A new £24million fund for collaborative research and development (R&D) projects is good news for SMEs in the aerospace sector.
The new funding opportunity was announced by Business Minister Andrew Stephenson at the Paris Airshow. And the aim is to help keep UK aerospace suppliers at the forefront of manufacturing in the country.
The announcement is of particular interest here in the North West of England. The region’s aerospace cluster is the largest in Europe and contributes more than £7bn to the UK economy, accounting for one quarter of the nation’s aerospace turnover.
This funding together with the support for training, innovation and energy saving through Boost Business Lancashire and UCLan should give business in the area an opportunity to develop, innovate and grow.
Through the programme up to £12m government funding, matched by industry, will be available as part of the Open Collaborative Research and Development (CR&D) competition, supported by the Aerospace Technology Institute Programme.
The Business Minister also announced the opening of the new round of the National Aerospace Technology Exploitation Programme (NATEP 3) to help SMEs develop innovate technology.
In his speech, Mr Stephenson said: “Innovation and R&D are crucial for the UK aerospace sector and I am delighted that we have today launched two programmes to support R&D for SMEs.
“Through our Industrial Strategy we are ensuring the UK remains a world-leader by boosting R&D activity, developing new technology and increasing the UK’s share of the growing aerospace market.”
Open Collaborative Research and Development (CR&D) is a £24m programme to support and accelerate industry investment focused on SME supply chain companies.
The competition seeks high-risk, high-impact projects that demonstrate future-thinking, revolutionary and disruptive solutions to UK aerospace challenges.
The call will open in October 2019 and potential applicants should now contact the Aerospace Technology Institute to discuss the preparation of their bids.
The National Aerospace Technology Exploitation Programme 3 (NATEP 3) is a £13.7m programme aimed at SME suppliers to help them develop their own innovative technologies to enhance their capabilities and increase their ability to win new business.
It is primarily aimed at SMEs that are new to R&D or are restarting R&D activity. The programme builds upon the successful NATEP 1 and 2 programmes.
The first call for NATEP 3 will open in September and companies looking to take part are encouraged to speak to trade organisation ADS.
Its chief executive Paul Everitt said: “Programmes like these are generating new R&D investment at every level of the industry.
“This investment is vital to boosting our international competitiveness and to developing the technologies of the future that will deliver improved fuel efficiency and significant reductions in the environmental impact of aviation worldwide.”
To discuss any aspect of funding or R&D support relating to your business please contact me on 01772 430000.