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Aerospace fund from Aerospace Cornwall

Aerospace Fund

Think your business isn’t part of the space and aerospace sectors? You might be surprised. Discover what the aerospace fund from Aerospace Cornwall has to offer.
Aerospace Cornwall is a research and development (R&D) fund that offers product and service development support for businesses contributing to the aerospace and space sectors in Cornwall.

The aerospace fund offers 50% match funding, which can be used to invest in new materials and tools, cover staff salaries, bring in external consultants, and even pay for overseas trade trips. It’s about more than just funding too. Aerospace Cornwall is a passionate team of people helping businesses understand the market they’re selling to, effectively scope out their products and services, and connect with experts across their industry.

Don’t be misled by the name either. Aerospace Cornwall supports more than just space and aerospace businesses – it supports any enterprises that can contribute to the sectors, whether that means providing components for space systems, supplying the raw materials for hardware development, or even using satellite data.

What sort of businesses does Aerospace Cornwall work with?

Aerospace Cornwall is focused on supporting AI start-ups, advanced engineering companies, and businesses that use GIS and earth observation data in their technology, as well as developers of space system components, rocket and propulsion technologies, and unmanned vehicles.

We don’t just work with businesses operating in the aerospace and space sectors; Aerospace Cornwall can fund technology and activities that have a wide range of applications across the marine, agritech, and georesources sectors in Cornwall. The fund even helps cross-sector businesses pivot their operations towards the space and aerospace sectors, offering fully funded support to gain the necessary accreditations and connections needed to operate with the space and aerospace sectors.

If you don’t work in space or aerospace, don’t worry – remember that the space and aerospace sectors cover a diverse range of applications too. AeroSpace Cornwall has already worked with many businesses that wouldn’t consider themselves the right fit, including drone deployments on farms to improve unmanned tractor performance, and offered funding for Cornish Lithium’s hyperspectral survey model.

What makes Aerospace Cornwall a compelling fund for regional, national, and international businesses?

Operating as part of the South West Aerospace Partnership – one of the world’s largest aerospace clusters – Aerospace Cornwall has access to a wealth of resources on its doorstep and connections to cover every aspect of the supply chain. From dedicated enterprise zones with exclusive tax breaks to specific support programmes for R&D funding, Aerospace Cornwall can make the introductions and do the research for you.

The region also hosts unique infrastructure like the Goonhilly Earth Station, Spaceport Cornwall, and UAV test facilities, as well as one of the UK’s five centres of excellence for satellite communications. And, by operating in a tightly connected and collaborative region, businesses have a single point of access through the AeroSpace Cornwall team to the triple helix of innovation: academia, industry, and local government. These connections make it easier for businesses to test their ideas, find the connections they need, and get their projects off the ground.

Few places in the world offer the geographical benefits of Cornwall. With uncluttered airspace and direct access to polar orbits, the region has a compelling offer for the aerospace and space sectors that can’t be found elsewhere in Europe.

How does the funding process work?

All enquiries are handled by AeroSpace Cornwall’s Business Development Manager, James, who explains the criteria, invites businesses to apply, and then scopes out the type of funding that would fit their needs. If the application is successful, Aerospace Cornwall matches an enterprise’s funds by 50%.

And the relationship with Aerospace Cornwall doesn’t end when the enterprise receives its funding. Our dedicated team works with businesses to help them exploit and commercialise their product or project – whether that means connecting the enterprise with nearby expertise or helping with export logistics.

Once the business reaches technology readiness level 6 (TRL6), which means they’re ready for private sector investment from either a venture capital or a bank, the support can end.

How long is the funding process, from application to award?

Judging eligibility can be as quick as a week, with the complete process from application to award often taking around three months. During this time, the team works hard to identify all the potential areas where the business’s project could have an impact, and works with the business to ensure the funding is being used to its full potential.

For larger scale funding – often around £200,000 – the decision process can take up to eight weeks. This time scale is to ensure the team at Aerospace Cornwall has identified every possible link the project can have with other sectors.

Is there a time limit for the application?

The fund is running until December 2022. For businesses interested in applying to the fund we encourage all applications to be submitted by early 2022 – to ensure that your project has time to reach its full potential.

Where can I find out more about Aerospace Cornwall?

If you’re interested in becoming a part of Cornwall’s space and aerospace sectors, get in touch with us to find out more.

You can also visit the Aerospace Cornwall website to find out more about the fund and the innovative businesses it’s already helped succeed.

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