Organisations can apply for a share of £3 million to develop an innovation that will remove harmful air pollutants from homes. The competition is a Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) funded by UKRI’s Strategic Priorities Fund. It is phase 1 of a potential 2-phase competition, with a decision to proceed with phase 2 dependent on the outcomes from this phase. Please note that only successful applicants from phase 1 will be able to apply for funding in phase 2.

The competition aims to safeguard the health of occupants, particularly young or vulnerable people. It tackles a pressing issue, as poor air quality is the top environmental risk to public health in the UK. Research has found that human exposure to these emerging air pollutants occurs increasingly indoors, and particularly at home.


To address the challenge of poor air quality in domestic environments, this competition will support research and development for affordable domestic products or services. Eligible projects must protect the health of occupants by removing at least one harmful household pollutant from the air.

In this phase, R&D contracts will be awarded to demonstrate the technical feasibility of the proposed solution. Therefore, your proposal must:

  • Demonstrate the technical feasibility of the proposed innovation.
  • Develop the plan and lay the foundations to deliver in phase 2.
  • Establish collaborations and agreements which will enable testing of the innovation in a real-world setting as part of phase 2.

The focus of phase 2 will be to test and evaluate a prototype of the solution in a real-world environment and develop a plan for commercial exploitation.


Projects can last up to three months; they should start by 1st April 2021 and end by 1st July 2021. To lead a project, you can be an organisation of any size. Innovate UK will only award contracts to single legal entities in this competition; however, you can work with other organisations if there is a justifiable reason to employ subcontractors. A total of up to £300,000 is allocated to phase 1. Innovate UK expects to fund up to 6 projects, with each feasibility study R&D contract worth up to £50,000. If phase 2 goes ahead, up to £900,000 will be allocated for each contract.

This competition opens on 23rd November 2020 and will close on 13th January 2021. For more information, please visit the competition page. To discuss an application with one of our expert advisers, please contact us today.

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