Funding competition March expression of interest: UK Aerospace Research and Technology

The UK Aerospace Research and Technology Programme provides grant funding to industrial research and capital projects to encourage innovation in UK civil aerospace.

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Competition sections

Description

The UK Aerospace Research and Technology (UKART) Programme represents a £3.9 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 (ATI)

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

This is an expression of interest competition. There are 4 stages and the whole process takes at least 6 months.

  1. Expression of interest (EoI): opens monthly and is reviewed by ATI only.
  2. Full stage application (FSA): invite only, if successful in stage 1, with proposal development on IFS by applicants.
  3. Independent assessment by Innovate UK, value for money (VfM) and policy review by BEIS, and strategic assessment by ATI.
  4. Final approvals by BEIS and contracting through Innovate UK.

More information is on the ATI website.

This competition closes at midday 12pm UK time on the date of the deadline.

Funding type

Grant

Project size

Total project costs and project duration must be appropriate and in proportion to the planned objectives and prioritisation within the UK Aerospace Technology Strategy.

Who can apply

Lead applicant

To lead a project or work alone you must:

Collaborators

To collaborate on a project you must:

  • be a UK based business, academic organisation, charity, public sector organisation or research and technology organisation (RTO)
  • carry out your project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK
  • work in collaboration with other businesses, research organisations or third-sector organisations

Single applicants must claim funding. If the project is collaborative, the lead and at least one other organisation must claim funding.

Any UK business claiming funding must be eligible to receive state aid. If you are unsure please take legal advice. For further information please see our general guidance.

Partners with no funding

Projects can include partners that do not receive any funding (for example, non-UK businesses). Their eligible costs will count towards the total project costs but they will not count as collaborators.

Funding

Industry led research projects

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

You can claim grant funding up to:

  • 100% if you are an academic organisation or non-profit research and technology organisation (RTO)
  • 70% if you are a small business
  • 60% if you are a medium-sized business
  • 50% if you are a large business

Capital investment projects

You can claim grant funding of:

  • up to 100% if you are an academic or non-profit RTO
  • up to 50% if you are a business, regardless of size

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

For collaborative research projects and business led capital projects, the research organisations in your consortium can share up to 30% of the total eligible project costs. If your consortium contains more than one research organisation, this maximum will be shared between them.

This competition is being run under article 25 (‘Aid for research, development and innovation’) and article 26 (‘Investment aid for research infrastructures’) of the General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER). We are not authorised to provide advice on state aid. It is your responsibility to make sure that your organisation is eligible to receive state aid.

You can find the definition of research and capital projects in the state aid manual between pages 39 and 42.

Your proposal

Your project must have a potential application within the civil aerospace sector.

Priority areas identified within the UK Aerospace Technology Strategy include:

  • whole aircraft design and integration
  • aerostructures
  • advanced systems
  • propulsion technologies

Only projects which score well against these criteria will receive funding from the UKART Programme:

  1. Strategic fit with the UK Aerospace Technology Strategy.
  2. Value for money for the UK and potential impact of the exploitation of your idea once the project is over.
  3. Project deliverables such as time, cost and quality (including risks).

This is an expression of interest (EoI) competition.

Successful applicants will be invited to the second stage. A decision to proceed with stage 2 will depend on the outcomes from this EoI. We will monitor changes between your stage 1 and stage 2 submissions. We 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:

  • aircraft of the future: strengthening the UK’s whole-aircraft design and system integration capability, and positioning it for future generations of civil aircraft
  • smart, connected and more electric aircraft: developing UK advanced systems technologies to capture high-value opportunities in current and future aircraft
  • aerostructures of the future: ensuring the UK is a global leader in the development of large complex structures, particularly wings
  • propulsion of the future: advancing a new generation of more efficient propulsion technologies, particularly large turbofans

Research categories

We will fund industrial research projects only. Please see the general guidance to help you decide which category your project fits in.

