Funding for innovative aerospace ideas

The Government has announced a new funding programme for the UK’s small firms to develop solutions for the aerospace industry, as part of the Open Collaborative Research and Development (CR&D) competition.

The latest data suggests that the UK aerospace industry has a turnover of £35 billion and directly employs 123,000 people but to stay ahead in global markets it needs to keep innovating.

The Government is, therefore, inviting innovative firms to apply for a share in £8 million that has been set aside for CR&D projects in the aerospace industry.

Priority areas for the Government include whole aircraft design and integration, aerostructures, advanced systems and propulsion technologies. These could also involve improving whole-aircraft design and system integration or developing more efficient propulsion technologies, including large turbofans.

The CR&D programme is part of a £24 million programme to support and accelerate industry investment focused on small and medium-sized supply chain companies.

The competition is looking for high risk, high impact projects that demonstrate future-thinking and disruptive solutions to UK aerospace challenges.

Meanwhile, the National Aerospace Technology Exploitation Programme 3 (NATEP 3) is a £13.7 million programme, also aimed at small and medium-sized suppliers, is intended to help them develop innovative technologies to enhance their capabilities and increase their ability to win new business.

This programme is primarily aimed at small and medium-sized businesses that are new to R&D or are restarting R&D activity. Any businesses wanting to participate should speak to the ADS group, which represents the aerospace, defence, security and space industries in the UK.

Nigel Fry, General Practice Partner at Milsted Langdon, said: “Aerospace is a very important sector in the UK and one where the country has led the way in innovation in years gone by.

“This new funding will play a critical role in the advancement of British aerospace technologies and will be welcomed by businesses in this sector. However, to make the most of what it is on offer companies must seek out professional advice.

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