The ATI Programme: What Funding is Available?

The Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) Programme is a £3.9 billion partnership between the ATI, Innovate UK, and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). The programme aims to grow the UK’s competitive position in civil aerospace, in order to meet the objectives of the UK Aerospace Technology Strategy, ‘Accelerating Ambition.’

Therefore, the ATI Programme offers grant funding opportunities through the following four strands:

1) The Strategic Programme

This strand comprises of 2 phases and is most suited to larger organisations who wish to access grants over £1 million. Phase 1 is an Expression of Interest competition; it opens monthly and the ATI reviews all applications. Then, if successful, the ATI invites applicants to complete a full stage Phase 2 application.

The next round of the Strategic Programme will open between the 7th December and the 23rd December. Find more information, including how to apply, here.

2) R&D Funding for Smaller Businesses

This funding stream will invest up to £8 million in research and technology projects to deliver world-leading aerospace technologies in the UK. An Expression of Interest competition opened on 9th November and will close on 6th January.

3) The National Aerospace Technology Exploitation Programme (NATEP)

In contrast to the Strategic Programme, the National Aerospace Technology Exploitation Programme (NATEP) is ideal for smaller businesses. This is because it offers a maximum £150k grant for projects. Additionally, the programme provides a high calibre technical and management resource to help companies accelerate technology development towards market readiness.

Interested SMEs should keep an eye on the NATEP website, in addition to the UKRI Funding finder, for suitable opportunities through this funding strand.

4) International Programme

Finally, the International Programme issues funding calls for joint R&D projects between the UK and other countries. The last advertised call was between the UK and Sweden in April 2020.

More Information

You can find more information on the entire ATI Programme here. Alternatively, please contact us today if you'd like to discuss an innovative aerospace project with one of our advisers.

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NATEP: helping SMEs innovate in aerospace

Innovate UK, working with the Aerospace Technology Institute and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, has announced new funding for aerospace innovation projects. From 5th October, UK registered SMEs can apply for a share of £2.5 million for industry-led civil aerospace research projects.


This competition aims to help SMEs develop their own innovative technologies, thereby enhancing their capabilities and increasing their ability to win new business in the civil aerospace sector. Eligible projects must have a potential application within the civil aerospace sector. You can find information on specific themes here. More generally, all projects must have a credible route to market and preferably have identified their end-users.

Additionally, all projects should:

  • Demonstrate improvement in business productivity and competitiveness
  • Show clear benefits technically.
  • Be able to pull through new technology or processes for use in a current or future product or manufacturing process.
  • Show clear benefits in creating or safeguarding jobs.
  • Be able to enhance capabilities within the broader aerospace industry, as well as other sectors e.g. advanced manufacturing.

Innovate UK intends to fund a portfolio of projects, across a variety of technologies, markets, and technological maturities.


Firstly, your project’s total eligible costs must be between £100,000 and £300,000. Furthermore, all projects must:

  • Be collaborative
  • Be led by a UK registered micro, small and medium-sized enterprise (SME)
  • Start by 1 May 2021 and end by 31 October 2022
  • Last between 12 and 18 months

This competition closes on 18th November 2020. You can find more information on eligibility, scope, and how to apply here. Before you start your application, check out our '5 steps to success' to ensure you write a competitive proposal.

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