MOD Partners with Aerospace Xelerated to Support Startups Using Autonomy and AI to Meet Aerospace Challenges



  • The Department of Defense, through the Defense and Security Accelerator (DASA), has joined Aerospace Xelerated as a new program partner.
  • Led by The Boeing Company, Aerospace Xelerated, formerly known as ATI Boeing Accelerator, will invest in world-class startups solving challenges in the aerospace industry, from autonomous navigation to workload reduction.
  • Successful startups will benefit from a £ 100,000 equity investment from Boeing, an additional £ 100,000 in program benefits, access to future program partners, investors and more.
  • Due to the new partnership, the application deadline has been extended to 12:00 p.m. BST on October 8, 2021.

London, UK. September 24, 2021: Aerospace Xelerated today announced MOD’s membership as a program partner. Applications are currently open for its third cohort, with the program being led by industrial partner Boeing.

DASA finds and funds innovation to support UK national security quickly and effectively, and to support UK prosperity. On behalf of the MOD, DASA will support startups by providing information and access to frontline orders, aligning them with the MOD’s focus on national security and innovation priorities.

“The MOD wants to understand how early engagement between start-ups and the MOD in programs like this can lead to better results for Defense and for the companies involved. By partnering with Aerospace Xelerated and helping companies understand Defense needs and opportunities, we hope to accelerate our own learning as well as theirs. “

Nichola Bates, Managing Partner at Aerospace Xelerated and Head of Global Accelerators and Innovation Programs at Boeing commented:

“As a program, we have already had the chance to work with the DASA team as mentors and experts, and I am delighted that they have joined us as MOD’s Partnership Manager during our third year. They not only bring their expertise to our cohort, but also provide access to broader MOD capabilities. There is a great opportunity for startups applying to our program to learn from the team and make valuable connections that will make a difference for their businesses. So far we have received applications from all over the world and we encourage startups to apply early before they close on October 8th! “

Aerospace Xelerated will invest in startups creating autonomous and AI solutions that advance the way aircraft are built, from the factory to passenger travel.

The previous two cohorts have raised £ 20million in additional funding and created more than 100 jobs across the UK. Organizations that will work with previous cohorts as partners or mentors include GKN Aerospace, Rolls-Royce, PWC, Chevron Technology Ventures, and EasyJet. Other program partners will be announced in the coming weeks.

Startups accepted into the program will benefit from an optional £ 100,000 equity investment from Boeing. They will also have access to industry strategists and technical experts and support to develop proof of concept opportunities.

Through Aerospace Xelerated, startups will be introduced to a network of angel investors, venture capitalists and the broader aerospace industry, throughout the 12-week program and broader ecosystem events. Successful businesses will also benefit from mentorship from a global network of experienced entrepreneurs, mentors and investors, as well as over £ 100,000 in program benefits from partners including Google startup vendors, Amazon, Stripe, Digital Ocean and many more.

Aerospace Xelerated is looking for startups in the following fields; autonomy guaranteed; autonomous navigation; generative design; intelligent maintenance; adaptive learning; reduced workload and aerospace AI applications. Businesses need to be in a late start-up phase, use only software, and work with AI or stand-alone technology.

For more information and to apply, go to


Notes to Editors

Key dates:

  • October 8, 2021: closing of applications
  • January – March 2022: Program to be carried out

Press kit: available here Twitter: @aeroxelated

Press contact: Cathy White, CEW Communications for Aero Xelerated [email protected] +44 (0) 7791232834

Renata Miranda, AI Communications for Aero Xelerated [email protected] +44 (0) 7427068934

Key themes of the program Startups working in the following sectors are invited to apply:

Autonomy guaranteed

  • Develop technologies to ensure safe operation of autonomous flight functionality, including, but not limited to AI / ML functions, on autonomous vehicles.
  • Assurance technologies include design techniques for more robust neural networks, run-time monitoring, and tools for creating assurance cases to provide evidence of system security to certification authorities.

