As the National Aerospace Technology Exploitation Programme (NATEP) Call 7 opens today, Jeff Taylor, NATEP Programme Director, gives an overview of the programme and opportunities which it represents.

At the Paris Air Show Richard Harrington MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for BEIS, announced an £8m injection of funding from the Aerospace Technology Institute into the National Aerospace Technology Exploitation Programme (NATEP). The programme supports companies in the aerospace supply chain to develop innovative technologies, working in collaboration with others and supported by higher tier companies. It equips them to win new business with existing customers and to diversify their customer base. As well as grant funding, the programme provides high calibre technical and management resource to help those companies accelerate the technology development towards market readiness.

Managed by ADS and supported by the regional Aerospace Alliance organisations, NATEP was first launched in 2013 as a £40m programme, supported by £23m of funding from the government’s Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative. The initial programme ends in September 2017 having supported 114 collaborative projects involving 267 companies. It has created or sustained 360 jobs to date and this number is expected to reach 1200 by 2022. The new £14.4m NATEP programme will now support up to 40 more projects until 2020, involving around 100 companies.

NATEP represents a tremendous opportunity, particularly for small and medium sized companies. By developing a supply chain with a high rate of innovation, rich in new technologies, the UK will be better able to offer the right products and services, at the right time and ahead of global competition. This will ensure that market opportunities are exploited, with high value manufacturing work retained in the UK. The initial programme has shown that it is sized and arranged to suit the needs of small supply chain companies and projects. The mentoring and support provided by NATEP helps the planning and execution of the projects and has produced many exciting and innovative products, materials and manufacturing processes that will help anchor manufacturing and high value jobs in the UK, improve productivity and competitiveness in the sector and create export opportunities. You can see these technologies featured on the NATEP website

The first call for new outline project proposals opens today. The deadline for proposals is 4 August 2017. See the NATEP website for full details.