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NATEP Helping SMEs innovate in aerospace: Autumn 2022 UK registered SMEs can apply for a share of up to £2.5 million for industrial-led civil aerospace collaborative R&D projects. Eligibility This competition is open to collaborations only. To lead a project your organisation must: be a UK registered micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME) work with at least one other grant claiming organisation plan to carry out a civil aerospace research or technology development project in the UK align to the latest UK Aerospace Technology Strategy – Destination Zero.

Programme: Innovate Uk

Award:

Opens: 14 November 2022

Closes: 11 January 2023

Description

Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), is working with the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

A NATEP competition is held approximately every 6 months. This is call 7 of 8 and for each call there is up to £2.5m funding available.

The aim of this competition is to provide help for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to develop innovative aerospace technologies. These will enhance your capabilities and increase your ability to win new business.

Your proposal must align with the priorities stated in the UK Aerospace technology strategy, Destination Zero. Your proposal will be subject to:

  • independent assessment by Innovate UK
  • strategic review by the Aerospace Technology Institute

You will need to pass both assessments for your application to be recommended for funding. BEIS has the final funding decision.

If you are successful, Innovate UK will perform financial viability and eligibility checks. Final approvals are issued by BEIS. You will be contracted by Innovate UK. You will also be assigned a NATEP Technical Manager who will be your critical support for your project.

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 costs must be between £150,000 and £300,000.

Who can apply

Your project

Your project must:

  • have total costs between £150,000 and £300,000
  • end by 31 Dec 2024
  • last between 12 and 18 months
  • carry out all of its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK

You must only include eligible project costs in your application.

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.

All project partners, including the lead partner must sign up to the ATI Framework Agreement.

Projects in this competition are currently exempt from paying the industrial contribution to the Aerospace Technology Institute.

If your organisation is a UK registered business, or a research and technology organisation (RTO) participating as a business, you must demonstrate in your application that you can provide match funding from entirely private sector sources, across all projects you are involved in.

Lead organisation

To lead a project your organisation must:

More information on the different types of organisation can be found in our Funding rules.

Academic institutions, charities, public sector organisations, large businesses and RTOs cannot lead.

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)

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.

To be an eligible collaboration, the lead and at least one other organisation must apply for funding when entering their costs into the application.

If you are a UK registered RTO participating as a business (undertaking economic activities), you must also show how you will exploit the results of the project to grow the wider sector.

Non-funded partners

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 project costs.

The costs for partners not claiming funding, must be listed in your answer to the question on costs, not the finance section.

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.

Number of applications

A UK registered SME can only lead on one application but can be included as a collaborator in a further 2 applications in this competition.

If a UK registered business is not leading an application, it can collaborate in up to 3 applications in this competition.

All other organisations 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 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.

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

Up to £2.5 million has been allocated from the £695 million ATI Programme budget to fund innovation projects in this competition. Funding will be in the form of a grant.

If 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 but for the purpose of this project will be undertaking commercial or economic activity.

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 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.

No one project partner can be responsible for more than 70% of the total eligible project costs.

UK registered large businesses in your consortium can share up to 30% of the total eligible project costs. If your consortium contains more than one large business, this maximum will be shared between them.

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. 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 project costs if you are an RTO, charity, not for profit organisation, public sector organisation or research organisation

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