Category: Financeinvestment

UK and USA - Innovation in Global Composites Market

Under the UK Research and Innovation Funding for International Collaboration (FIC) the UK and USA are running a joint grant funding competition.

The competition will focus on collaborative research and development (CR&D) projects, which should result in a new product, industrial process or service. Projects must be innovative, involve a technological risk and target large global markets.

We welcome proposals from UK organisations who can collaborate with existing US partners in the field of composites manufacturing.

US projects are being run by the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI) and their industrial partners. These projects are already funded. Successful UK applicants are funded solely by UKRI FIC through Innovate UK.

This competition closes at midday 12pm UK time on the deadline stated.

Opens 29 May 2019

Closes 21 August 2019

To find out more click here

Detailed Designs of Smart, Local Energy Systems

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) will invest up to £30 million in revolutionary designs for local energy systems. Designs must deliver cleaner, cheaper energy services and create more prosperous and resilient communities across the UK.

This competition is part of a wider Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) programme called Prospering from the Energy Revolution (PFER).

The aim is to create a pipeline of highly innovative, ambitious and investable local energy system designs that will be ready to roll out across the UK in the 2020s. We are looking to fund a portfolio of projects, across a variety of technologies, markets, technological maturities and research categories.

This competition closes at midday 12pm UK time on the deadline stated.

Opens 7 May

Closes 7 August

To find out more click here

Innovate UK Smart Grants

Smart is the new name for Innovate UK’s ‘Open grant funding’ programme.

Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, will invest up to £25 million in the best game-changing, innovative or disruptive ideas with a view to commercialisation.

All proposals must be business focused, rather than pure research. Applications can come from any area of technology (including arts, design, media or creative industries), science or engineering and be applied to any part of the economy.

Whilst we welcome projects that overlap with the grand challenge areas, we are also keen to support projects that are entirely outside these. Working in these areas is not a requirement to be eligible.

We may share application details with other public sector co-funders if this is appropriate.

We may consider eligible project costs over £2 million (but not exceeding £3 million), subject to the process set out under ‘Eligibility’.

This competition closes at midday 12:00pm UK time on the deadline stated.

Opens 26 April

Closes 24 July

To find out more click here

Gigabit Voucher

Gigabit vouchers can be used by small businesses and the local communities surrounding them to contribute to the installation cost of a gigabit-capable connection. Businesses can claim up to £2,500 against the cost of connection either individually or as part of a group project. Residents can benefit from the scheme with a voucher worth £500 as part of a group project. 

Closing date - ongoing

To find out more click here

Interreg VA France

The France (Channel) England Programme has five Specific Objectives. If your project idea falls under one of these objectives and is in the eligible region, then please contact us with your idea to see if we can help.

Objectives are : Innovation, Social Innovation, Low Carbon Technologies, Natural and Cultural Heritage, Coastal and Transitional Water Ecosystems.

Closing date - ongoing

To find out more click here

CITB Grants

Apply for a grant or project funding, and learn how CITB supports training for the construction industry.

Closing date - ongoing

To find out more click here

Forward Enterprise Fund

The fund offers a combination of different type of support, depending on the needs of your enterprise. If successful the Forward Enterprise Fund will work with you to design a package of support to help your organisation develop and grow. Support could include a mix of:

Business Support : Pre-investment business support gives you the chance to work with specialist advisers to grow your business and become investment-ready.

Crowdfunder Support: You can get support to set up a crowdfunding campaign through Crowdfunder to raise capital for your business.

Loans: You can access loans to assist your business in its development.

Closing date - ongoing

To find out more click here

The Start-up Series: £150,000 of Equity Investment Funding

We aim to pick one business every month to receive investment from an EIS & SEIS fund.

Startups.co.uk are in partnership with experienced investment promoters Worth Capital. The series throws the doors wide open for companies to submit their applications from the 1st to the 14th of every month. From an initial simple application, businesses will be assessed through multiple stages and winners will be offered investment at a fair valuation in exchange for an equity stake in their business (subject to due diligence carried out by the Fund Manager).

Ongoing competition

To find out more click here

Goldman Sachs - 10, 000 Small Business Programme

Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses is an investment to help entrepreneurs create jobs and economic opportunity by providing greater access to education, capital and business support services. 10,000 Small Businesses is funded by Goldman Sachs and the Goldman Sachs Foundation.

Closing date - Ongoing

To find out more click here

The Creative Enterprise New Ideas Fund

The Creative Enterprise New Ideas Fund is a programme designed to help screen-based businesses move away from working project-to-project and develop more sustainable businesses.

Through the Fund, Creative England is able to offer small seed funding to sole traders, start-ups and small firms for their creative business ideas. The programme aims to support untapped talent and allow talented people to find finance for their ideas.

Investments of between £500 and £15,000 are available for emerging and new screen-based storytelling business proposals, including new business ideas, business proposals and business costs.

Date: Applications accepted on a rolling basis

To find out more click here

Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS)

Though not strictly a grant funding, we felt SEIS was very relevant to add to this list. SEIS is a tax relief designed to encourage investors to invest in UK companies. In essence, investors can claim eligible investment against their tax bill, significantly reducing capital risk. Many professional investors and business angels now require SEIS at Angel Stage before they even look at a company. You can apply for SEIS status with HMRC here.

Funding: The relief allows investors to claim back up to 78% of their investment through tax in the first year (up to £150K, as of Jan 1st, 2014). Once companies are approved for SEIS status, there’s a process you must go through with HMRC to claim on behalf of your investor.

Closing date - ongoing

To find out more click here

R&D Tax Credits

The research and development tax credits scheme allows you to claim back a significant amount of your development costs back in cash each year! If you are a startup heavily focused on development, then this scheme is well worth checking out. The paperwork itself is not too complicated to fill in; there are also a few expert agencies about who can help you with filling it out for a price. You can find guides, more information and how to apply here.

Funding: You can claim back up to 32% in development costs each year; this even includes staff/contractor costs

Closing date - ongoing

To find out more click here

European Research Council (ERC) - Advanced Grants Call Open

The European Research Council (ERC) aims to provide attractive, long-term funding to support excellent investigators and their research teams to pursue ground-breaking, high-gain/high-risk research. Research funded by the ERC is expected to lead to advances at the frontiers of knowledge and to set a clear and inspirational target for frontier research across Europe.

The ERC provides Advanced Grants to support excellent Principal Investigators at the career stage at which they are already established research leaders with a recognised track record of research achievements. ERC Advanced Grant Principal Investigators are expected to be active researchers and to have a track record of significant research achievements in the last 10 years which must be presented in the application. Applicant Principal Investigators must also demonstrate the ground-breaking nature, ambition and feasibility of their scientific proposal.

In most fields, Principal Investigators of Advanced Grant proposals will be expected to demonstrate a record of achievements appropriate to the field and at least matching one or more of the following benchmarks:

  • Ten publications as main author (or in those fields where alphabetic order of authorship is the norm, joint author) in major international peer-reviewed multidisciplinary scientific journals, and/or in the leading international peer-reviewed journals and peer-reviewed conferences proceedings of their respective field.
  • Three major research monographs, of which at least one is translated into another language. This benchmark is relevant to research fields where publication of monographs is the norm (eg humanities and social sciences).

Advanced Grants may be awarded up to a maximum of €2.5 million for a period of five years. Up to €1 million can additionally be requested to cover eligible "start-up" costs for Principal Investigators moving to the EU or an Associated Country from elsewhere as a consequence of receiving the ERC grant, and/or the purchase of major equipment, and/or access to large facilities.

The closing date for applications is 29 August 2019.

To find out more click here

Creative England's Greenshoots Fund Re-opens to Applications from Games Developers

Greenshoots is an investment initiative offering repayable investments for projects focused on helping games development companies overcome the hurdles of investment, marketing and discoverability. The investment will uncover independent developers who are creating innovative games, and can demonstrate high growth potential.

The programme offers investments of up to £100,000 per company. Successful applicants will get direct access Microsoft developer support teams and at least one group session hosted by Creative England and Xbox as part of the initiative.

The investment is intended to enable talented and independent game developers to create innovative content and build a portfolio of IP. The investment should be used towards development or marketing costs associated with the game concept.

