The Future 
of Air Mobility
Accelerator 2023-24

Applications Close midnight 25 October 2023 (early scoring from 23 October) 

Apply NowApplications are now closed

Rewatch the programme application support webinar here

The webinar covered the journey of the programme to date, presentations from partners and information on the challenges that have been set, alongside supporting information on the overall programme vision and guidance on the application process.

About the Programme

Apply to the Future of Air Mobility Accelerator programme and receive approximately £25K funding to push the boundaries of your technology!

The Future of Air Mobility Accelerator (FoAM) is a challenge-led, 6-month accelerator programme powered by Connected Places Catapult and in partnership with the Future Flight Challenge from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) which is delivered by Innovate UK. The Catapult will select up to eight SMEs to join the programme where they will have the opportunity to access approximately £25K funding and support from a consortium of industry, government, academic and regulatory partners on the trialing and testing of their disruptive innovations. Through a focus on new and emerging challenges within the aviation ecosystem, FoAM will work alongside these partners to ensure that the programme tackles significant sector challenges and de-risks innovation in the marketplace.

Alongside the trialling of their solutions, the SMEs will be guided through a bespoke coaching programme tailored to their requirements, including investment readiness, technology and product development support, as well as introductions to aviation stakeholders and potential customers. These activities will be co-designed with the cohort of SMEs to support them in growing their businesses and adapting their propositions to the partners’ requirements.  

Please note that funding is not guaranteed and will be reviewed on a project-by-project basis by the programme.

Terms and ConditionsApplication Guidance


Funding Opportunities

The opportunity to access approximately £25K funding for the testing and trialling of live demonstrations

Coaching and Mentoring

Including pitch coaching, business support and VC support

Business Development

Business development opportunities and introduction to potential customers

Technical Support

Technical support and access to technical experts

Investment Support

Tailored investment readiness programme, with support from investment coaches

Solution Showcase

Demonstration Day to investors, industry and potential customers

Programme Challenges

#1 Integration of Future Air Mobility

  • Integration of future air mobility and infrastructure into existing transport networks
  • Infrastructure construction modelling for future air mobility transportation hubs
  • Developing integrated and collaborative airspace management with hybrid connectivity capabilities
  • Understanding the effects of micro-weather systems on future air mobility operations
  • Monitoring and understanding the societal perceptions of advancements in air mobility
  • Integration of cyber secure systems as part of operations or passenger experience within future vertiports

    #3 Future Airport Security Operations

    • Improving the throughput of passenger processing and monitoring of hand luggage in terminals through automated and non-intrusive security
    • Automated detection of prohibited items at beyond human capability
    • Enabling centralised and multi-stakeholder integrated security operations
    • Maximising security checkpoint uptime through smart monitoring and maintenance of critical components

    traffic management on motorway with cones, signs and queueing traffic

    #2 Future Airport & Vertiport Operations

    • Seamless self-serve passenger management and processing experience
    • Enabling the operational integration of future air mobility alongside existing aviation at airports and droneports
    • Integrated autonomous airside ground vehicle operations, traffic management and vehicle-to-vehicle communications
    • Data-enabled autonomous airside operations, optimising aircraft movement, ground handling and refuelling to reduce emissions

    #4 Decarbonising Future Air Mobility

    • Energy demand modelling and management for airports and vertiports of the future
    • Greenhouse gas emission monitoring, analysis and reduction in aviation
    • Demand modelling, storage and scaling of green fuels and energy at airports and vertiports
    • Growing aviation’s circular economy with the aim of extending aircraft and component end of life to reduce the demand for new products and materials

    #5 Inclusive Passenger Accessibility

    • Integrated airline and airport passenger operations for passengers who require assistance
    • New approaches to wayfinding and navigation for passengers of varying needs
    • Improving communication and information access for impaired passengers
    • Enhancing inclusivity and accessibility of facilities, services and processing of passenger who require assistance

    Key Dates

    28 Sep

    Applications Open

    11 Oct

    Application Support Webinar

    23 Oct

    Scoring Begins

    25 Oct

    Applications Close

    6 & 7 Nov

    Technical Due Diligence Interviews 

    8 & 9 Nov

    Final Interviews

    4 Dec

    Welcome Event 


    Showcase Event


    Am I eligible for this programme?

    • Your innovative solution will preferably be at least TRL 6
    • You must be able to address one or more of the sub-challenge statements with your solution
    • You must be a UK registered company*
    • You must be a micro or small to medium sized enterprise (<250 employees)
    • You must be willing to complete a development, testing or demonstration of your solution in a real or relevant environment
    • You must be willing to travel on occasion to face-to-face meetings and events

    *This is a requirement in order to unlock trial funding

    Previous Successes

    In 2021, Connected Places Catapult and the UKRI Future Flight Challenge launched the first Future of Air Mobility Accelerator, embarking on a journey to demonstrate not only the art of the possible for new aviation technologies but how, by collaborating across the industry, we can test, validate and accelerate these technologies to market successfully.  The funded trials, together with the mentorship provided, supported the cohort in raising over £5.5 million in investment, securing over £6 million in grant funding, gaining new commercial clients and creating over 65 new jobs.

    Last year the Catapult and UKRI Future Flight Challenge ran the second iteration of the programme,  leveraging grant and commercial funding to deliver 10 high-impact trials. Alongside these trials, the cohort gained access to bespoke business and commercial support and tailored networking events. Connected Places Catapult and UKRI are excited to run the accelerator for a third year.

    "The Future Flight challenge is all about advancing aviation technologies and encouraging their spread into society. Around 80% of our funding has been given to SMEs and we recognise how vital they are to the growth of the UK aviation industry. I have no doubt that the innovative ideas produced by these SMEs, addressing issues across data driven aviation, smart airports and advanced air mobility will help shape a new era of flight in the UK"

    Simon Masters, Deputy Director, UKRI Future Flight Challenge

    "The level of support and the customised nature of [the accelerator] exceeded my expectations. Similarly, I wasn't aware about how closely I would end up working with the partner companies and again that exceeded my expectations too."

    Gary Kendall, Director at CDO2

    Programme Team

    If you have any question about the programme, please reach out to the team below:

    Natasha Giroux

    Accelerator Programme Manager
    Connected Places Catapult