Funding Available for Projects on Quantum Technologies

Abstract quantum technologies backgroundA new Innovate UK competition aims to advance the commercialisation of quantum technologies in the UK. From Monday 18th January, UK registered businesses can apply for a share of £7 million for feasibility studies or market research projects. This competition is funded through the Quantum Commercialisation programme of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF).

Scope

In this competition, all proposals must identify a clear market opportunity and an innovative project which exploits it. While Innovate UK plans to fund a portfolio of projects across a variety of technologies, all projects must:

  • Study a commercial opportunity
  • Quantify performance objectives
  • Provide a roadmap of future exploitation
  • Exploit second-generation quantum technologies
  • Address at least one of the following: connectivity, situational awareness, or computing.
Specific Themes

In addition, there are a number of specific themes that your project can focus on, as listed below:

  • Involve consortia that span the supply chain of component suppliers, system integrators, and end user businesses
  • Focus on maximising UK return from the quantum technology research undertaken by the UK academic base
  • Bring significant new investment and businesses into the UK’s growing quantum technologies sector
  • Develop the quantum computing industry sector (hardware, components, simulators, algorithms and software) in the UK.
Eligibility

Projects must have total eligible costs of up to £500,000 for feasibility studies or £50,000 for market research projects. They should last between 12 and 18 months, starting by February 1st 2022 and ending by 31st July 2023. Projects can be single or collaborative but must involve an SME. Furthermore, the lead organisation must:

  • Be a UK registered business of any size
  • Involve an SME
  • Carry out its project work in the UK
  • Intend to exploit the project’s results from or in the UK

You can find more information regarding eligibility, scope, and how to apply on the Innovate UK competition page. Alternatively, if you have any questions, or would like to discuss a potential project with one of our expert bid writers, please get in touch.

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£8 million available to improve the UK’s foundation industries

Saw cutting metal - one of the foundation industriesInnovate UK is investing up to £8 million in large collaborative research and development projects to improve the UK’s foundation industries. Relevant industries include cement, paper, glass, ceramics, metals, and chemicals. This competition’s funding is from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, which you can find more information on here.

Scope

In this competition, foundation industry sector businesses should work with their immediate supply chain and equipment providers to solve common resource and energy efficiency challenges. The aim is to increase the productivity and competitiveness of the UK’s foundation industries.

All projects will further develop technologies to reduce deployment risk and accelerate take-up across industries. In addition, the new technologies should create a step-change in resource or energy efficiency in these industries. More specifically, your project must address one or more of the specific themes listed by Innovate UK. For example, it may focus on heat recovery and utilisation, sensors and digitalisation, or waste utilisation.

Eligibility

All projects must have total eligible costs between £1 million and £2 million. They should start by 1st September 2021 and last between 12 and 24 months. This competition is aimed at those working in collaboration. The lead organisation does not have to be from the foundation industries; however, it is essential that the consortia include at least 2 businesses, from at least 2 foundation industry sectors. All organisations within the consortia must also fulfill the following criteria:

  • be a UK registered business of any size or a research and technology organisation (RTO)
  • carry out its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK

You can find more information on the Innovate UK website. If you have any further questions or would like to discuss an application with one of our advisers, please contact us today.

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Innovate UK launches two new SBRI competitions

Innovate UK has announced two new Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) competitions. The first competition aims to improve hip fracture outcomes while the second aspires to improve multimorbidity acute care.

The SBRI Programme

The SBRI programme provides innovative solutions to challenges faced by the public sector, in order to improve efficiency and effectiveness. The scheme is open to all organisations that can demonstrate a route to market for their solution. However, it is best suited to SMEs.

SBRI: Improving Multimorbidity Acute Care Using Data Analytics, phase 1

Phase 1 will open from 4th January to 3rd March 2021. In this competition, organisations can apply for a share of £160,000 to develop a data-driven solution that improves the care and outcomes for A&E patients with multimorbidity. The solution must:

  • Identify multimorbidity patients
  • Provide individual risk stratification through real-time data visualisation
  • Provide decision support following an emergency admission.

Phase 1 projects can have total costs of up to £10,000, inclusive of VAT. They should start by 5th May 2021 and last up to 3 months. Contracts will only be awarded to single legal entities, but subcontractors are allowed. A decision to proceed with Phase 2 will depend on outcomes from Phase 1. For more information on eligibility and scope, and details on how to apply, visit Innovate UK.

