Aerospace Unlocking Potential (Aerospace UP) is a £20M three-year project (2020 to 2022) which aims to support the aerospace supply chain in the Midlands by helping to unlock its innovation potential. The project is being delivered by the University of Nottingham and the Midlands Aerospace Alliance. 

Aerospace UP is supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), which helps businesses to access funding and expertise to improve their performance through innovation in all aspects of their enterprise. As a pan-Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) project, Aerospace UP is available to SMEs in 8 Midlands LEP areas. 


There are many ways in which Aerospace UP can support SMEs, and once enrolled on the Programme, the Delivery Team will work with you to tailor a package of help based around your business needs. This package may include one or more of the following:

Free access to expert support, events and workshops covering a wide range of subjects, including new technologies, process innovation, productivity improvement, business systems etc.

Student and graduate support opportunities, including internships and industrial placements.

Fully-funded support packages provided through the University’s Precision Manufacturing Centre, including consultancy on design for manufacture, access to machines and technical staff, prototyping, metrology, toolmaking etc.

Grants between £1,000 and approximately £100,000 for research projects to develop innovative technologies or products and services, which are new to the firm/market and/or processes that facilitate that objective.


It is not essential to have any particular project in mind at the beginning of your engagement with the Aerospace UP Delivery Team, but it may be useful to think beforehand about the areas where the Programme might be able to provide assistance. These might include:

Ideas for new technology, business systems or processes which would help to grow your business, improve productivity, differentiate you from your competition, or give you a competitive advantage.

Ideas for greener technologies, products or processes.

Ideas to improve efficiency, reduce the cost of manufacture or lead time which would assist in business growth and increased market share.

Mapping out how your company could potentially evolve to meet future market and customer requirements.

Any quality or delivery issues, which, if solved, could lead to business growth and increased market share.

Particular problems in the manufacture of new products where the assistance of experts might be helpful.

SME Enrolment Form - If you are interested in finding out more about Aerospace Up and if you are eligible to receive support, please complete and submit the Enrolment Form to AerospaceUp@nottingham.ac.uk


After checking your company is eligible to benefit from Aerospace UP through the completion of the SME Enrolment Form, we will start your Aerospace UP journey with scoping meetings to help us better understand your business and its innovation challenges. The Delivery Team will then work closely with you to identify a package comprised of the different types of support available that is tailored to your needs.

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  1. Black Country 

  2. Coventry & Warwickshire

  3. Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham & Nottinghamshire

  4. Greater Birmingham & Solihull

  5. Greater Lincolnshire

  6. Leicester & Leicestershire

  7. South East Midlands

  8. Stoke-on-Trent & Staffordshire



To find out more about the programme and eligibility, please contact our team: