H2020: still vital for UK aerospace
Joe Matusiak, our Grants Manager at ABGI UK, explains why access to the EU’s Horizon 2020 (H2020) scheme remains vital for the UK aerospace sector.
12 February 2021
The UK’s departure from the EU may have been formally completed but negotiations on important matters, including involvement in grant funding programmes, continue at pace. With a last minute Brexit deal secured, many innovative UK businesses are now seeking clarity on how grant accessibility might be affected, particularly within the aerospace sector which has a long tradition of innovation and collaboration with other firms from across the EU and beyond.
When he announced the post-Brexit EU trade deal, Boris Johnson claimed it would deliver certainty for the UK research and development community, enabling continued collaboration on cross-border projects. Speaking in December when the 11th hour UK/EU deal was concluded, the Prime Minister outlined his vision on future UK collaboration saying: “although we want the UK to be a science superpower, we also want to be a collaborative science superpower.”
While British companies will want to continue working in partnership with their European counterparts, they will only be able to continue accessing grant funding through the EU’s Horizon 2020 (H2020) scheme if the UK is granted ‘associated country’ status.
This is a matter which will be determined by the progress of ongoing post-Brexit negotiations between the UK and the EU. It is an important matter for the British aerospace sector where the impact of both Brexit and the global pandemic appears to have increased the appetite for R&D funding.
Some supportive programmes are already in place to help the the UK aerospace industry, including the National Aerospace Technology Exploitation Programme (NATEP). The programme, developed by the Aerospace Growth Partnership, provides up to £300,000 in funding to SMEs to increase their capabilities to win new business across the world. It also enables aerospace businesses to reach out beyond their sector by promoting collaboration with other bodies including research and technology organisations.
NATEP is one of the four strands promoted by the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI), aimed at accelerating innovation and maintaining competitiveness within the UK aerospace sector. Working in partnership with the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and Innovate UK, the ATI promotes transformative technology across the industry by funding world-class research and development through a £3.9 billion joint government-industry programme. Its R&D portfolio consists of over 300 projects so far which are aimed at helping secure jobs, maintain skills and deliver economic benefits across the UK.
These initiatives are benefitting the UK aerospace industry but more needs to be done. In the post-Brexit climate where our economy has been ravaged by the impact of Covid-19, our Government must also ensure additional grant funding routes are accessible to innovative companies.
Article originally published on ADS Advance