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Future flight challenge: discovery workshop, phase 1

Registration is closed
Funding details
Registration opens
30 Oct 2019, 00:00
Registration closes
13 Nov 2019, 00:00
13 Nov 2019, 00:00
Innovate UK will cover the costs to attend the event. Grant funding for projects will be available for future phases - £5m-£20m per project.
Innovate UK

Future Flight Challenge (FFC) is a 4 year, £125 million Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) programme. Individuals and consortia can apply responding to 6 ‘problem statements’ challenging the aviation industry of the future.

The aim of the programme is to:

  • demonstrate innovative ways to enable greener flight in a publicly acceptable manner leading to reduced carbon footprint for aviation
  • investigate and create new services and ways to travel
  • increase mobility
  • improve connectivity
  • alleviate congestion

This is the first of 3 phases. Individuals can apply to attend a 2 day discovery workshop and work with other people and organisations from both within and outside of the aviation sector. No grant funding is available in this phase, but we will cover the costs to attend the event. Grant funding for projects will be available for future phases, when we will ask you to apply with a detailed project proposal.

You can apply for future phases of this competition even if you do not attend the discovery workshop.

Discovery workshop participants

You must:

  • be willing to engage in collaborative activities
  • be available to attend the discovery workshop on 4 to 5 Feb 2020 in Birmingham (venue to be announced in the next few weeks)
  • have an open, engaging, flexible, imaginative and creative outlook
  • be able to develop new and highly original innovative ideas
  • be able to work constructively with people of diverse disciplines

We are looking for people from a broad range of disciplines and backgrounds. We want to introduce people who may not normally work together and ensure there is a range of expertise to cover the scope of the challenge. We will also be considering equality, inclusion and the diversity of participants.

The discovery workshop is especially suited to individuals and organisations who:

  • can step outside their own area of expertise or interest
  • are driven
  • enjoy creative activity
  • can think innovatively

The 2 day event is an intensive setting where you will be expected to develop potentially new approaches with individuals and organisations that you may not have worked with previously.

Your organisation must be a UK registered business of any size or a research and technology organisation (RTO).

Innovate UK will pay your residential and subsistence costs for the discovery workshop, excluding alcohol. You will pay your travel costs to and from the event.

You will not be paid for attending the discovery workshop or for the development of your proposal.

Up to £125 million is available to fund collaborative innovation projects in future phases.

How to apply

The Future Flight Challenge will develop and demonstrate integrated aviation systems enabling the introduction of new classes of electric and/or autonomous air vehicles. These could include drones, urban air mobility vehicles or electric regional aircraft.

Your submission must briefly describe your plans and ideas for all 3 phases of the competition.

This phase is for the selection of individuals to attend the discovery workshop, at which the participants will explore the challenges and form collaborations for the future phases.

Your proposal must respond to one or more of the following problem statements suggested by the Future Flight Challenge:

Problem statement 1

The full range of drone applications is stifled by the absence of the physical and data infrastructures needed to exploit the potential of the global market.

Problem statement 2

Current air traffic management systems are not scalable. They will not cope with the change in volume of traffic, growing density, increasing diversity of airspace users and the demand for fully integrated, non-segregated airspace.

Problem statement 3

There are no clear technology, regulatory or operational paths between piloted and remotely piloted with visual line of sight (VLOS), and remotely piloted Beyond VLOS (BVLOS) and fully autonomous air vehicle operation. There is a need to develop the technologies to create these integrated systems while maintaining high levels of safety.

Problem statement 4

There is a need to move towards more electric flight by creating pathways between urban, sub-regional class vehicles, and larger aircraft, based on market driven technology.

Problem statement 5

There is a need to develop use cases and operational frameworks to enable public engagement and create market demand for the adoption of autonomous air vehicles.

Problem statement 6

There is no aviation innovation or development environment that will allow real-life demonstration and evaluation of the issues presented in the first 5 problem statements.

Your application should also cover one or more of the following specific areas:

  • digital and physical infrastructure
  • certification
  • hybrid electric and advance propulsion concept
  • societal impact especially public perception
  • AI, autonomy and situational awareness
  • modelling and simulation

To find out more, attend our briefing events:

Birmingham on 7th October – also available as webcast

Webcast on 7th October

London, 15th October

Glasgow, 22nd October

You can also discuss the challenge with our Transport team.

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