Funding competition May 2020 expression of interest: ATI Programme

The ATI Programme provides funding for industrial research and capital projects to encourage innovation in UK civil aerospace.

This competition is now closed.

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Competition sections

Description

The ATI 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

We work together to deliver a portfolio of projects to meet the objectives of the UK Aerospace Technology Strategy, ‘Accelerating Ambition’.

This is an expression of interest competition. There are 3 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 the expression of interest stage, with proposal development on the Innovation Funding Service by applicants. Independent assessment by Innovate UK, value for money (VfM) and policy review by BEIS, and strategic assessment by ATI.
  3. Final approvals by BEIS and contracting through Innovate UK.

More information is on the ATI website.

The competition closes at midday 12pm UK time on the deadline stated.

Funding type

Grant

Project size

The total grant funding limit for any individual project is 20 million Euros. The project duration must be appropriate and in proportion to the planned objectives and prioritisation within the UK Aerospace Technology Strategy.

Who can apply

State aid

Any UK registered business claiming funding must be eligible to receive state aid at the time we confirm you will be awarded funding. It is not possible to award grant funding to organisations meeting the condition known as undertakings in difficulty. If you are unsure please take legal advice. For further information see our general guidance.

Lead organisation

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) or academic institution for capital investment projects
  • carry out your aerospace research or capital investment project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK

Project team

To collaborate with the lead organisation your organisation must:

  • we a UK registered business, academic institution, charity, public sector organisation or RTO
  • 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.

Your business does not have to be UK 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 count towards the total eligible project costs and should be included in your application.

Previous applications

Resubmissions

We will accept resubmissions in this competition.

If we decide not to fund your proposal, you will be able to use it to apply once more. Your resubmission can:

  • take into account the feedback received from the assessors
  • be for a later round of this competition or for another competition

Failure to exploit

If you applied to a previous competition as the lead or sole organisation and were awarded funding by ATI Programme partners, but did not make a substantial effort to exploit that award, we will award no more funding to you, in this or any other competition. You will not be able to contest our decision. We will:

  • assess your efforts in the previous competition against your exploitation plan for that project
  • review the monitoring officers’ reports and any other relevant sources for evidence
  • document our decision, which will be made by 3 team members, and communicate it to you in writing

Previous projects

Under the terms of Innovate UK funding, you are required to submit an independent accountant’s report (IAR) with your final claim. If you or any organisation in your consortium failed to submit an IAR on a previous project, we will not award funding to you in this or any other competition until we have received the documents.

Funding

Organisations that are primarily engaged in commercial or economic activity (known as selective advantage) as part of the project must ensure their request for funding does not exceed the limits defined below. This includes organisations that typically act non-economically but for the purpose of this project will be undertaking commercial or economic activity.

State Aid

This competition provides state aid funding under articles of the General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER):

  • industrial research projects are under article 25, ‘Aid for research, development and innovation’
  • capital infrastructure projects are under article 26, ‘Investment aid for research infrastructures’

It is your responsibility to make sure that your organisation is eligible to receive state aid.

Industry-led research projects (Article 25)

The total grant funding limit for any individual project is 20 million Euros (exchange rate to be given in applicant briefing webinar). Total project grant funding must not exceed 50% of your total eligible project costs. This is regardless of the individual partners’ grant claims. Of that 50%, individual partners undertaking commercial or economic activities as part of the project can claim grant funding up to:

  • 70% of your total eligible project costs if you are a micro or small organisation
  • 60% of your total eligible project costs if you are a medium-sized organisation
  • 50% of your total eligible project costs if you are a large organisation

The research organisations in your consortium 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. They can each claim 100% of their total eligible costs.

Capital investment projects (Article 26)

You must follow the guidance given in the General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER): “4.3 Support given for the construction or upgrade of research infrastructures that perform economic activities, is considered state aid, and is limited to 50% of the investment costs. Where an infrastructure carries out both economic and non-economic activities, support for the non-economic part is not considered state aid and can be given up to 100% of eligible costs (investment costs in tangible and intangible assets) but support for the economic part is considered state aid and cannot exceed 50%. The financing, costs and revenues of each type of activity must be accounted for separately.

“4.4 For example, a research infrastructure that is predominately non-economic but is used for contract research (an economic activity) 30% of the time and costs £10 million can receive £8.5 million public funding towards its construction: 100% for the 70% non-economic portion (£7 million) and 50% for the 30% economic (£1.5 million).

“4.5 Infrastructure supported in this way must be open to several users on a transparent and non-discriminatory basis. Users must pay a market rate for using the facility. Businesses which have contributed at least 10% to the investment costs can have preferential access proportionate to their contribution. The conditions of this access must be made publicly available.

“4.6 Notification threshold for this aid type is set at 20 million euros per infrastructure.”

If you are running a collaborative capital investment project, 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. They can each claim 100% of their total eligible costs.

If research organisations are working alone on capital investment projects they can claim 100% of the total eligible project costs if they are undertaking non-economic activities, but this will not constitute state aid.

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. A decision to proceed to stage 2 will depend on the outcomes from this EoI.

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

Your proposal must prioritise areas identified within the UK Aerospace Technology Strategy, including:

  • vehicles
  • aerostructures
  • advanced systems
  • propulsion and power

Only projects that score well against the following criteria will receive funding from the ATI Programme:

  • strategic fit with the UK Aerospace Technology Strategy
  • value for money for the UK and potential impact of the exploitation of your idea once the project is over
  • project deliverables such as time, cost and quality (including risks)

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:

  • 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

Research categories

We will fund industrial research (as defined in the general guidance) and capital investment projects only.

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
  • have not involved an industrial end-user

4 May 2020
Competition opens
12 May 2020
Online briefing event: view event recording
20 May 2020 12:00pm
Competition closes
8 June 2020
Applicants notified

Before you start

You must read the general guidance for applicants before you start.

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

This section sets the scene 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.

Application details

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

Research category

Select the type of research you will undertake.

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 not be eligible for funding.

Your answer can be up to 400 words long.

2. Application questions

The assessors will score your answers. You will receive feedback from them for each one.

Your answer to each question can be up to 400 words long. Do not include any links to websites in 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 one A4 page PDF appendix 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 the cost of each work package) in a one A4 page PDF appendix 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 up to one A4 page long to support your answer. It must be 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 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 ATI 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.

Answer both of the following:

  1. Why do you need this amount of 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’ 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 one A4 page PDF or 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 (£)
  • funding sought by partner (£)

The funding sought by a partner can be zero

Background and further information

ATI Programme

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.

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 ATI 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 and the Aerospace Technology Institute, 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 Aerospace Technology Institute’s operating budget. This will be proportional to its grant. Contributions are detailed in the Aerospace Technology Institute Framework Agreement.

Extra help

If you want help to find a project partner, email info@ati.org.uk.

If you need more information, email us at support@innovateuk.ukri.org or call the competition helpline on 0300 321 4357 between 9am and 5:30pm, Monday to Friday.

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