to the following Batch, you will need to contact email@example.com within 10 working days of receiving your successful notification.
If you do not wish to submit an application in either of the next two Batches of 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.
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
- on fundamental research, early stage technologies or experimental development
We cannot fund projects that 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
- 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
- 6 February 2023
- Competition opens
- 22 February 2023 11:00am
- Competition closes
Before you start
You must read the guidance on applying for a competition on the Innovation Funding Service before you start.
The ATI Programme Guidance can provide further information.
Before submitting, it is the lead applicant’s responsibility to make sure:
- that all the information provided in the application is correct
- your proposal meets the eligibility and scope criteria
- all sections of the application are marked as complete
- if collaborative, that all partners have completed all assigned sections and accepted the terms and conditions (T&Cs)
You can reopen your application once submitted, up until the competition deadline. You must resubmit the application before the competition deadline.
What we ask you
The application is split into 2 sections:
- Project details.
- Application questions.
Accessibility and inclusion
We welcome and encourage applications from people of all backgrounds and are committed to making our application process accessible to everyone. This includes providing support, in the form of reasonable adjustments, for people who have a disability or a long-term condition and face barriers applying to us. Read more on how we are making our application process more accessible and inclusive for everyone.
You must contact us as early as possible in the application process. We recommend contacting us at least 15 working days before the competition closing date to ensure we can provide you with the most suitable support possible.You can contact us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 0300 321 4357. Our phone lines are open from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays).
1. Project details
This section provides background for your application and is not scored.
Decide which organisations will work with you on your project and invite people from those organisations to help complete the application.
Give your project’s title, start date and duration.
Select the type of research you will undertake.
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.
Describe how your project fits the scope of the competition.
- the ATI Strategy focus area your project is aligned to, choose one from the following: “Ultra Efficient”, “Zero Emissions” or “Cross Cutting”
- the ATI product, area or theme your project is aligned to, choose one from the following: “Structures”, “Systems”, “Propulsion”, “Design & Validation”, “Whole Aircraft Integration”, “Manufacturing & Assembly” or “Through-Life Support”?
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.
The assessment will consider:
- your EoI’s alignment to the UK Aerospace technology strategy
- the fit of your proposed technology with your understanding of relevant existing activity
- the capability of project partners
The evaluation has 3 stages:
You must pass each stage of evaluation in order to progress to the next stage.
The Aerospace Technology Institute will make recommendations to BEIS. BEIS will decide which EoIs are to be invited to the next full stage competition and will notify Innovate UK accordingly. If you are recommended, you will then be invited by Innovate UK to apply to the next full stage Batch competition.
Further information can be found in the ATI Programme Guidance.
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.
If your EOI application is not successful, you will be given the opportunity to discuss their feedback with the ATI should you wish to. Details of how this can be arranged will be provided in the feedback document.
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 including the full post code of your organisation and any partners or subcontractors working on the project. If the registered office is not where the work is taking place, you must use the address where the work is taking place. 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?
- 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
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?
- 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?
- 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?
- 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?
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 working collaboratively with other partners, describe the benefits of this collaboration. What advantages does your consortium offer?
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?
Answer both of the following:
- 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.
- 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 subcontractor costs. If you have chosen a subcontractor, tell us their name and the country where they will carry out the subcontracted work.
You must download and complete the attached financial template and upload it to this question as a spreadsheet. Please ensure the Eligible Project Cost Profile is broken down by project quarter. For company size and type: use micro, small, medium or large for business; RTO or Academics for non-business organisation. You can have non-grant claiming partners (for example non-UK business).
Your grant funding must meet the rules listed in ‘Eligibility’. If you are ineligible at the EoI stage for any reason, you must highlight the steps that will be taken to overcome this before full stage application (FSA).
Explain the potential uncertainty in these estimates and how these are expected to mature before FSA.
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)
You must tell us whether your project is an industrial led research project or a capital infrastructure project.
Question 11. Internal Approval Status (not scored)
Has your project gone through any internal approval process? If yes, indicate it is “In Development”, “Approved” or “Fully Scoped and Approved”.
For projects still in development but approved in principle as aligned to business priorities.
For projects that have been approved by the business but the financial profile of spend and resource commitment has not been signed off by business or finance.
Fully Scoped & Approved
For fully internally approved projects, including timing of financial spend supported by bottom-up estimates and quotes. You must also have agreement of resources to be committed over time by the business and finance.
Background and further information
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 ATI 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 an expression of interest (EoI) competition. To allow enough time to prepare your application, you may wish to submit into a future EoI instead.
This competition is jointly operated by Innovate UK, for and on behalf of the department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), the budget owner and funding decider of the ATI Programme. Innovate UK, BEIS and Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) work as a partnership to deliver the ATI Programme (each an ‘agency’ within the ATI Programme Partners).
Any relevant information submitted and 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 ATI Programme Partners and vice versa. This would include, but is not restricted to the information stated on the application, including the personal details of all applicants.
The ATI Programme Partners comply 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.
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