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Innovation funding round-up

Whilst pockets of the country are either reverting into lockdown or resuming day-to-day activities, plenty of funding exists for organisations looking to develop new products in a range of sectors.

More expert innovation insight

Whether in recognition of the changes the UK has seen in 2020 or of the revolutionary approach needed to meet existing ambitious targets, innovation funding is available to support ground-breaking ideas that will solve major challenges.

Food production to meet global needs

In order to increase the pace of innovation and to incorporate agri-tech in food systems, the Global Challenges Research Fund is investing £2.5 million in feasibility studies, mid-stage industrial research and late-stage experimental development projects. The following funding is available:

  • Feasibility studies between £100,00 and £500,000 that can last between 12 and 18 months
  • Mid-stage industrial projects between £250,000 and £1million that can last up to three years
  • Experimental development projects between £150,000 and £800,000 that can last up to 18 months

All projects must be collaborative, include at least one business (from either the UK or an eligible African country), include at least one partner from an eligible African country, and be intending to implement significant activity the eligible African country.

The competitions are open until 21 October and more information can be found here.

Ensuring the future of mobility for everyone

Recognising that British transport systems face many challenges and change is needed to support future sustainable growth, SBRI are offering research and development contracts to organisations looking to demonstrate the technical feasibility and field test their proposed solution. The competition is split across two phases:

  • Phase 1: research and development feasibility studies, up to £75,000 in value and lasting up to 12 weeks
  • Phase 2: prototype development and testing, between £500,000 and £1million in value and lasting up to 12 months.

Any type of organisation can apply, and projects cannot be collaborative. More information can be found here.

Supporting equality in innovation

In an effort to find women with exciting, ambitious and inspiring ideas, Innovate UK have allocated £500,000 to invest in ten projects (up to £50,000 per project) and provide a bespoke package of mentoring, coaching and business support. Applicants must be confident that they can make a significant contribution to a pressing societal, environmental or economic challenge. The competition will consist of an application phase, followed by an interview for those short-listed.

More information can be found here.

Successful applicants will have access to world-leading facilities and will be provided with business mentors and Women in Innovation ambassadors to support ongoing business growth and innovation.

Decarbonising industry and improving efficient use of energy

To develop either an energy-efficient or deep decarbonisation project, businesses with standard industrial classification codes can apply for a share of £30million for two types of project:

  1. Deployment of energy efficiency technologies in industry: total grant funding must be at least £250,000
  2. Studies that focus on energy efficiency and decarbonisation: total project costs must be at least £100,000 (for experimental development) or £60,000 (for feasibility studies)

To lead or work along, organisations must be registered in England, Wales or Northern Ireland and cannot be undertaking in difficulty.

More information can be found here.

Combatting COVID-19 impact on shortage of funds

For SMEs and third sector organisations who are in the process of completing a live project or have a new project that follows on from one completed in the 36 months, Innovate UK is offering up to £210 million in loans. These loans are meant for highly innovative late stage projects with a clear route to commercialisation and economic impact.

Loans can range from £250,000 to £1.6million and businesses must be able to show that they are facing a sudden shortage or unavailability of funds, butt can cover interest payments and will be ablet to repay the loan on time.

More information can be found here.


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