UK government releases GBP65 million to fund phase 3 of Future Flight unmanned research

Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, is investing up to GBP65 million in the next phase of Future Flight research. Projects must demonstrate integrated aviation systems and underpinning technologies that enable new classes of electric or autonomous air vehicles.

The aim of this competition is to fund projects that will deliver the 2024 vision of the Future Flight Challenge and position the UK as a leader in the third revolution of aviation. This competition will build on the success of the 2020 Phase 2 competition and will focus primarily on the demonstration aspects of these novel air vehicles and systems.

A proposal must focus on developing the enabling technologies that support the operation of drones, advanced air mobility (AAM) or sub-regional electric aircraft in a representative environment and whilst meeting a viable and challenging use case.

Projects must also support the overall objectives of the Future Flight Challenge and align with key UK Government policies on Net Zero Transport.

Project total eligible costs must be between GBP500,000 and GBP4 million.

The Future Flight Challenge is based around 3 classes of aircraft:

  1. Drones or unmanned aircraft systems (UAS)
  2. Advanced Air Mobility (AAM)
  3. Sub-regional zero-carbon aircraft

This competition is split into 2 strands. The strands are:

In Strand 2 projects must focus on developing enabling technologies and cross-cutting systems that support the deployment of these novel air vehicles in UK airspace.

UK registered businesses can apply for a share of up to GBP65 million to develop and demonstrate integrated aviation systems and new vehicle technologies. This funding is from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.

The Future Flight Challenge is a GBP300m programme in three phases that will assure the UK’s position in the third aviation revolution. Using new classes of electric or hydrogen and autonomous vehicles the challenge will transform how we connect people, deliver goods and provide services. It will speed up the acceptance of these innovative air vehicles into service safely and practically by encouraging different businesses to share their knowledge and resources to work together.

Competition opens: Monday 6 September 2021

Competition closes: Wednesday 3 November 2021 11:00am

Apply here

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