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New Year 2023 SME Funding Opportunities

As we often look to our health and well-being in the New Year many of the funding calls reflect the societal ambition of lowering carbon emissions and improving public health through innovation and technology. Our first funding round-up of 2023 includes robotics and automation, industrialising net zero technology in the automotive sector, healthcare and agile ageing, as well as improved nutrition and low emission food production systems.

Made smarter innovation: industry ready robotics and automation – UKRI

UK registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £6 million for late-stage robotics and automation innovation projects. This is to develop industrially ready solutions deployable within manufacturing processes in factories.

Competition Closes 5th April


APC23: industrialising net zero automotive technology – UKRI

UK registered businesses can apply for a share of up to £20 million for late-stage research and development projects that help accelerate the UK towards a net zero automotive future.

The Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) provides funding, support, insight and foresight for the development of low emission transport solutions, and automotive technologies. It aims to support the UK’s transition towards net zero product manufacturing and supply chain in the UK automotive sector.

Closing Date 15th March


Competition overview - Biomedical Catalyst 2023 Round 1: Industry-led R&D - Innovation Funding Service

Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, will invest up to £25 million in innovation projects. These will be to support UK registered businesses develop innovative solutions to address significant health or healthcare challenges.

The aim of this industry-led R&D competition is to support the development of innovative solutions to health and healthcare challenges. The Industry-led research and development (R&D) stream of the Biomedical Catalyst programme supports pre-market R&D projects.

Competition Closes 1st March


SHAPES - support smart and healthy ‘Agile Ageing’ in the built environment - Innovate UK KTN

Individual grants of between €50,000-- and €100,000 are available to UK based SMEs for scale-up of existing products or services, or development of new solutions, designed to promote ‘Agile Ageing’ in the built environment.

Ian Spero, Founder of the Agile Ageing Alliance (AAA) partnered with SHAPES' says: “This is a rare opportunity for UK SMEs to participate in a large scale European demonstrator project. We are looking for potentially scalable solutions that empower end-users of differing abilities who have different requirements due to either ability, age or circumstance".

Closing Date 17th March


Better food for all: innovation for improved nutrition – UKRI

Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation is to invest up to £20 million across the three strands of the competition.

The aim of this competition is to support UK registered businesses in the development of innovative solutions to address significant nutrition challenges.

This competition is split into 3 strands:

Closing Date 29th March


Novel, low-emission food production systems: industrial research – UKRI

Innovate UK and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), part of UK Research and Innovation, are jointly investing £16 million in this competition through their strategic partnership. This partnership will support UK businesses to engage with and benefit from the UK’s excellent research base to grow and scale innovations.

The aim of this competition is to support the development of novel food production systems that create new sources of resource efficient, low-emission foods, particularly proteins, while delivering healthy and sustainable diets.

Closing Date 19th April


Innovation loans future economy competition: round 8 – UKRI

Innovate UK is offering up to £25 million in loans to micro, small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). Loans are for highly innovative late stage research and development (R&D) projects with the best potential for the future. There should be a clear route to commercialisation and economic impact.

Closing Date 8th March


Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP)

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) create dynamic connections between businesses and the UK’s world-class knowledge base to deliver strategic innovation projects. The KTP partnership brings new skills and the latest academic thinking into the business partner to deliver a specific, strategic innovation project.

Transforming your business Knowledge Transfer Partnerships can help your business:

  • Embed expertise, generate new knowledge, expand capability and foster a culture of innovation
  • Drive competitive advantage through accelerated innovation and the possibility of creating Intellectual Property
  • Gain privileged and cost-effective access to the UK’s world-class knowledge base and resources
  • Increase revenue through access to new markets and new product development
  • Improve profits through efficiency gains, increased productivity and better processes
  • Benefit from the strategic input of a highly experienced Knowledge Transfer Adviser and access

Closing Date: Open Call


Defence Technology Exploitation Programme (DTEP)

A £16 million programme to boost small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) defence innovation launched in July.

With the innovation of SMEs, the resources of big suppliers and initial funding from government, DTEP is designed to bring the key components together to allow pioneering projects to flourish.

The aim is to keep the UK at the forefront of defence technology, improving the capabilities available to ouThe programme is delivered by the Ministry of Defence’s Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA), working with Innovate UK.

Individual grants of up to 50% of a project’s value, to a maximum of £500,000 per grant, will be available through DTEP for collaborative projects between SMEs and larger suppliers.

The grants will support the integration of novel technologies, materials and processes into defence supply chains. The grants will support the integration of novel technologies, materials and processes into defence supply chains.

Closing Date: Open Call


Applying for grant funding can be daunting; from finding the right fund to preparing an application, support is available to you. Reach out to your Innovation Advisor today or contact the team, to find out more about how we can help you reach your innovation and business goals in 2023.

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