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Future flight challenge phase 3: strand 1 UK registered businesses can apply for a share of up to £65 million to develop and demonstrate integrated aviation systems and new vehicle technologies. This funding is from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund Eligibility This competition is open to collaborations only. To lead a project your organisation must be a UK registered business of any size. You must involve at least one micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME). Open now Opened: 6 September 2021 Closes: 3 November 2021

Programme: Innovate Uk

Award:

Opens: 6 September 2021

Closes: 3 November 2021

Description

Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, will invest up to £65 million in innovation projects. Projects must demonstrate integrated aviation systems and vehicle technologies that enable new classes of electric or autonomous air vehicles.

The aim of this competition is to fund projects that will deliver the 2024 vision of the Future Flight Challenge and position the UK as a leader in the third revolution of aviation. This competition will build on the success of the 2020 Phase 2 competition and will focus primarily on the demonstration aspects of these novel air vehicles and systems.

We are looking to fund ambitious projects that will successfully integrate the technical, regulatory and social challenges necessary to prove these new modes of transport.

Your proposal must demonstrate the operation of vehicles or enabling systems in a representative environment whilst meeting a viable and challenging use case.

Projects must also support the overall objectives of the Future Flight Challenge and align with key Government policies on Net Zero Transport.

This competition is split into 2 strands. The strands are:

In Strand 1, projects must focus on the demonstration aspects of novel classes of electric or autonomous air vehicles and systems.

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

Your project’s total eligible costs must be between £500,000 and £15 million.

Who can apply

Your project

Your project must:

  • have total eligible costs between £500,000 and £15 million
  • start on 1 April 2022
  • end by 31 March 2024
  • last between 12 and 24 months
  • carry out its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK

If your project’s total eligible costs fall outside of our eligibility criteria, you must provide justification by email to support@innovateuk.ukri.org at least 10 working days before the competition closes. We will decide whether to approve your request. If you have not requested approval or your application has not been approved by us, you will be made ineligible and your application will not be sent for assessment.

Lead organisation

To lead a project your organisation must:

Academic institutions cannot lead.


Project team

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

Each partner organisation must be invited into the Innovation Funding Service by the lead to collaborate on a project. Once accepted, partners will be asked to login or to create an account and enter their own project costs into the Innovation Funding Service.

The lead and at least one other organisation must claim funding by entering their costs during the application.

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.

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 also provide a detailed rationale, evidence of the potential UK contractors you approached and the reasons why they were unable to work with you.

We expect all subcontractor costs to be justified and appropriate to the total eligible project costs. We will not accept a cheaper cost as a sufficient reason to use an overseas subcontractor.


Number of applications

A business can only lead on one application but can be included as a collaborator in a further 2 applications.

Organisations not leading can collaborate on any number of applications.

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 make sure at all times 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

We have allocated up to £65 million to fund innovation projects across the two strands of this competition.

If the majority of your organisation’s work on the project is commercial or economic, your funding request must not exceed the limits below. These limits apply even if your organisation normally acts non-economically.

For industrial research projects, you could get funding for your eligible project costs of:

  • up to 70% if you are a micro or small organisation
  • up to 60% if you are a medium-sized organisation
  • up to 50% if you are a large organisation

For experimental development projects which are nearer to market, you could get funding for your eligible project costs of:

  • up to 45% if you are a micro or small organisation
  • up to 35% if you are a medium-sized organisation
  • up to 25% if you are a large organisation

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.

Research participation

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.

Off 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
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