In partnership with Midlands Aerospace Alliance we are pleased to announce the launch of ‘ASSIST’

Funded through the WMCA led West Midlands Innovation Programme, in partnership with Innovate UK, UK Research and Innovation, and the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology as part of their trailblazing £100m levelling up investment into the national innovation accelerator programme.

ASSIST aims to improve the take-up of innovation funding by West Midlands based Aerospace Supply Chain SMEs.

MAA will be talking to SMEs on both sides – those who have and those who haven’t participated in national innovation funding programmes and we will use what we learn to help funders engage more effectively.

They will also develop a process to engage swiftly with Aerospace Supply Chain companies and match them to suitable funding sources, and this will be piloted with 6 West Midlands companies over the next few months.

If you’re interested in finding out more get in touch here

The Challenge:

The UK aerospace industry needs to innovate for the future; it depends on future technologies to both resolve industry challenges (high on the list is sustainability through new aircraft and manufacturing technologies) and compete on differentiation not cost with emerging market aerospace industries. Yet a significant section of industry operates outside the national aerospace innovation ecosystem, this is the ecosystem gap.

Main Objectives:

1.Piloting bringing more Group X companies in the aerospace supply chain into the national innovation ecosystem.

2.In this way unlocking the innovation potential of Group X companies to support aerospace technology needs of the future and grow economically — now.

3.Help Group X companies to strengthen innovation capabilities and be independent in their ability to take part in innovation programmes in future and advise on how to make national ecosystem more accessible to place-based companies – for the future.

Main Outcomes:

1.A piloted development process for companies through which they can be assisted in understanding their aerospace innovation potential and be matched with national funding opportunities, R&D assets and big companies most relevant to them.

2.A better understanding of the national innovation ecosystem, how it can be accessed and how it can be improved for place-based companies.

3.More WM companies participate in national innovation ecosystem programmes, with R&D assets, and collaborate with large companies already inside the ecosystem.