The fund is open to businesses that:

  • are a games company based in any of the English regions outside of Greater London;
  • have previous, demonstrable game development experience; and
  • have an innovative game idea to be developed for commercial release on any operating system and platform – but must include a dedicated version for Windows 10, distributed via the Windows 10 Store, and/or Xbox One.

The deadline for receipt of applications for the next round is 11 August 2019.

To find out more click here

IUK Announces Energy Catalyst Round 7 - Early, Mid & Late Stage Competitions

Innovate UK (IUK), The Department for International Development (DFID) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) are investing up to £22 million in innovation projects through the Energy Catalyst Round 7 Competition, as part of the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) and Transforming Energy Access (TEA) programme.

Reliable energy services are crucial to human wellbeing and to a community’s economic development. They can transform people’s lives, and yet more than a billion people globally go without access to electricity; a further billion experience intermittent access; and around 3 billion people still cook on traditional biomass. Most of these people live in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and South Asia (SA).

Innovation projects that can help countries in SSA and SA access secure, low cost and low carbon energy, are being funded through this competition. The aim is to support highly innovative, market-focused energy solutions in any technology or sector or international market.

There are three options to apply to this competition. These are referred to as strands and will be run in parallel. The strands are dependent on the stage the project is at:

  • Early stage for feasibility studies
  • Mid-stage for industrial research
  • Late stage for experimental development

The Energy Catalyst is open to any energy technology from any sector. Proposals must also address all three elements of the energy ‘trilemma’: Cost - affordable; Emissions - clean; and Security of supply and energy access.

IUK will fund organisations from anywhere in the world. To be eligible, applicants must be a business, academic organisation, charity, public sector organisation or research and technology organisation (RTO) and intend to exploit the results to help deliver clean energy access in Sub-Saharan Africa or South Asia.

There is up to £22 million of funding for R&D projects across all three strands. Early stage projects can have total costs of £50,000 to £300,000 and last up to one year. Mid stage: £50,000 to £1.5 million over 12 to 24 months. Late stage: £50,000 to £5 million, over 12 to 36 months.

The competitions open on 17 June 2019 and the closing date for applications is 18 September 2019.

To find out more (early stage) click here

To find out more (mid stage) click here

To find out more (late stage) click here

Hangar 51 Accelerator for Start-ups Testing Products and Services - New Round Open

Hangar 51 is a ten-week programme which allows participants to trial their products at scale, whilst working closely alongside the International Airlines Group (IAG) senior management team and other experts. IAG is looking to test and trial promising products and services with airline customers.

IAG is seeking early-stage investments, with each participant receiving a bespoke investment offer prior to joining the programme. In cases when a long-term business opportunity is identified, IAG may offer a financial investment in exchange for a small share of the start-up.

Whilst participating in the programme, start-ups will receive the following benefits:

  • 10-week commercial product pilot with dedicated IAG business sponsor.
  • Industry recognition.
  • Average £100,000 investment available from IAG.
  • Product development input.
  • Mentoring.

The current programme will focus on seven key categories:

  1. Airport Operations and Logistics
  2. Future Customer Interaction
  3. Disruption Management
  4. Future Cargo Logistics
  5. New Products and Services
  6. Sustainability
  7. Wildcard

Start-ups may apply from anywhere in the world, however, applicants should be aware the current programme will take place in Madrid and Barcelona from 30 September to 6 December 2019. Applicants should be over the age of 18. IAG is particularly looking to work alongside start-ups that specialise in data, business processes and improving airports.

The deadline for applications is 2 August 2019.

To find out more click here

Enhanced Financial Support Package for UK Exporters

An extensive new financial support package for small to medium-sized business (SMEs) exporting to fast-growing markets has been outlined by the Secretary of State for International Trade.

Overseen by UK Export Finance (UKEF), the package will include:

  • The Small Deal Initiative – to back exporters undertaking the smaller contracts that underpin British trade. UKEF will guarantee the loans of potential overseas buyers of British goods to make UK bids more competitive.
  • Extending financial support to firms in exporters’ supply chains as well as exporters themselves.
  • The General Export Facility – allowing UKEF to support exporters’ overall working capital requirements, rather than requiring support to be linked to the needs of a specific export.

