Innovative Midlands aerospace companies receive funding boost

Bristol's CFMS joins Airbus in bid to reduce environmental impact of the aerospace industry

Substantial innovation grants and expert support packages have been awarded to 11 companies in the latest wave of support from the £20m pioneering Aerospace UP programme. The programme is designed to help small Midlands companies develop new technologies and solutions to help make flying greener as well as enhance productivity or improve delivery performance.

The awards were announced this week at the Farnborough International Airshow where the Midlands aerospace cluster – one of the largest in the world – has been gathering to showcase the latest products, services, technologies and capabilities to a global audience. It was a true celebration of the innovative potential the Midlands offers the world.

The Aerospace UP programme, which runs until summer 2023, is being delivered by the University of Nottingham and the Midlands Aerospace Alliance (MAA), supported by the European Regional Development Fund and the Midlands Engine. In addition to grants –which can be valued at £1,000 to £100,000 per eligible company – new ideas and advice from university or MAA experts are giving businesses a competitive advantage.

The pioneering SMEs selected for support from Aerospace UP in this latest round will be working hard to reduce the weight of aircraft to lessen emissions, develop sustainable fuels, create new products, make processes more efficient, open up new markets and more.

“We are proud to award grants to these great companies following an extensive evaluation process which highlighted the excellent solutions each one of these projects offers the aerospace industry. This is a pivotal time not only for regrowth but as the pressure to make flying greener becomes more important than ever,” said Andrew Mair, Chief Executive, Midlands Aerospace Alliance. “The supply chain provides the critical foundation for driving innovation at deep levels and ensuring the industry can thrive into the future.”

“It is with great pleasure that we are able to support industry through the Aerospace UP programme, where we are leading the way in translating our pioneering research on NetZero Aviation into real world applications by supporting the aerospace supply chain to create innovation capacity,” said Professor Patrick Wheeler, Global Director of the Institute for Aerospace Technology, University of Nottingham. “In addition to the innovation grants that we can process quickly and efficiently through a rigorous well-managed process, we are able to provide access to the knowledge, skills and facilities we have available through our Institute for Aerospace Technology, delivering to the levelling up agenda through this excellent initiative in partnership with the Midlands Aerospace Alliance. I therefore urge eligible organisations to get in touch with our outstanding team during the week to take advantage of this opportunity.”

Visitors to the Aeropsace UP team at Farnborough Airshow this week can not only discover more about these exciting projects but also find out if they could be eligible for innovation grants of up to £100,000, which are still available for Midlands SMEs operating in the aerospace sector or considering entering it. Companies can find out if they are eligible for support within 48 hours and have their application fast tracked for approval within days or weeks.

The Aerospace UP team will be available at the show from until Friday 22nd July on the Midlands Aerospace Alliance’s stand: 1320 in the UK Pavilion, Hall 1.