£6m up for grabs to save the Ocean

UK businesses can have a chance to save our oceans thanks to £6m available through simultaneous grants and private investment.

The amount, made available by a public-private partnership between Innovate UK and Sky Ocean Ventures, will allow UK firms to become leaders in providing solutions to reduce pollution in world's oceans; a problem that is threatening to triple its magnitude by 2025, unless serious actions are taken (source: UN).

To enable the UK to lead the fight against waste, catalyse new ideas and quickly get products and services to market, Innovate UK will devolve 50% of the whole sum in grants, whereas the remaining 50% will be funded by Sky Ocean Venture through private investment. Part of this is from the Plastics Research and Innovation Fund – a £20 million programme led by UK Research and Innovation.

The competition to get access to this funding is now open and applicants are invited to submit their projects until midday on 13 March 2019 (first deadline). Micro and small businesses are eligible to apply, working alone, and they can get up to 100% of their project costs (expected between £100,000 and £200,000), equally split between Innovate UK and Sky Ocean Ventures.

Successful application should:

  • Be feasibility studies, industrial research or experimental development
  • Last no more than 12 months
  • Based in the UK and the work should be carried here
  • Identify where revenue generation and growth will occur in the UK as a result of the innovation being developed and exploited

Also, successful applications should consider:

  • developing new, sustainable polymer materials
  • developing sustainable plastic alternatives
  • alternative business models and supply chains that use less plastic
  • supporting circularity through improved resource use and design
  • new product designs
  • technology-enabled models that change consumer behaviours
  • new recycling processes, including collecting, sorting and processing of waste plastics
  • increasing the value of recycled polymers
  • scalable, technology-enabled remedial solutions

Source: Innovate UK

If you think your business is most suited to run for this funding opportunity, but you don't know how, Please do get in touch for a FREE consultation.


EU financing of €122m for transport projects: Six days left!

Businesses in the transport sector have time until 16 January 2019 to submit short project proposals in the areas of waterborne transport, logistics, aviation, transport infrastructure and safety, and so have the chance to get access to €122m worth of funding under the 2018-2020 Horizon 2020 Work Programme.

The funding is divided into eight different topics (available here) and Applicants have to submit their proposals electronically, as a part of a two-stage process. Proposals submitted by 16 January 2019 will be evaluated within the next three months; successful applicants will be invited to proceed onto the second stage and submit full project proposal by 12 September 2019.

The final decision about which projects will receive EU funding will be known the latest by February 2020 at the latest.

Applicants are invited to consult the General Annexes (pdf) of the 2018-2020 Work Programme for rules on funding, standard eligibility criteria, submission rules, funding rates and other useful information.

Source: ec.europa.eu

What to expect from 2019?

2018 has been a rather successful year for us at RedKnight and we welcome the New Year with high hopes for an exciting 2019. But what do we really have to expect from January onwards? What are the upcoming competitions and which sectors are most likely to take centre stage? In this article we will take a look at the possibilities both Innovate UK and the EU have in store for us:

UK Plans in 2019
To understand what the UK's plans for this year could be, we have to look the last Budget approved by Westminster in October 2018. The UK Government has committed to providing an additional £1.6bn to fund the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF), which will focus around some (if not all) of the following challenges:

-Clean Air
-Reduction in plastic pollution
-Industrial digitisation
-Innovative Mobility (Road, Rail and Air)
-Industrial Transformation
-Cyber security
-Early detection of diseases
-Sustainable packaging

In addition, following the trend set by the Faraday Battery Challenge, up to £78m funding has been confirmed for the Stephenson Challenge to support innovation in electric motor technology, making vehicles lighter and more efficient. Other important key points to consider are the extension to the Government Start-up loans scheme until 2021 and a £25m boost to Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTPs).

On top of that, when the UK leaves the EU, amongst other things, it will also leave the Common Agricultural Policy, creating a funding void that definitely needs to be filled. Therefore, agriculture could very well be another important area to watch closely for new funding opportunities; at least in the medium-long term.

Finally, the Report on the UK’s approach to cryptoassets and distributed ledger technologies in financial services published at the end of October, might suggest these new technologies will receive particular interest in the following calls, also in light of the new £50m per year fund designed to address the most pressing challenges in areas such as public health and cyber security, and due to begin in 2021-2022.

EC Plans in 2019

March 2019 will mark the historical exit of the UK form the EU. Until then, UK organisations can still apply for EU funding (and they are warmly encouraged to do so). Thus, it is even more so important to understand what 2019 is going to look like.

The Commission's priorities for 2019 have been clearly displayed in the Work Programme for 2018-2020, which sets the strategy for the last stage of Horizon 2020. The budget allocated for the European Innovation Council (EIC) pilot competitions, will see a general increase: up to €552.26m for the SME Instrument competition and €247.50m for the Future Emerging Technologies Open competition. The budget for Fast Track to Innovation calls will be kept at €100m.

Here, we have selected a pool of challenges that are likely to be of major interest for the EU during this final Work Programme period:

-Blockchain technology
-Marine resources and sustainability
-Clean air and clean energy
-Food and Agri-food security
-Sustainable agriculture and rural renaissance
-Digital Health and early warning for epidemics
-Low carbon solutions

What can RedKnight do for you?

We hope this brief summary has helped you better understand what 2019 might have in store. If you have realised your innovation fits very well in one of the above areas, why not getting in touch with us for a FREE consultation? We can help you prepare your innovative ideas for the upcoming competitions, so that you can start the New Year in pole position!

£8 million available to develop world-leading civil aerospace tech

UK organisations now have the opportunity to get innovation grants to develop disruptive solutions that will reshape future flight technologies and will prepare the UK to face the upcoming aerospace challenges.

The funding, a total of £8 million, will be co-founded and co-managed by Innovate UK, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Aerospace Technology Institute, and will be shared across 3 competitions:

  1. Collaborative feasibility studies
  2. Expression of interest for fast-track collaborative research and development projects that could be exploited within 3 to 5 years
  3. Longer collaborative research and development projects, taking 5 years or more for exploitation

All 3 opportunities will be managed using a portfolio approach and funding will be split according to themes, project duration and costs.

In particular, the competition on collaborative feasibility studies will stay open from 14 January 2019 up until 27 February 2019; UK businesses of any size can apply for share of the funding that will cover 50% of the project costs (expected to cost between £255,000 and £500,000 and last up to 12 months). Applicants should present high risk projects that demonstrate disruptive and  high impact innovations to solve the biggest aerospace challenges in the UK, such as:

  • Medium-long range aircraft design
  • Urban vehicles designed for
  • Requirements for a scalable, hybrid electric power demonstrator facility
  • High-temperature, superconducting electrical power machines
  • Assessing environmental impact of air emissions
  • Integration of automation into controlled airspace

Source: Innovate UK