Dr Liam Fox said:

"These announcements are potential gamechangers for our export industry, and will help us to tap a fresh vein of potential from within our economy.

"Building a truly Global Britain takes real investment. It cannot be done on the cheap.

"If we want to become an exporting superpower, with greater influence, selling more goods and services abroad and encouraging more British investment overseas, then we will have to invest in the capabilities required.

"UKEF’s work would be at the very forefront of this investment strategy."

To find out more click here

Hello Tomorrow Global Challenge Launched with €100,000 Grand Prize for Deeptech Start-ups

The Hello Tomorrow Global Challenge is a worldwide start-up competition designed specifically to address the needs of deeptech entrepreneurs across several different industries and technologies. Deeptech is defined as technologies based on tangible engineering innovation or scientific advances and discoveries.

The Challenge gives scientists and deeptech entrepreneurs from around the globe a platform for their research and projects, providing equity-free prize money as well as other funding opportunities, global visibility and connections with key players in the deeptech innovation network and other fellow entrepreneurs.

There are 14 main industry or technology focus areas under 2019 the competition: Medical biotech; Digital Health & Medical devices; Drug discovery; Food & Agriculture; Industrial Biotech; Energy; Environment; Advanced computing & AI; Cybersecurity & Communication; Industry 4.0; Smart City; Mobility; Aeronautics; and New Space.

The prize package includes a €100,000 Grand Prize for the best early-stage start-up and 13 x €15,000 prizes for the best early-stage start-ups in each track. All prizes are offered on an equity-free basis, with no strings attached.

Hello Tomorrow aims to empower deeptech start-up entrepreneurs from around the world. The project must be in its early stages of development or about to be spun-out from an academic lab, as long as there is a strong proof-of-concept.

The project should be based on a scientific discovery, an advanced technology, a complex engineering process or an innovative application of an existing technology.

The deadline for receipt of applications is 13 September 2019.

To find out more click here

Stelios Awards for Disabled Entrepreneurs UK - 2019 Round Open

Sponsored by Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou and administered by Leonard Cheshire Disability, the Stelios Awards for Disabled Entrepreneurs UK identify and celebrate business ability by recognising exceptional disabled entrepreneurs.

The competition is open to disabled entrepreneurs on the management board, and with ownership, of any business in the UK.

Awards are open to all forms of entrepreneurship (including pre-revenue start-ups). Applicants can be:

  • businesses operated by and/or for the benefit of disabled people;
  • employers who workforce is made up of significant numbers of disabled people.

Prize money totalling £100,000 will be available in 2019. This year, the overall winner will receive £30,000 to further the growth of their business. They will also benefit from significant media coverage. Four shortlisted applicants will each win £10,000. Four prizes of £5,000 will also be available and a Judges’ Prize of £10,000 to be distributed to one or more applicants at the Judges’ discretion.

The money is to be reinvested in the winners’ businesses. Winners can spend this money however they choose, for example they could:

  • Buy a piece of new equipment that would enable them to increase production capacity.
  • Fund new staff costs to expand a sales team.
  • Embark upon an international operation.

The 2019 Awards are now open to applications and Stelios will present the winners at a ceremony in the winter.

The deadline for entries is 5pm on Tuesday 10 September 2019.

To find out more click here

Pre-call announcement: Canada-UK Artificial Intelligence Initiative

The rapid development and ever-growing global investment in Artificial Intelligence (AI) illustrate the undeniable impact that these technologies are having, and will have, on our economies, health and societies. Given the expertise of researchers in Canada and the United Kingdom, the Canadian agencies and UKRI are jointly supporting the development of a collaboration in AI between stakeholders in Canada and the UK aimed at building competitive and resilient economies, and maximising the social and health benefits.

This is a unique collaboration which will require each project to include a principal investigator (PI) based in Canada and a PI based in the UK who will share equally leadership and project management responsibilities. The Canadian and UK applicants will develop a common research plan and jointly prepare the full proposal. Proposals will be required to demonstrate a significant degree of, or novel approach to, interdisciplinarity with research that cuts across at least two of the following research domains:

  • social sciences and humanities
  • health and biomedical sciences
  • natural sciences and engineering (including computational and/or mathematical sciences).

