A new Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) competition, funded by the UK Atomic Energy Authority, aims to encourage innovation in the fusion industry. Organisations can apply for a share of £2 million to develop solutions to fusion energy challenges in two key priority areas (outlined below).

This is phase 1 of a potential 2 phase competition, where only successful applicants from phase 1 will be able to take part in phase 2. However, a decision to proceed with phase 2 will depend on the outcomes from phase 1 and assessment of a separate application into a subsequent phase 2 competition.


Your proposal must demonstrate the feasibility of your project and relate to one of the key priority areas:

1) Accelerating fusion power plant design with next-generation digital tools
2) Reducing fusion power plant fuel requirements with advanced production and handling technology for Hydrogen isotopes

For more information on what this should involve, click here. Innovate UK will prioritise applications that help the innovation be formally accepted for future use in a fusion plant environment, for example by obtaining relevant regulatory certificates or approvals during phase 2. In addition, they will favour innovations that consider sustainability as part of their technology development.

  • Firstly, phase 1 contracts must have total costs between £50,000 and £250,000, inclusive of VAT.
  • Projects can last up to six months; they should start by 1st September 2021 and end by 31st March 2022.
  • Contracts will only be awarded to a single legal entity. However, you can employ specialist consultants or advisers if you can justify subcontracting components of the work.

The competition is open from 17th May until 30th June. You can find more information on the competition page. Alternatively, to discuss an application with one of our innovation funding specialists, please contact us today.

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