How to fund aerospace innovation

Published on: 26th September 2023

Funding aerospace innovation can be a complex and costly endeavour, but it’s essential for driving progress in the industry.

Whether you are an aerospace SME, start-up, researcher, or enterprise, looking to invest in aerospace innovation, here are some strategies to consider:


How to fund aerospace innovation | WEAF1. Government Grants and Contracts

Many local governments provide grants and contracts to aerospace companies and research institutions for innovative projects.

2. Private Investment

Seek private investors, venture capitalists, or angel investors who are interested in aerospace innovation. Make sure to have a solid business plan and a compelling pitch to attract investors.

3. Corporate Partnerships

Partner with established aerospace companies. They may be interested in collaborating on research and development projects or investing in startups with promising ideas.

4. Crowdfunding

Consider using crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter or Indiegogo to raise capital for aerospace projects. This approach can help you gauge public interest while securing funds.

5. Aerospace Incubators and Accelerators

Join aerospace-specific incubators and accelerators. These programs often provide funding, mentorship, and resources to help startups grow.

6. Bank Loans and Lines of Credit

Traditional financing options like loans and lines of credit from banks can provide capital for aerospace projects. However, they may require collateral and have interest rates.

7. Grants and Competitions

Look for aerospace-related grants and innovation competitions. These can provide significant funding and recognition. Organizations like the XPRIZE Foundation often host such competitions.

8. Research and Development Tax Credits

Explore tax credits and incentives related to aerospace R&D in your region. Governments often provide tax breaks to companies engaged in innovative research.

9. Partnerships with Universities

Collaborate with universities and research institutions. They may have access to research grants, facilities, and academic expertise that can contribute to your aerospace innovation efforts.

10. Crowdsourcing and Open Innovation

Leverage the power of the crowd by crowdsourcing solutions to specific aerospace challenges. This can be a cost-effective way to generate innovative ideas.

11. International Collaboration

Consider partnering with aerospace organisations, companies, or research institutions in other countries. This can open up access to additional funding sources and expertise.

12. Strategic Alliances

Form strategic alliances with companies in complementary industries. For example, aerospace and technology companies might collaborate on projects that benefit both sectors.

13. Patent Licensing and Technology Transfer

If you have valuable aerospace technology or intellectual property, explore licensing opportunities to generate revenue.

14. Bootstrapping

If you have the capability and resources, consider self-funding your aerospace innovation initiatives. This may involve reinvesting profits from existing projects or personal savings.

15. Angel Networks and Investment Groups

Seek out aerospace-focused angel investor networks and investment groups that specialise in your industry.

16. Public-Private Partnerships

Explore opportunities to collaborate with government agencies and private entities in public-private partnerships (PPPs) to fund aerospace projects.

17. Strategic Grants and Foundations

Some philanthropic organisations and foundations provide grants and support for aerospace research and innovation, particularly in areas related to space exploration and environmental sustainability.


Remember that securing funding for aerospace innovation often requires a combination of these strategies, and it’s crucial to have a well-thought-out plan, a clear value proposition, and a dedicated team to increase your chances of success. Additionally, staying up-to-date with the latest developments in aerospace funding opportunities is essential as the landscape is ever-changing.



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