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FlyZero Q&A

Answers to some of the questions asked during the recent FlyZero webinar

By ATI Comms

24 August 2020 04:30:PM
Read time: 2 mins

Our thanks to the many of you who attended the FlyZero webinar, and to those who have watched the recording subsequently (which can be accessed here). There were too many questions to answer during the webinar, so we have compiled some of the unanswered questions and provided answers in this blog post. Keep checking the ATI web site for more updates on FlyZero.

 

General

Is this the ATI going into business in the absence of a UK aircraft manufacturer?

No. The ATI has a very clear mission: to promote transformative technology in air transport, create a technology strategy for UK aerospace and fund world-class research and development. The FlyZero project will directly support that mission by setting out independent conclusions on the sustainability of aviation and ensure the UK is at the forefront of the associated technology development. The findings will be shared openly with UK aerospace and, after the project completes, secondees will return to their parent organisations with valuable additional experience.

SME/startup companies do not have additional resource available to simply second key personnel without significant business impact. How can they be involved?

The ATI recognises that there will be some business impact for all organisations and academic institutions seconding employees into the FlyZero project. However, we feel that every organisation participating in the project will gain significant value.

 

Governance

How can companies register interest for review board participation and what is the time involved in review board activities?

Any company, academic institution or individual wishing to express an interest in review board participation should contact flyzero@ati.org.uk stating the named individual (where applicable), which review board they wish to join and their relevant experience. Membership of the review boards will be selected by the same selection panel used in the recruitment process.

• Is the Contribution Agreement available to download?

The Contribution Agreement will be made available as part of the recruitment process which will start soon. In order to gain access to the recruitment portal companies must sign the ATI’s Framework Agreement which is available on the ATI website.

Location

Where will the office be based?

The project’s leadership will have some flexibility over office locations and how to best support the work. This includes potential for more than one office to improve convenience of access. Options are currently being explored by the ATI. We are also working hard to ensure we have an IT solution that supports collaborative remote working.

How much travel is expected?

We expect full-time secondees to work together in the office for a minimum of 3 days per week (pending any Covid-19 restrictions). Risk assessments and local procedures will be put in place for all FlyZero office locations. Travel to other office locations and sites is likely to be required, though the frequency will be variable depending on role.

 

Secondment/recruitment

Do secondees have to belong to an organisation? Or can individuals be directly employed by the ATI on fixed-term contracts?

Primarily we are looking for secondees from UK-based organisations. A limited number of roles will be directly employed via fixed-term contracts and these will be specified with the job advert. The ATI will consider the use of direct contracting where necessary to support the project deliverables if secondment is not an option.

Is there an opportunity for part-time secondment or other types of support (e.g. like PDES Inc / Catapult in-kind contributions)?

Most positions in the team are intended to be full-time. However, a limited number of roles may require, or be able to accommodate, a part-time basis.

How will the project ensure a good spread across regions and engage with Devolved Administrations, LEPs and local partners?

The ATI is actively engaging with stakeholders across the whole of the UK. The aim is to select the best team for the project, regardless of location. Travel expenses will be covered as part of the project.

How will you ensure that the FlyZero team is diverse not just professionally, but in terms of gender, ethnicity and backgrounds etc.?

We intend to assemble a high-performing and diverse team. In our view, the best way to achieve this is to ensure we have a wide range of applications and we are working hard to disseminate the information on the project via multiple channels. It is the role of a selection panel to oversee the overall project team composition and look at important issues including diversity.

Is there a role for those who have retired, or work experience for engineering students?

We welcome applications from anyone in the UK who has skills that could contribute to the delivery of the project objectives. At this stage there are no plans to offer work experience for engineering students in the FlyZero project.

Do organisations participating in the secondment programme have to be UK based?

The rules are the same as the other ATI funding programmes. Secondees and organisations participating in the FlyZero project must be UK-based.

Is there a guide to the level of seniority / experience envisaged for each role?

