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Transport funding round-up

Posted on 16/08/2019

Find out about the latest funding calls which are relevant to the Transport sectors. Last updated 22nd November 2019.

To make it easier to navigate the funding landscape KTN has pulled together some of the latest open relevant funding calls for the transport sector.  Find out more details about each below, or if you wish to find out more about further funding opportunities then please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our Transport team.

NATEP: helping SMEs innovate in aerospace, autumn 2019

Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, is working with the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to invest up to £10m in aerospace innovation projects as part of the ATI Programme.


Proposals must align with the priorities stated in the UK Aerospace technology strategy, Raising Ambition. ATI will add new themes to the strategy in November 2019 before the competition closes. Projects which address the new themes will also be eligible for funding. Current priorities (as of Oct 2019) are:

  • aircraft of the future
  • smart, connected and more electric aircraft
  • aerostructures of the future
  • propulsion of the future


Your project’s total eligible costs must be between £100,000 and £300,000. Your project’s total grant must be less than £150,000.


More details here. Closing date: 4th Dec 2019.

Future Flight Challenge - collaboration workshop

Future Flight Challenge is a four year, £125m Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) programme. 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 three phases. Individuals can apply to attend a two-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
  • 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 two-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).

Apply by 13 November 2019.

Read more here.

Innovate UK Smart Grants

Smart is the new name for Innovate UK’s ‘Open grant funding’ programme.

Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, is investing up to £25m in the best game-changing and commercially viable innovative or disruptive ideas. All proposals must be business focused.

The current round of Smart Grants closes on 8 January 2020. Read more here.

Network Rail SBRI: railway platform end and edge technology, and gauging

1) Opportunity for businesses to apply for a share of £1.08m+VAT to develop solutions to detect and deter trespass at railway platform ends & edges.

This will support the development of a technological and/or physical solution which will detect and deter trespass onto the railway from platform ends and edges.

Whilst Network Rail are eager to embrace new forms of innovation, the solution must be scalable to suit a variety of station environments. This will be tested through trials at multiple live station environments.

Your project’s total eligible costs must be between £200,000 and £360,000, plus VAT.

Closes 22nd Jan 2020. Click here for details.


2) Innovation in automated survey processing for railway structure gauging, phase 1

Network Rail will invest up to £720,000 (plus VAT) in phase 1 of this competition. An extra £1,080,000 (plus VAT) will be available for phase 2. This will support the development of a technological demonstrator for automated structure gauging processing. The competition process is managed by Innovate UK, as part of UK Research and Innovation.

Gauging is the process through which Network Rail ensures adequate clearance between passing trains and lineside objects and features. The objective of this competition is to:

demonstrate innovations to Network Rail that will enhance the interpretation of point-cloud data
provide accurate information on the location and identity of trackside features to enable accurate gauging clearance processing

For phase 1, your project’s total eligible costs must be up to £90,000 plus VAT. Phase 1 projects must plan to start by May 2020 and end by July 2020.

Closes 22nd Jan 2020. Click here for details.

ATI programme: R&D funding for smaller business, expression of interest

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), through the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) and Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, will invest up to £8 million in research and technology projects. This is to deliver world leading aerospace technologies in the UK.

This call supports and encourages industrial investment into the aerospace sector and its supply chain, through the funding of innovative and high impact projects. These projects will demonstrate forward-looking and disruptive solutions to UK civil aerospace challenges.

Projects must start by 1 September 2020 and end by 31 September 2023. They can last between 12 and 36 months, your total eligible project costs must be between £250,000 and £1.5 million. Your project’s total grant must be between £125,000 and £750,000.

KTN will be running a briefing event in Birmingham on 2nd December, 9.30am-4pm at IET Birmingham: Austin Court, 80 Cambridge Street, Birmingham B1 2NP.

Register here to attend in person, or here to watch the event via webcast (the webcast will run from 10am-1:30pm).

The deadline is 15th Jan 2020: click here for more details.

December expression of interest: ATI programme

The Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) Programme represents a £3.9 billion joint government and industry investment to maintain and grow the UK’s competitive position in civil aerospace. This is an expression of interest competition. There are 3 stages and the whole process takes at least 6 months.

1. Expression of interest (EOI): opens monthly and is reviewed by ATI only. The current round closes on 18th December 2020.

2. Full stage application (FSA): invite only, if successful in the expression of interest stage, with proposal development on the Innovation Funding Service by applicants. Independent assessment by Innovate UK, value for money (VfM) and policy review by BEIS, and strategic assessment by ATI.

3. Final approvals by BEIS and contracting through Innovate UK.

Your proposal must prioritise areas identified within the UK Aerospace Technology Strategy, including:

  • whole aircraft design and integration
  • aerostructures
  • advanced systems
  • propulsion technologies

For funding details, click here. The current round closes on 18th December 2020.

Technology and Innovation in UK Maritime

The Department for Transport (DfT) is keen to continue to engage with industry to promote the development of technological innovation in UK maritime. For this reason, Technology and Innovation in UK Maritime Call was launched. The call will fund innovative solutions within mid TRL (TRL 3-7) to demonstrate potential applications for innovative technology or for proof of concept of new ideas in this field. £1.5M is available for competition, which is administered by MarRI-UK.

Funding awards up to £170K, with a mix of funding levels. Bids should be match funded.

Expression of interest call closes on 20th December 2019. Click here for more details.

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