In addition to promoting interdisciplinary AI, this call will support the development of responsible AI while establishing new partnerships and enhancing infrastructure and training between researchers in Canada and the UK. The outputs and outcomes of the research should allow for uptake by relevant stakeholders where possible.

Closing date 19 August 2019.

To find out more click here

IUK Launches EUREKA: Singapore Open Competition

EUREKA, in partnership with Enterprise Singapore, are coordinating this GlobalStars funding competition for research and development (R&D) projects under the EUREKA programme, which is administered by the UK's innovation agency, Innovate UK (IUK).

IUK is investing in UK businesses leading collaborative research and development (R&D) projects which will develop innovative proposals with Singapore and other EUREKA countries.

Projects should result in a new product, industrial process or service, be innovative and involve a technological risk. The competition scope is open, however, applications are encouraged in:

  • medical technology;
  • smart mobility and logistics;
  • advanced manufacturing.

Projects must focus on industrial research but can include experimental development activities if IUK considers it appropriate.

Applications must be collaborative. UK-based businesses of any size should lead a project. They must involve at least one UK-based SME, unless the lead themselves is an SME. The lead applicant should collaborate with a lead organisation in Singapore.

IUK has allocated up to £1 million to fund innovation projects in this competition. Total eligible costs per project are expected to be between £100,000 and £1 million. This includes costs from all partners, from the UK and all other countries. The total grant available to the UK applicants is up to £350,000 per project.

Closing date 26 September 2019.

To find out more click here

Applications Invited for 2020 Global Cartier Women’s Initiative

Every year the Cartier Women’s Initiative awards grants to 21 female entrepreneurs from across the globe; aiming to support them in developing unique early-stage enterprises. The initiative also provides access to workshops, networking events and seminars.

The programme aims to encourage inspirational women entrepreneurs to solve contemporary global challenges by:

  • supporting and recognising creative women who are making concrete contributions to finding solutions for the future of the planet; and
  • bringing these business solutions to the largest audience possible.

Committed female entrepreneurs heading initiatives with the potential to grow significantly in the years to come are being targeted. This is an opportunity for early-phase women entrepreneurs to take their companies to the next level.

Prizes are as follows:

  • $100,000 (approx. £79,000), coupled with personalised business mentoring, will be awarded to seven winners.
  • $30,000 (approx. £24,000), will be awarded to 14 finalists.

Female entrepreneurs who have a business in its initial stages of development (1-3 years), in any country, of any nationality and operating in any industry are welcome to submit an application.

Closing date 14 August 2019.

To find out more click here

Analysis for innovators round 5: phase 1 expression of interest (de minimis)

UK Businesses will work with Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, to invest up to £1 million in innovation projects.

The aim of this competition is to match the best UK experts and cutting-edge facilities with companies that have analysis or measurement problems. Your application must describe the problem and estimate the value to your company of solving it.

Successful applicants at this expression of interest (EoI) phase will be invited to brokerage sessions with relevant analysis for innovators (A4I) partners, arranged by the Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN). These will focus on approaches to solve the applicant’s problem.

This is phase 1 of a 2-phase competition with de minimis state aid funding.

Phase 1 is an expression of interest.

Phase 2 is dependent on the success of phase 1. Successful applicants in phase 1 are invited to work with A4I funding partners to suggest joint projects to develop solutions for phase 2.

There is a similar A4I competition running under article 25 of state aid which awards eligible project costs between £25,000 and £300,000 for longer projects between 3 and 12 months.

Opens 29 July 2019
Close: 4 September 2019

To find out more click here

Analysis for innovators round 5: phase 1 expression of interest

UK Businesses will work with Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, to invest up to £3 million in innovation projects.

The aim of this competition is to match the best UK experts and cutting-edge facilities with companies that have analysis or measurement problems. Your application must describe the problem and estimate the value to your company of solving it.

Successful applicants at this expression of interest (EoI) phase will be invited to brokerage sessions with relevant analysis for innovators (A4I) partners, arranged by the Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN). These will focus on approaches to solve the applicant’s problem.

This is phase 1 of a 2-phase competition.

Phase 1 is an expression of interest.