Autonomous navigation

  • AI applied to autonomous navigation using perception algorithm solutions for unmanned / unmanned / driverless environments.

Generative design

  • AI applied to generative design to explore all possible permutations of a solution, learning from each iteration to quickly generate design alternatives.

Smart maintenance

  • AI applied to predictive analysis of maintenance data to develop intelligent maintenance solutions.

Adaptive learning

  • AI applied to predictive and prescriptive analysis for the training of learners according to their role and their performance history. Learners have a diverse set of skills, abilities and experiences and include pilots and mechanics.

Reduced workload

  • Flight automation technologies that reduce crew workload by providing robustness and reliability to automate routine flight tasks
  • (Non-public: Cognitive, physical, on-board processing)

New aerospace AI applications

  • AI applied to aerospace applications other than those described here

Selection criteria:

  • Late seed stage
  • Software
  • Traction stage with Proof of Concepts or contracts already in place
  • Not necessarily already in the aerospace sector
  • Work on AI or autonomy

Startups can apply here.

Quotes from previous cohort members:

Andre Wegner, Founder and CEO, Authentise

“We’ve had some really committed corporate mentors, as well as people from the industry lobbies and of course the Accelerator team itself. Several of them have gone beyond their duty and will remain on important sounding boards for a long time. “

Veera Johnson, co-founder, Circulor

“The biggest highlight is the introduction of direct leads and our conversations within GKN Aerospace and Boeing. We also gained new knowledge on how to consider investment options. There were some great sessions that reminded us of what good teams look like and on that note there are lots of activities going on around the program such as team social activities and ongoing support from cohorts after the end of the program. 12 week program.

“It has been great to showcase some of our personal contacts to the accelerator for the benefit of the wider ecosystem. I haven’t seen a program in the past 4-5 years that looks like this and we want to show our contacts, especially the government, that this is what good looks like.

Andy Hakes, Founder and CEO, AireXpert

“When we started the program, we knew there were a number of lingering issues for us across the business – from finance and investments, to product, to marketing and so on. It became very evident, very quickly, that the program team understood these challenges. from the perspective of the entrepreneur and start-ups. This was reflected in the quality and quantity of people they brought in to help us solve these challenges. All of the content in the program has been extremely helpful in guiding us through these issues. Coming off the accelerator we were in a much better position to raise capital, the energy level around what we do has increased dramatically in a short time and most importantly, we feel that we have a good grasp of the challenges we are facing. were faced pre-program.

Gianmaria Bullegas, co-founder and CEO, Perpetual Labs

“In addition to Boeing’s pre-seed investment, the accelerator has been great in providing the industrial connections we needed. As an industry-specific acceleration program with industry sponsors, we had the opportunity to learn from aerospace experts and explore collaborative product development projects with Boeing and GKN Aerospace.

Dr John Waite, Co-Founder and CEO, Phycobloom

“The program team can turn good companies into big companies. If it’s not acceleration, I don’t know what it is. They brought in mentors and expertise – to help develop the culture, strategy, hiring plans, etc. – which have made our company a more pleasant place to work, as well as a more productive and prosperous company. The advice given by the program team was truly top notch.

About Boeing

As a world leader in aerospace, Boeing develops, manufactures and services commercial aircraft, defense products and space systems for customers in more than 150 countries. As America’s leading exporter, the company leverages the talents of a global supplier base to advance economic opportunity, sustainability and community impact. Boeing’s diverse team is committed to innovating for the future and living the company’s core values ​​of safety, quality and integrity. Learn more at

About DASA

DASA finds and funds actionable innovations to support UK defense and security quickly and efficiently, and to support UK prosperity. Our vision is for the UK to have a strategic advantage with the world’s most innovative defense and security capabilities. We do this by welcoming the ideas of innovators, young and old, by providing support to those who have never worked with government.



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