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The CDTI presents in Andalusia the call 2023 of the Aeronautical Technology Plan, with more than 40 million euros in grants

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More than 100 people attended last 7th March the presentation in Andalusia of the awaited call 2023 of the Aeronautics Technology Plan (PTA) of the Ministry of Science and Innovation and managed by the CDTI, which has a budget of more than 40 million euros for grants. The event, face-to-face and virtual, has been organised in collaboration with CTA, the IDEA Agency, Andalucía Aerospace, Aerópolis and the CDTI.

The CDTI announced at the meeting the imminent opening of the call for proposals at the end of this week or early next week and that it will remain open for a couple of months. As a novelty with respect to previous calls, the minimum budget threshold of the projects that can be submitted will be lowered to facilitate their implementation within the deadlines required by the Next Generation EU programme.

The event was welcomed by the director of Space, Large Installations and Dual Programmes of the CDTI, Juan Carlos Cortés; the director of Andalucía Aerospace, Juan Román Gallego; the director of Strategic Investments of Agencia Idea, Fernando Ferrero; and the president of CTA (Technological Corporation of Andalusia), Beltrán Pérez. At the event, which was led by the head of the Production Processes and Aerospace sector of CTA, Silvia de los Santos, the success stories of projects funded in the 2022 call of the PTA of Airbus Defence and Space, Airbus Helicopters, Titania and CATEC were presented.

The president of CTA underlined the strategic importance of the aeronautical industry, due to its efforts in R&D, its export capacity and the generation of qualified employment, and recalled CTA’s support for innovative companies in the sector. For his part, the managing director of Andalucía Aerospace, Juan Román, stressed the need for the PTA as an instrument for companies, stressing the need to improve the entry requirements for both SMEs and microenterprises.

Details of the call

The 2023 call was presented by José María Pérez, from the Department of Large Installations and Dual Programmes of the CDTI, who explained that it will be open for a couple of months from the end of this week or early next week and that it has a budget of more than 40 million euros. He indicated that Andalusia has been the third Spanish region with the highest participation so far in the PTA, with a participation of 11% in the 2021 call and 14% in the 2022 call.

Pérez explained that the new PTA call will once again finance business R&D projects in cooperation with competitive grants and its main objective is to support strategic R&D projects in aeronautical technologies. It is a programme to support the Spanish aeronautical sector in order to turn the current crisis, derived from the pandemic, into an opportunity to increase the positioning of Spanish companies. He pointed out that the air traffic situation is encouraging, but still with uncertainties and is not expected to reach the pre-pandemic level until 2024.

The PTA’s objectives include increasing Spanish participation in the most profitable commercial aircraft programmes, positioning itself adequately in the new technologies for decarbonising aviation, positioning Spanish industry in UAS, diversifying and integrating capabilities throughout the value chain: Manufacturers, Tier-1, SMEs, Technology Centres, OPIS, and Universities.

The projects must be presented around 4 technological challenges in disruptive technologies that facilitate industrial positioning in key areas: efficiency and zero-emission aircraft, UAS, systems and, finally, intelligent and advanced manufacturing (digitalisation). In the 2022 call, 19 proposals were approved, mobilising almost 127 million euros, with a grant of 78.3 million euros.

Drawing on lessons learned from previous calls, Pérez offered a number of recommendations to applicants, such as, for example, to take into account the importance of environmental impact in the evaluation and the mandatory submission of DNSH.

He also advised to take special care in the formation of consortia (watch out for companies in crisis, accounts in the commercial register and payment to suppliers), as well as subcontracting, which should have three bids or a technical report justifying the need for a contract. He also recommended drafting proposals clearly and justifying all points, taking special care to correctly define R&D activities.

Source: Andalucía Aerospace