Phase 2 is dependent on the success of phase 1. Successful applicants in phase 1 are invited to work with A4I funding partners to suggest joint projects to develop solutions for phase 2.

There is a similar A4I competition running under de minimis state aid funding which awards eligible project costs between £25,000 and £50,000 for smaller projects up to 3 months.

Opens 29 July 2019
Closes 4 September 2019

To find out more click here

Innovate UK Smart Grants: July 2019

Your proposal

Your proposal must demonstrate:

  • a clear game-changing, innovative and/or disruptive and ambitious idea leading to new products, processes or services
  • an idea that is significantly ahead of others in the field, set for rapid commercialisation
  • a strong and deliverable business plan that addresses (and documents) market potential and needs
  • a clear, evidence based plan to deliver significant economic impact, return on investment (ROI) and growth through commercialisation, as soon as possible after project completion
  • a team, business arrangement or working structure with the necessary skills and experience to run and complete the project successfully and on time
  • sound, practical financial plans and timelines
  • awareness of all the main risks the project will face (including contractor or equipment failure, recruitment delays, etc) with realistic management, mitigation and impact minimisation plans for each risk
  • clear, considerable potential to significantly impact the UK economy and/or productivity in a positive way
  • good value for money, which will always be a consideration in Innovate UK funding decisions

Specific themes

We give preference to applications that demonstrate realistic, significant potential for global markets.

Proposals from innovation-based businesses with significant ambition and potential for growth or scale-up are welcome.

Where possible, projects should take customer and user needs into account to deliver more desirable and useful solutions.

Research categories

We are looking to fund projects, across a variety of technologies, markets, technological maturities and research categories.

This competition provides funding for innovative research and development (R&D) from:

  • feasibility, including market research
  • industrial research
  • experimental development, up to but not including commercialisation

Please see the general guidance for further information on these.

Projects we will not fund

We will not fund proposals that do not:

  • meet the competition eligibility or scope
  • address the size, potential and access to market for the innovation
  • evidence the potential for their idea or concept to lead to significant return on investment (ROI), positive economic impact, growth and scale-up of the business

Opens 25 July 2019

Closes: 16 October 2019

To find out more click here

Key technology components for local energy systems

UK Research and Innovation will invest up to £3 million in important technology components that can enhance the efficiency of local energy systems. These should deliver cleaner, cheaper energy services and create more prosperous and resilient communities across the UK.

We are looking for specific innovations that are listed in more detail in our ‘specific themes’ section.

Your project must align with the overall objectives of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund’s Prospering from the Energy Revolution challenge. You are also expected to share data with the Energy Systems Catapult’s Energy Revolution Integration Service (ERIS) and the Energy Revolution Research Consortium, EnergyRev.

This funding is from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund’s Prospering from the Energy Revolution challenge.

Opens 22 July 2019
Closes 9 October 2019

To find out more click here

Accelerating the building of housing using geospatial intelligence: SBRI competition

This is a Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) competition with funding provided by the GovTech Catalyst Waltham Forest Council.

The aim of the competition is to investigate how technology can be used to monitor developments of all sizes and types, building an accurate picture of development status from permission to completion and occupation.

The outcome should be solutions which create an accurate timeline of development. The developed tool will be tested to ensure it enables planners to make more informed decisions.

The overall programme will be delivered over 2 phases. This is phase 1 of a potential 2-phase competition. A decision to proceed with phase 2 will depend on the outcomes from phase 1. Only successful applicants from phase 1 will be able to apply to take part in phase 2.

Phase 1: research and development contracts, feasibility study

The first phase involves research and development contracts being awarded to demonstrate technical feasibility of the proposed solution.

Phase 2: research and development contracts, prototype development and testing

The second phase involves up to 2 R&D contracts being awarded to businesses chosen from the successful phase 1 applicants.

Funding type: Procurement

Opens 15 July 2019

Closes 21 August 2019

To find out more click here

Innovation loans: July 2019 open competition

Innovate UK is offering up to £10 million in loans to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Loans are for highly innovative late stage projects with the best game changing and/or disruptive ideas or concepts. There should be a clear route to commercialisation and economic impact.

Projects should aim to develop new products, processes or services (or innovative use of existing ones) believed to be significantly ahead of anything similar in the field.

