• Status: Closed

  • Key features: Innovate UK is to invest up to £10 million in collaborative research and development and feasibility studies to accelerate the commercialisation of highly innovative technologies for civil aerospace.

  • Programme: Feasibility studies

  • Award: Up to £10 million

  • Opens: 29 Jun 2015, 00:00

  • Registration closes: 05 Nov 2015, 12:00

  • Closes: 12 Nov 2015, 12:00

  • Support phone number: 0300 321 4357

Game-changing technologies for aerospace

Summary

Innovate UK is to invest up to £10 million in collaborative research and development and feasibility studies to accelerate the commercialisation of highly innovative technologies for civil aerospace.
 
We are looking for projects that offer solutions to key aerospace industry challenges and for opportunities to bring in technologies and capabilities from outside the traditional aerospace sector.
 
Proposals for both project types must be collaborative and led by a business. We expect collaborative research and development projects to be mainly industrial research. Large business partners will generally attract up to 50% public funding for their eligible project costs for industrial research and feasibility studies, a medium-sized business up to 60% and a small or micro business up to 70%.
 
We strongly encourage the participation of SMEs and organisations from outside the traditional aerospace sector. We also strongly encourage universities and research organisations to participate, where their high-end academic knowledge and innovation expertise will bring significant benefit to projects.
 
We expect collaborative R&D projects to range in size from total costs of £250,000 to £1.5 million. Feasibility studies are expected to have total project costs of up to £100,000.
 
The competition opens for both types of project application on 29 June 2015. Collaborative R&D projects will follow a two-stage process. The deadline for registration is at noon on 9 September 2015 and the deadline for expressions of interest is at noon on 16 September 2015. For feasibility studies the deadline for registration is at noon on 5 November 2015 and the deadline for applications is at noon on 12 November 2015.

Supporting documents & links

Key dates

Collaborative R&D

Networking event 28 April 2015
Competition opens 29 June 2015
Competition briefing 15 July 2015
Registration deadline noon 9 September 2015
Expressions of interest (EOI) deadline noon 16 September 2015
Stage 2 opens for invited applicants 12 October 2015
Deadline for invited applications noon 12 November 2015

 

Feasibility studies

Networking event 28 April 2015
Competition opens 29 June 2015
Competition briefing 15 July 2015
Registration deadline noon 5 November 2015
Deadline for applications noon 12 November 2015

 

Background

The UK aerospace industry leads Europe and is number 2 in the world with a 17% market share. Its strengths include the design and manufacture of some of the most complex and high-value components of modern air and rotorcraft. This has created a high-tech and high-skill industry supporting 230,000 jobs in the UK and with exports of around £25 billion per year (‘Flying High: One Year on From Lifting Off').
 
The civil aerospace sector is growing. Global orders for new aircraft are expected to exceed $5 trillion between now and 2032 including for:
  • 29,000 large aircraft with more than 100 seats worth $4.4 trillion
  • 24,000 business jets worth $648 billion
  • 5,900 regional aircraft with fewer than 100 seats worth $186 billion
  • 40,000 helicopters worth $165 billion
The success of the industry is underpinned by innovative new solutions and technologies that have grown out of the successful collaboration between business and the science base. To maintain a lead in the highly competitive global aerospace market, the UK needs to stay at the forefront of technology development and application. We must therefore support the development of revolutionary and game-changing new technologies.
 
The emergence of new aircraft manufacturers, increasing sales of derivative products and the development of the unmanned vehicle sector are changing the industry rapidly. Continuous and intensive research, innovation and technology application are needed to meet this demand sustainably, affordably, reliably and in a safe manner.
 
The success of the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) has given new momentum and focus to UK aerospace industry research. This competition complements the work of the ATI and is an opportunity to develop new technology solutions that could shape ATI projects of the future.
 
This is the third competition under our ‘Highly innovative technology enablers in aerospace' (HITEA) programme. The programme aims to accelerate the commercialisation of highly innovative technologies by joining up the often complex innovation landscape to give organisations the right help at the right time.
 
The scope of this competition was developed with key stakeholders to ensure an appropriate focus on the research priorities needed to support future development within the civil aerospace sector. These include the Aerospace Growth Partnership, the ATI and its Technology Advisory Group and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

Scope

We are looking to invest in the next generation of aerospace technology solutions that will provide significant breakthroughs. These will be able to support new platforms and/or be able to enhance the competitiveness of existing products or services. Projects should promote global competitive advantage and economic benefit primarily in the
UK civil aerospace sector. We are looking for proposals that offer solutions to key aerospace industry challenges, including ones that bring in technologies and capabilities from outside the traditional aerospace sector.
 