Projects we will not fund

We will not fund projects that:

  • cover solely 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
  • have not involved an industrial end-user

4 March 2019
Competition opens
11 March 2019
Online briefing event.
20 March 2019 12:00pm
Competition closes
10 April 2019
Applicants notified

Before you start

Please read the general guidance for applicants. It will help your chances of submitting a quality application.

You should also read specific information about this programme before you start your application.

When you start an application you will be prompted to create an account as the lead applicant or sign in as a representative of your organisation. You will need an account to track the progress of your application.

As the lead applicant you will be responsible for:

  • collecting the information for your application
  • representing your organisation in leading the project if your application is successful

You will be able to invite:

  • colleagues to make contributions
  • other organisations to collaborate with you

What we will ask you

The application is split into 2 sections:

  1. Project details.
  2. Application questions.

1. Project details

Explain your project. This section is not scored, but we will use it to decide whether the project fits with the scope of the competition. If it does not, it will be immediately rejected.

Application details

The lead applicant must complete this section. Give your project’s title, start date and duration. Is the application a resubmission?

Project summary

Describe your project briefly and be clear about what makes it innovative. We use this section to assign experts to assess your application. List any organisations you have named as collaborators. Your answer can be up to 100 words long.

Scope

Describe how your project fits the scope of the competition. If your project is not in scope it will be immediately rejected and will not be sent for assessment. We will give you feedback on why. Your answer can be up to 400 words long.

2. Application questions

The assessors will score your answers to these questions. You will receive feedback from them for each question.

Your answer to each question can be up to 400 words long. Do not include any URLs in your answers unless we have explicitly requested a link to a video. Applications with incomplete answers or missing mandatory appendices will not be considered for funding. Questions 3, 4 and 7 have mandatory appendices. The rest of the appendices are optional to help you expand on your answers.

Question 1: 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 single PDF appendix no larger than 10MB and up to 1 page long to support your answer. It must be legible at 100% zoom.

Question 2: 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 3: 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 cost of each work package) as a single PDF appendix no larger than 10MB and up to 1 page long to support your answer. It must be legible at 100% zoom.

Question 4: 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
  • how the research is novel in an industrial and/or academic context
You must submit a table in a single PDF appendix no larger than 10MB and up to 1 page long to support your answer. It must be legible at 100% zoom. List the technology, why the technology is innovative, and the change in technology or manufacturing readiness at the start and end of the project.

Question 5: 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?

Question 6: Adding value

How does financial support from the UK Aerospace R&T Programme add value to the UK? What will happen to the project in the absence of funding?

Your answer can be up to 400 words long.

Address both of the following:

  1. Why do you need this much 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 funding? Describe and provide evidence for what will occur if the application for funding is not successful.

Question 7: Finances

Provide us with estimates of partners’ eligible costs and the funding you are seeking.

Type “Table attached” in the field below and give your estimates in a table as an attached appendix. Give details of the total eligible costs and total funding requested for this project. The table can be a single PDF or spreadsheet no larger than 10MB and up to 1 page long. 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 (£)
  • funding sought by partner (£)
The funding sought by a partner can be zero.

Background and further information

The ATI’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.

The ATI oversees the R&T pipeline, co-chairing the Strategic Review Committee with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and advising on project investments. BEIS is the government department accountable for the £150 million yearly programme budget. BEIS decides which projects will be funded with government resources. It also performs value for money (VfM) assessments on project proposals.

Innovate UK administers the UK Aerospace R&T Programme. It provides independent assessors and manages the programme, from the contracting of projects, through performance monitoring to close-out. Innovate UK, along with BEIS, also manages project change requests, provides feedback on project strategic alignment and supports evaluation of the programme.

In securing funding from this programme, each industry participant receiving a grant will pay an industrial contribution to the ATI operating budget. This will be proportional to its grant. Contributions are detailed in the ATI Framework Agreement.

If you need more information, email us at support@innovateuk.ukri.org or call the competition helpline on 0300 321 4357.

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