Your proposal can come from any technology and any part of the economy.

Projects must focus on commercialisation, growth or scale up. Priority is given to proposals likely to lead to growth and gains in productivity.

Projects should last up to 5 years, of which up to 3 years can focus on late stage research and development (R&D), and up to 2 more years on establishing a clear route to commercial success. Loan repayments will be required over a further period of up to 5 years.

Businesses must be able to show that they:

  • can cover interest payments
  • will be able to repay the loan on time
  • need public funding.

Opens  8 July 2019

Closes 11 September 2019

To find out more click here

Newton-Ungku Omar Fund Grand Challenge 2019: phase 1

Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, and the Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology (MIGHT) are working collaboratively under the Newton-Ungku Omar Fund. Together we will invest up to £2 million (RM 11 million) for innovative projects that provide collaborative solutions to the challenges of urban mobility and waste to wealth in Malaysia.

Innovate UK will fund the UK partners only and MIGHT will fund the Malaysian partners.

The overall programme will be delivered in 2 phases. This application process is for phase 1. Only successful applications from phase 1 will be able to take part in phase 2. Phase 2 will open 15 June 2020.

Phase 1 is for collaborative feasibility studies only. This is to help UK and Malaysian businesses investigate:

  • the interaction between their innovations
  • how feasible a joint demonstration project would be in responding to Malaysia’s mobility and waste to wealth challenges

During phase 2, your project must provide economical and sustainable solutions to be demonstrated in environments that represent real life operating conditions.

The competition closes at midday 12pm UK time on the deadline stated.

Funding type: Grant

Opens 8 July 2019

Closes 16 October 2019

To find out more click here

July expression of interest: ATI Programme

The Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) Programme represents a £3.9 billion joint government and industry investment to maintain and grow the UK’s competitive position in civil aerospace.

This programme is co-ordinated and managed by:

  • the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)
  • Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation
  • the Aerospace Technology Institute

We work in collaboration to deliver a portfolio of projects to meet the objectives of the Aerospace Technology Strategy, ‘Raising Ambition’.

This is an expression of interest competition. There are 3 stages and the whole process takes at least 6 months.

  1. Expression of interest (EOI): opens monthly and is reviewed by ATI only.
  2. Full stage application (FSA): invite only, if successful in the expression of interest stage, with proposal development on the Innovation Funding Service by applicants. Independent assessment by Innovate UK, value for money (VfM) and policy review by BEIS, and strategic assessment by ATI.
  3. Final approvals by BEIS and contracting through Innovate UK.

Opens 1 July 2019

Closes 24 July 2019

To find out more click here

Enabling data access in accountancy, insurance and legal services: Innovation Lab

Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, will invest up to £3.5 million to develop responsible data access or sharing methods in the accountancy, insurance and legal services sectors. These will enable the application of artificial intelligence (AI) and data technologies.

Individuals can apply to take part in a 3-day residential Innovation Lab on behalf of their organisation. The Innovation Lab will run from 14 to 16 October 2019. The participants will work together to develop collaborative proposals for research and innovation projects.

After the Innovation Lab, the project consortia will have 4 weeks to finalise their proposals before submitting them for assessment.

Not participating in the workshop does not exclude organisations or individuals from joining collaborations formed during the workshop as partners.

Opens 1 July 2019

Closes 4 September 2019

To find out more click here

Artificial intelligence-supported early fracture diagnosis: SBRI competition

This is a Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) competition funded by Opportunity North East and NHS Scotland. Successful applicants will receive 100% funding and have access to advice from NHS Grampian, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC), the University of Aberdeen, the Canon Medical Research Europe and the funders.

The overall programme will be delivered in 2 phases. A decision to proceed with phase 2 will depend on the outcomes from phase 1. Only successful applicants from phase 1 will be able to apply to take part in phase 2.

NHS Scotland and Opportunity North East (ONE) are investing up to £240,000, including VAT, in innovative data analytics technology. The aim is to improve front-line clinical decision making and patient management in unscheduled care facilities.

The solution will improve clinical workflow and safety by optimising clinical decision making and management pathways. It must use artificial intelligence (AI) or machine learning algorithms to interpret data from upper limb (wrist or hand) and lower limb (ankle or foot) radiographs and linked text-based reports. Accurate determination of the presence or absence of a fracture in these areas has the potential to significantly improve patient care.

