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  • Writer's pictureDamon Butcher

NATEP helping SMEs innovate in aerospace: spring 2022



UK registered businesses can apply for a share of up to £2.5 million to carry out industry led civil aerospace collaborative research and development projects. A National Aerospace Technology Exploitation Programme (NATEP) competition is held approximately every six months.

Open date: 07/04/2022

Close date: 18/05/2022

Max Funding: Share of £2,500,000

Match Funding: 30%

Collaboration: Collaborative or single

Funding Type: Grant

Fund Provider(s): NATEP, Innovate UK

Industries: Aerospace


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 6 of 6 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, Accelerating Ambition. 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.

Project size - Your project’s total costs must be between £150,000 and £300,000.

Your project Your project must:

  • have total costs between £150,000 and £300,000

  • end by 31 March 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 can start your project from 1 September 2022. All project partners 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. Under current restrictions, this competition will not fund any procurement, commercial, business development or supply chain activity with any Russian entity as lead, partner or subcontractor. This includes any goods or services originating from a Russian source. Lead organisation To lead a project your organisation must:

  • be a UK registered micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME)

  • collaborate with other UK registered businesses, research organisations, research technology organisations (RTO), public sector organisations, charities or academic institutions

  • sign up to the Aerospace Technology Institute framework agreement

This competition primarily expects to fund businesses that are new to research and development (R&D) or are restarting R&D activity. Academic institutions, charities, public sector organisations, large businesses and RTOs cannot lead. Project team To collaborate with the lead your organisation must:

  • be a UK registered business, research organisation, academic institution, charity, public sector organisation or RTO

  • be invited to take part by the lead applicant

  • sign up to the Aerospace Technology Institute framework agreement

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 and enter their costs into the Innovation Funding Service as part of the application. Your project can include partners that do not receive any of this competition’s funding, for example non-UK businesses or an end user. 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 of your 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. 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 within this competition Any UK registered SME can lead on one application and collaborate in a further 2 applications. Any non-leading UK registered business can collaborate in up to 3 applications. All other organisations can collaborate on any number of applications.


Inovasi helps companies to innovate with innovation incentives: R&D, Tax Credits, The Patent Box Scheme, and Funding. Inovasi aims to save you time, so you can focus on the core of your business, we offer expert advice, you can rest easy knowing your claim has been strictly adhered to HMRC legislation, reducing the chance of an inquiry, maximise all aspects of your innovation process, experienced, up to date on the latest guidance and changes related to grants.


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