NATEP: helping SMEs innovate in aerospace, spring 2020

Key Features

UK micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can apply for a share of up to £2.5 million for industry led civil aerospace research projects.

Programme:     ATI/Innovate UK

Award:     Share of up to £2.5 million

Opens: 4th May 2020

Closes: 17th Jun 2020

! This scheme is now closed


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

Up to £10 million will be invested in NATEP (National Aerospace Technology Exploitation Programme) for aerospace innovation projects as part of the ATI programme.

This competition is the second of 4 rounds. It is planned to open the others every 6 months. The last round is scheduled for spring 2021.


The aim of this competition is to help SMEs to develop their own innovative technologies. These should enhance their capabilities and increase their ability to win new business in the civil aerospace sector.

Your project must have a credible route to market and preferably have identified your end users.

Your project should:

  • demonstrate improvement in business productivity and competitiveness
  • show clear benefit technically
  • be able to pull through new technology or processes for use in a current or future product or manufacturing process
  • show clear benefit in creating or safeguarding jobs
  • be able to enhance capabilities within the broader aerospace industry, as well as other sectors such as advanced manufacturing

Your project must focus on one or more of the following value streams from the UK aerospace technology strategy, Accelerating Ambition (2019).

Your project must:

  • be collaborative
  • be led by a UK registered SME

It is expected that this competition will primarily fund businesses that are new to research and development (R&D) or are restarting R&D activity.
Book a 30-minute consultation

Our team are available to discuss your innovative business, your project ideas and how we can help you to write a successful application for this Grant Funding opportunity.

Use the calendar to select and book a consultation with one of our experts, at a time that’s convenient for you.


To lead a project your organisation must:

  • be a UK registered SME
  • collaborate with other UK registered businesses, research organisations, public sector organisations or charities
  • plan to carry out its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK

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

To collaborate with the lead organisation your organisation must:

  • be a UK registered business, academic institution, charity, public sector organisation or RTO
  • plan to 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 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. However, their costs will not count towards the total eligible project costs.

Funding Costs

The ATI Programme has allocated up to £2.5 million to fund innovation projects in this competition. Your project’s total eligible costs must be between £100,000 and £300,000. Your project’s total grant must be less than £150,000.

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

Projects must start by 1 November 2020 and end by 30 April 2022. They can last between 12 and 18 months.

Funding for each organisation is limited to:

  • 50% of your project’s total eligible costs for UK registered businesses (regardless of size) or research organisations undertaking economic activities for the purpose of this project
  • 80% full economic costing (FEC) for academics under the terms of Je-S
  • 100% of your project’s total eligible costs for non-profit research and technology organisations, public sector organisations and charities acting non-economically for the purpose of this project

No one project partner can claim more than 70% of the total project grant funding.


ATI are not funding:

  • projects primarily for defence, space or another industrial sector, but we will recognise dual-use technologies if the main use is in civil aerospace
  • projects that cover fundamental research
  • projects with scope outside of the UK aerospace technology strategy