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Aerospace Unlocking Potential (UP)

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What is the Business Support?

Aerospace UP is supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), which helps businesses to access funding and expertise to improve their performance through innovation in all aspects of their enterprise. As a pan-Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) project, Aerospace UP is available to SMEs in 8 Midlands LEP areas.

There are many ways in which Aerospace UP can support SMEs, and once enrolled on the Programme, the Delivery Team will work with you to tailor a package of help based around your business needs. This package may include one or more of the following:

Free access to expert support, events and workshops covering a wide range of subjects, including new technologies, process innovation, productivity improvement, business systems etc.

Student and graduate support opportunities, including internships and industrial placements.

Fully-funded support packages provided through the University’s Precision Manufacturing Centre, including consultancy on design for manufacture, access to machines and technical staff, prototyping, metrology, toolmaking etc.

Grants between £1,000 and up to £100,000 over up to 18 months for research projects to develop innovative technologies or products and services, which are new to the firm/market and/or processes that facilitate that objective.

What could it do for your company?

It is not essential to have any particular project in mind at the beginning of your engagement with the Aerospace UP Delivery Team, but it may be useful to think beforehand about the areas where the Programme might be able to provide assistance. These might include:

Ideas for new technology, business systems or processes which would help to grow your business, improve productivity, differentiate you from your competition, or give you a competitive advantage.

Ideas for greener technologies, products or processes.

Ideas to improve efficiency, reduce the cost of manufacture or lead time which would assist in business growth and increased market share.

Mapping out how your company could potentially evolve to meet future market and customer requirements.

Any quality or delivery issues, which, if solved, could lead to business growth and increased market share.

Particular problems in the manufacture of new products where the assistance of experts might be helpful.

Who runs it?

This programme is jointly delivered by the University of Nottingham and the Midlands Aerospace Alliance.

What is the grant available for?

Grants between £1,000 and up to £100,000 over up to 18 months for research projects to develop innovative technologies or products and services, which are new to the firm/market and/or processes that facilitate that objective.

Capital or Revenue or Both?

Both capital and revenue grants are available.

Percentage of project cost

In Greater Lincolnshire a grant of 52.9% is available on eligible project spend between £1,890 and £189,035. This equates to a grant of between £1,000 and £100,000. Project spend can exceed the offered grant amount but it will be capped at the agreed grant amount.

Any eligibility criteria

To access support from Aerospace UP you must be a SME (fewer than 250 employees, a turnover of less than €50 million, or a balance sheet total of less than €43 million).

Be active in, or looking to diversify into, the aerospace supply chain.

The activity funded should enable the business to develop new innovative products. 

​This grant is also available in other areas - visit the Assisted Area Maps to check which LEP area your company is based in.

How to apply for the grant?

We can only accept Expression of Interests from enrolled and eligible SMEs.

We operate a rolling call and Expression of Interests can currently be submitted at any time.

After the submission of your Expression of Interest, we will review your innovation project’s eligibility for grant funding. Successful projects will be invited to submit a Full Proposal. The Full Proposal will have to be returned within 4 weeks of afore-mentioned invitation.

Dependent on the complexity of the proposed project, representatives from the applicant may be required to make a presentation and answer questions at a panel meeting.

Please note that applicants should allow a minimum of 3 months for the progression of applications through the entire process, although each project will be different and your Aerospace UP contact will provide clearer updates on the timescales once your application has been received.

Email for an enrolment form or click here for more information.

Contact information:

University of Nottingham

Lisa Brewer


Institute for Aerospace Technology University of Nottingham B02, Aerospace Technology Centre Jubilee Campus Nottingham NG7 2TU

Additional information

Closing Date: 31/08/2022

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