As part of the recruitment process outlined in the webinar, registered companies will be sent a link to the FlyZero jobs board. There will be a role description and key experience criteria against each role. We are looking for secondees that bring high levels of expertise, experience and energy to the project. This can include people in early stages of their career if they demonstrate their ability to impact to the project.

Is there the potential to bring in some pilots that have been furloughed/made redundant to get valuable flight operations insight?

The ATI recognises the importance of operations in the FlyZero project. This includes flight operations, ground operations and associated regulation. We expect and have provisioned for the project to bring in people to look at these aspects.

 

Salary

Who will pay for secondees?

The FlyZero project will fund direct costs (gross salary, national insurance and expenses) for individuals seconded into the project. These costs will be claimed in arrears by the parent organisation.

What if the right individual is currently on higher salary than what might be associated with a particular role under this project?

The objective is clear – to assemble the best team to deliver the project. If necessary, we will review positions on a case-by-case basis. The project team have the flexibility to alter resourcing within budget.

 

Technology

What type of aircraft is the study focused on? Does 'zero carbon commercial aircraft' rule out regional and smaller aircraft? Should the main challenge be finding a zero carbon alternative to kerosene?

The aim of FlyZero is to accelerate the adoption of more sustainable technology solutions and achieve zero-carbon commercial flight by the end of the decade. We want to identify the zero-carbon technology solutions that can bring the largest impact to reducing overall aviation emissions in support of the UK Government’s 2050 net-zero objective. We are not pre-judging what that solution will look like as we want the team to be able to consider all options without bias.

Will the key issues consider the certification needs and challenges?

The project will consider certification as part of the activity, though it is inevitable there will be further certification or standards work to do following the 12-month project based on the outputs.

Is there a role for novel/emerging processes/methods- e.g. Model-Centric, digital validation, AI/ML enabling multi-domain/party digital collaboration?

We are actively looking to employ novel and innovative methods as part of the project. However, as the project is only 12 months in duration, the intent is to use existing tools where possible.

Will FlyZero also consider the required associated operational infrastructure?

The FlyZero project will consider some aspects of operational infrastructure. However, there are other UK initiatives looking at some of these areas such as the Future Flight Challenge. The FlyZero project will work with these other UK initiatives rather than duplicating effort.

Will you be looking at studies globally or just in the UK?

Aerospace is a global industry, operating in a global market. The study will be based in the UK but consider the global market opportunity.

 

IPR

Treatment of participants' Intellectual Property Rights and protection of concepts devised in the project are both key issues. How do you propose doing this?

The FlyZero project has a comprehensive IP Framework that regulates the use of background intellectual property and manages the arising foreground IP. The ATI is aware of the need to protect the participants’ IPR and has put in place a secure process to handle this data in coordination with the owners and outside of FlyZero, prior to its use by the project. Arising foreground IP will be owned by the ATI.

There is no obligation to contribute background IP when seconding to the project. However, we believe it is in the best interests of the industry, for participating organisations to contribute to the effort as much as possible and therefore we have created a framework by which this can be done fairly. This Contribution Agreement will be the same for all participating organisations.

If participants already have ideas that might qualify for patent application, how is the IPR for those ideas managed if considered in FlyZero?

Participants are invited to contribute with background intellectual property. The treatment and handling of all background IPR from participant organisations will be done in accordance with the FlyZero IP Framework. Depending on the sensitivity of the data and patent stage, different approaches can be adopted – we suggest discussing specific cases with the ATI. Any commercially sensitive data owned by participant organisations will be securely handled by the ATI in coordination with the owning organisation and outside of FlyZero, prior to its use by the project.

Will any IP be generated?

Yes.

What is the output? Academic papers, or IP?

The primary aim is to create validated strategic technical and industrial roadmaps for zero-carbon commercial aircraft and disseminate these publicly. The approach to doing this will generate IP that the ATI will hold.