Drone – Technology Research and Innovation Grants

The Connected Places Catapult is proud to be delivering the Department for Transport’s (DfT) Drone-Technology Research and Innovation Grants (D-TRIG) Programme. 

D-TRIG will award grants of £30k to enable up to six SMEs to undertake early-stage research and development (R&D) studies on the integration of drones into UK airspace.  

D-TRIG banner image

The D-TRIG programme will build upon the foundations of the DfT’s existing Pathfinder programme through ambitious plans to give UK plc a competitive advantage. This will be achieved through the adoption of drones by promoting new markets and technology that will accelerate the delivery of near-to-market drone flight and air traffic management capabilities. ​ 

The programme will have an impact by positioning the UK as a country open to technological innovation including as a source of expertise on the use of drones in industry and the public sector. ​It will help boost development and use of drones across the UK economy.  

Why apply for D-TRIG? 

D-TRIG is designed to help innovators try out new drone technology ideas and support the best ones to reach the market. 

The DfT’s Drones Policy Team will award funding to organisations undertaking R&D into drone technology within the following themes: 

  • Onboard Detect & Avoid 
  • Autonomy 
  • Communications 
Key features of D-TRIG 
  • 100% grants for SMEs 
  • Oversight from the DfT Office for Science and Chief Scientific Advisor 
  • An assigned relevant policy contact from within the Department to help you understand how your ideas fit into Government’s priorities 
  • Follow on support from the Connected Places Catapult including the chance to enter their SME development programme 

In order to apply to the D-TRIG scheme you must be:- 

  • Based in the UK; and 
  • A business of any size 
Applying for D-TRIG 

Please apply by downloading the application form below and emailing it to drones-trig@cp.catapult.org.uk

You can find all the relevant guidance in the following documents which are all available to download by click on the links below. 

The application deadline is 31st March 2021.  


On the 15th March at 10am we held an Application Support Webinar which took potential applicants through the programme’s scope and how to apply. The webinar provided further information, offered application support and guidance and give applicants the opportunity to ask any questions they have about the programme.

To re-watch the webinar click on the video below


If you are interested in finding out more information about the grants or have any queries, please contact us by emailing drones-trig@cp.catapult.org.uk

Other drone opportunities and definitions

UK drone services and solutions – Request for Information

Demonstrating drone service & solution capabilities that are currently or imminently available for deployment in the UK.  Aimed at increasing uptake of drones across UK sectors in the very near term. It is not about funding research and development activities.

D-TRIG (definition)

100% grant funding to ascertain technical feasibility for high risk innovation projects. Aimed at bolstering R&D for small businesses, increasing their capability and capacity to prove new ideas and enter new markets.