Innovate UK launches competition on developing game-changing innovation


Innovate UK has just allocated up to £20 million into a competition that will finance the best new ideas for products and services developed from cutting-edge technologies. The competition is open to all ideas from any area of technology, science or engineering, including arts, design and creative industries, and can be applied in any sector of the economy.

This competition opens on 12 July 2018, as part of Innovate UK’s open funding programme and will support a range of projects from feasibility studies to longer industrial research and experimental development projects. The deadline for applications is at midday on 12 September 2018.

Eligible projects can be led by a business working alone or with partners or by a research and technology organisation and they must demonstrate they have a game-changing idea that could lead to new commercial products, processes or services. All projects must include at least 1 SME, and, in this regard, there is also an opportunity for businesses to apply for Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) (more here)

InnovateUK is expecting to provide funding to projects ranging in size between £25,000 and £2 million and it is also expecting successful projects to last between 6 and 36 months. Businesses could attract up to 70% of their project costs.

For more information see the overall description here, and contact us at RedKnight!

Source InnovateUK

£40m available to support development of electric vheicles charging

From July 12, UK business will have the opportunity to secure access up to £40 million to develop and demonstrate new ways of charging electric vehicles. The programme falls in line with the new strategy of the UK government, that aims at having zero emissions by 2050, and this competition is particularly focused on growing the UK's charging infrastructures quickly enough to make electric vehicles an attractive choice.

In order to have access to the grant, eligible consortia (all eligibility criteria available here) will have time until 29 August 2018 to submit their applications, which can be redirected to one of the two competitions which this funding is split in:

  • to support electric vehicle owners who don’t have suitable off-street parking to charge their vehicles in public spaces
  • to investigate wireless charging options for owners of vehicles such as taxis, service vehicles and delivery vans

This first competition is looking for creative new designs and technologies that could offer significant, convenient and low-cost charging facilities to areas where people don’t have off-street parking. Project ideas could range from providing on-street infrastructure to creating a community charging hub. There are 2 phases: phase 1 will fund a series of feasibility studies which should have costs of between £75,000 and £120,000 and last up to 3 months; the best ideas could go on phase 2 for large-scale demonstration projects in public areas, which should have costs of between £5 million and £10 million and last up to 18 months.

The second competition focuses on new technologies that would allow commercial vehicles - such as taxis, service vehicles and delivery fleets - to top up their batteries during the day without having to stop to plug in. Projects should look at commercially-feasible ideas and business models that would enable wireless charging in places such as stations and airports, or with commercial vehicles at major depots, hubs or delivery bays, so that vehicles to be charged while causing minimum disruption to their business. Just like the previous competition, there are 2 phases: phase 1 will fund a series of feasibility studies which should have costs of between £75,000 and £120,000 and last up to 3 months; the best ideas could go on phase 2 for large-scale demonstration projects in public areas, which should have costs of between £5 million and £10 million and last up to 18 months. Projects must be led by a business working with other businesses, local authorities, research organisations or charities and businesses could attract up to 70% of their project costs.

For more information, follow this direct link or contact one of our experts at RedKnight.

Source InnovateUK


InnovateUK lauches new funding initiative in support to diagnostics and tratment of disease

As our H2020 project BreathSpec® is now approaching to its crucial phase (ed. for more info, stay tuned on all our channels), diagnostics is receiving a renewed interest by investors and funding organisations.

There are grant funding and private investment currently available for precision medicine projects that improve how we diagnose, monitor and treat disease and the last – yet not least – of these opportunities has just been announced by InnovateUK, which has up to £6 million available in grants for UK-based small and medium-sized enterprises, with at least the same amount in additional match funding coming from equity partners. As states on the description of the call, the programme will fund projects that focus on at least one of the following:

  • next-generation medical diagnostics, including new molecular and cellular diagnostics, advanced medtech devices, and imaging and clinical pathology technologies
  • wearable or implantable devices such as biosensor tattoos or contact lenses that can inform treatment options for the patient outside of the hospital
  • tailor-made therapies or medicines designed around an individual patient’s molecular diagnosis. This includes gene therapy, regenerative cell therapy, immunotherapy, synthetic biology or combination therapies
  • bioinformatic or artificial intelligence applications that rapidly and accurately extract digital data from medtech devices, imaging systems or clinical pathology platforms

The innovation fund will open the competition on 23 July 2018, and the deadline for applications is at midday on 26 September and the competition will be open to single applicant SMEs with the opportunity to access to match funding; In this regard, InnovateUK provides a list of 13 investor partners providing match funding in this competition (link).

Projects eligible for funding can last up to 24 months and have total costs of between £500,000 and £1.5 million. Successful applicants will be provided with 100% of their project costs. This will be split between Innovate UK and the equity partner, depending on whether it is an industrial research or experimental development project.

Source InnovateUK

Spain wins most SME Instrument grants

Spain is the EU country with the most successful start-ups in this year’s Phase 1 competition under the SME Instrument, with total of 48 Spanish companies getting funding. Next was Italy, with 21 grants and third France with 18. Cyprus, Malta, Slovakia and Romania had no successful candidates.

From 2,149 applicants, the European Commission selected 242 SMEs from 30 countries to receive a total of €12 million, to spend on getting their innovations to market faster. Each winner receives €50,000 to draft a business plan and also gets access to free coaching and business acceleration services.

Most companies are in ICT, health and engineering. They are developing various innovations, including a sensory feedback system for phantom pains, a new technology for micro motors, a control system for e-bikes that extends battery life, a distance communication system for drones and a valuation tool for start-ups based on artificial intelligence.

The SME Instrument currently is part of EU’s research and innovation programme Horizon 2020, but is due to move under the umbrella of the newly formed European Innovation Council, the Commission’s attempt at creating a one stop shop for innovators across the continent.

Companies can apply for two phases under the SME Instrument, depending on the maturity of their innovation.

Under Phase 1, each project receives a lump sum of €50,000 to carry out a feasibility study. Under Phase 2, €500,000 to €2.5 million per company is available to finance innovation activities such as demonstration, testing, piloting and scaling up.

The next application deadline for the SME Instrument Phase 1 is on 5 September 2018.

Source: Science Business