Potential applicants should consider collaborative R&D projects and feasibility studies that directly contribute to an end product and that are aligned with the following key technology themes:
 
  1. new manufacturing solutions that enhance cost effectiveness and affordability and/or support increasing rates of production, for example novel flexible and adaptive manufacturing techniques. This may include elements of material recycling, remanufacture or reuse
  2. improved competitiveness through novel or advanced materials and associated processing technologies. This may include structural or multi-functional composite, metallic, ceramic and hybrid materials for demanding environments
  3. technologies that enable improvements to overall vehicle performance and efficiency, for example advanced aerodynamics, highly efficient propulsion/ rotor systems, advanced sensing and connectivity, more electric technologies and increased vehicle automation
  4. reduced cost of vehicle ownership through novel technologies or process solutions, for example more electric systems, integrated prognostics, maintenance repair overhaul (MRO)
  5. new modelling and simulation techniques, including solutions that reduce design time, reduce barriers to certification, offer reduced cost of development and that better link design and manufacture
The examples given above are not exhaustive. Other projects are acceptable provided they align with one of the above top-level themes.
 
Feasibility studies should focus on more disruptive technologies and design solutions that offer significant benefits and advancements for future platforms in civil aerospace, including the translation of significant technical breakthroughs into defined end products/solutions.

Funding allocation and project details

We have allocated up to £10 million to fund collaborative R&D projects and feasibility studies that address the technical challenges outlined in the scope.
 
Successful applicants can attract grant funding towards their eligible project costs. The percentage of costs that we pay varies, depending on the type of research being carried out and the type of organisation involved.
 
For this competition both project types must be business-led and collaborative. We expect collaborative research and development projects to be mainly industrial research.
 
Large business partners will generally attract up to 50% public funding for their eligible project costs for industrial research and feasibility studies, a medium-sized business up to 60% and a small or micro business up to 70%.
 
Collaborative R&D projects under themes 1-5 are expected to last up to 36 months, and total eligible project costs are expected to be between £250,000 and £1.5 million. Feasibility studies into disruptive technologies are expected to last up to 18 months and have total eligible project costs of up to £100,000.
 
We are specifically encouraging companies outside the aerospace sector that can bring technical knowledge and expertise to a consortium and work with the industry on applications that are targeted primarily at civil aerospace.
 
Applications are assessed on individual merit by an independent panel of experts. We may apply a portfolio approach across the themes identified in the scope and between collaborative R&D and feasibility studies.
 
To find out if your business fits the EU definition of an SME, see:

Application process

Collaborative R&D

This is a two-stage competition that opens for applicants on 29 June 2015.
 
Stage 1 - applicants submit an expression of interest which is assessed.
Stage 2 - we invite selected applicants to submit an application.
 
The deadline for registration is at noon on 9 September 2015 and the deadline for expressions of interest is at noon on 16 September 2015. The second stage deadline for invited applications is at noon on 12 November 2015.
 

Feasibility Studies

 
The competition for feasibility studies opens on 29 June 2015. The deadline for registration is noon on 5 November 2015. The deadline for applications is noon on 12 November 2015.
 
A consortium-building and networking event will be held at The Oval cricket ground, Kennington, London, on 28 April 2015. This event will highlight the main features of the competition, and provide opportunities to pitch technology ideas, display technology and network with experts from the aerospace industry and other related sectors. Applicants are strongly recommended to attend this event. You can register for the event at connect.innovateuk.org/events and keep up to date with the latest news via the aerospace group on _connect (https://connect.innovateuk.org/group/aerospace/).
 
There will also be a webinar briefing for potential applicants on 15 July 2015. If applicants need to register for events it will be at connect.innovateuk.org/events.
 
NB: All deadlines are at noon
 

More information

Each partner in a project can receive funding towards their project costs – the funding is a percentage of the total eligible project costs and varies, depending on the size and type of organisation and the type of research.
 
For general guidance go to: interact.innovateuk.org/funding-rules or watch our video youtube.com/watch?v=cexDpxTl8JY
 
You can watch our video about the application process (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-rnSpIMiPc)
 
To apply you must first register with us through this competition page. Registration opens when the competition opens and closes a week before the deadline for expressions
of interest.
 
Competition helpline: 0300 321 4357

Help for SMEs to grow faster

Small businesses that combine the funding they receive from us with additional business support are more likely to grow faster. If you are an SME and receive funding through this competition, you will automatically gain access to a growth workshop, an online diagnostic and a growth expert to help you develop a growth plan. This may include coaching, mentoring, entrepreneurial skills training.

Publicity

As part of the application process all applicants are asked to submit a public description of the project. This should adequately describe the project but not disclose any information that may impact on intellectual property, is confidential or commercially sensitive. The titles of successful projects, names of organisations, amounts awarded and the public description will be published once the decision to offer an award has been communicated to applicants by email. Information about unsuccessful project applications will remain confidential and will not be made public. E-mail pressoffice@innovateuk.gov.uk with any queries.