Phase 1 research and development contracts will be focused on feasibility studies. Phase 2 contracts will be prototype development and testing.

Opens 20 May 2019

Closes 24 July 2019

To find out more click here

Enterprise Hub Announces 2019 Launchpad Competition

The Launchpad Competition invites early career engineering entrepreneurs to submit a business plan based on their engineering innovation for the chance to win seed funding, training and mentoring.

Each year, the programme will support one engineering entrepreneur to start a business.

The winner will receive:

  • The JC Gammon Award.
  • £15,000 equity-free seed funding, with no equity stake taken.
  • Lifetime membership of the Royal Academy of Engineering Enterprise Hub.

These awards support an individual, who may be part of a team, based in the UK, who has an engineering innovation they wish to commercialise by leading a start-up company.

The lead applicant must be based in the UK and be between the ages of 18-25 on the application closing date.

Stage one applications must be submitted by 2 September 2019.

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£100m Initiative to Help UK Firms Capitalise on Offshore Wind Market

The UK is said to be well suited to exploiting wind power, with turbines having been erected in over 30 locations. However, it is widely accepted that the sector has produced too few jobs. By 2030, the offshore wind power market is expected to be worth £30 billion per year, with the UK generating a third of its electricity from wind.

The Offshore Wind Growth Partnership (OWGP) is a £100 million initiative designed to help UK businesses maximise opportunities in the global offshore wind supply chain market.

Activities will initially focus on helping supply chain companies with strategy and leadership, project management, people excellence, process excellence, health and safety culture, and quality management. It will also work with the offshore wind developers to provide greater long-term visibility of project pipelines that will help supply chain companies to plan and, if necessary, to invest in new capability or capacity.

Support will include a range of services, such as expert advice on manufacturing and commercialisation, as well as funding for innovation. This will:

  • help UK companies currently in the UK offshore wind supply chain;
  • enhance the ability of UK companies to export products and services around the world;
  • enable companies from other sectors to enter the offshore wind supply chain; and
  • inspire companies to develop the next generation of innovative products and services to meet specific industry requirements.

The programme is expected to support over 650 UK companies to access the domestic offshore wind market.

Industry Chair of the Offshore Wind Industry Counci, Benj Sykes, said:

"The offshore wind industry is offering multi-million pound opportunities to hundreds of innovative companies throughout the UK in the years ahead – including new entrants to the market, as well as firms already working in this area.

"The Offshore Wind Growth Partnership will provide practical help for UK companies so they can compete successfully for contracts in this thriving global market."

Companies will be invited to apply for support on a regular basis, with the first pilot opportunity anticipated to be launched in September 2019.

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Horizon 2020: what it is and how to apply for funding

Horizon 2020 is the largest ever European funding programme for research and innovation. It has a budget of 79 billion euros and will run until 2020.

It aims to:

  • ensure that Europe produces world-class science
  • remove barriers to innovation
  • make it easier for public and private sectors to innovate together

This guidance is designed to help people in the UK understand and access the funding opportunities available, in order to innovate and grow both in the UK and abroad.

What is Horizon 2020?

The Horizon 2020 programme was established by the European Union (EU) as a collaborative financial instrument that would help secure Europe’s global competitiveness in research and innovation.

The programme – running from 2014 to 2020 – is seen as a means of putting Europe at the heart of world-class science and innovation, making it more competitive, creating economic growth and new jobs. It offers an open, simple structure for accessing funding in order to remove barriers to collaborative innovation, get new projects off the ground quickly and achieve results faster.

Funding calls are based on 3 areas:

Excellent science

This area focuses on raising the level of excellence in Europe’s science base by:

  • supporting the best ideas
  • developing European talent
  • providing researchers with access to a research infrastructure

Industrial leadership

This area stimulates the growth potential of European companies by:

  • offering access to risk finance
  • encouraging private investment in research and development
  • offering support for innovative small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)

Societal challenges

This area aims to tackle the biggest challenges facing modern society. It reflects the policy priorities of the European Commission and covers all stages of research and innovation, from concept to market.

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