SBRI: Improving Hip Fracture Outcomes Using Data, phase 1

Phase 1 will open from 1st February 2021 to 31st March 2021. In this phase, organisations can apply for a share of £160,000 to develop a solution that will improve the quality of care and outcomes for hip fracture patients. The solution should use routinely collected health data and data analytics techniques.

Phase 1 projects can have total costs of up to £15,000 and projects should last for up to 3 months. Funding is only available for single legal entities however the competition does allow subcontractors. Again, this is Phase 1 of a potential 2-phase competition; a decision to proceed with Phase 2 will depend on the outcomes from this phase. You can find more information here.

If you have any questions about either of the opportunities above, please get in touch. In addition, you can sign up for our free monthly newsletter to receive grant funding opportunities direct to your inbox.


Automotive Transformation Fund has £7 million available

The Automotive Transformation Fund (ATF) supports the industrialisation of a high-value electrified automotive supply chain in order to accelerate the development of net-zero emission vehicles. It is run by the Advanced Propulsion Centre and its partners: Innovate UK, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and the Department for International Trade.

Scope

This competition invites UK registered organisations to apply for a share of £7 million for relevant economic or technical feasibility studies. The APC is looking for projects that are one of the following:

  • Firstly, economic feasibility studies that consider the development of large-scale manufacturing facilities; they should take up to 6 months to complete.
  • Secondly, technical feasibility studies that focus on developing advanced manufacturing processes or scaling up product manufacturing. These must take up to 12 months to complete.

Projects must support the UK automotive industry by making it easier for investment to happen in large scale manufacturing, or by building electrified vehicle supply chains. More specifically, projects should focus on one or more of the following products: batteries, motors and drives, power electronics, fuel cell, or recycling any of the above. Alternatively, you can work on the materials and components that go into the product.

Eligibility

All projects must have total eligible costs of under £1 million. Applicants can work in collaboration or employ subcontractors but subcontractors should be based in the UK.

To lead a project or work alone, your organisation must:

  • Be a UK registered business of any size, a research organisation, or a research and technology organisation
  • Be a grant recipient
  • Carry out its project work in the UK and intend to exploit its results from or in the UK.

Interested in applying for funding from the Automotive Transformation Fund? You can find more information here. Additionally, you can contact us to arrange a free consultation.

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Innovate UK announces funding to remove air pollutants from homes

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.

Scope

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.

Eligibility

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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Innovate UK Smart Grants: November 2020

Innovate UK has announced that a new round of Smart Grants will open on 26th November, with a deadline of 20th January 2021. £25 million will be available for disruptive R&D innovations that could significantly impact the UK economy.

Scope

Smart is Innovate UK's 'Open grant funding' programme. Applications can come from any area of technology and be applied to any part of the economy. This includes the creative industries, science or engineering, and the arts, design and media. Projects can overlap with the grand challenge areas, although Innovate UK is also keen to support projects in other areas.

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
  • 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
  • Sound, practical financial plans and timelines that represent good value for money, which will always be a consideration in Innovate UK funding decisions.
Eligibility

Your application must include at least one SME; they can be the lead or a collaborative grant claiming partner. The project must start no later than 1 July 2021 and end no later than 31 July 2024.

Your project must also follow specific rules based on its duration:

  1. Projects with durations between 6 and 18 months must have total eligible project costs between £25,000 and £500,000. They can be single or collaborative projects.
  2. Projects with durations between 19 months and 36 months must have total eligible project costs between £25,000 and £2 million. In contrast to shorter projects, they must be collaborative.

RedKnight Consultancy has significant experience in supporting applications for Innovate UK Smart Grants. You can view one of our most recent success stories here. For our assistance in putting together a competitive proposal, please contact us today.


£1.5 million available for projects that explore Digital Security by Design technologies

Abstract lines on blue background

UK-registered SMEs can apply for a share of £1.5 million for fast-start short-term projects. Funding is available to explore and investigate the requirements, dependencies, and potential complexities associated with the adoption of Digital Security by Design technologies. The competition aims to enable the growth of the software ecosystem that will be crucial for the successful adoption of Digital Security by Design technologies.

Eligibility

Projects must:

  • Have total eligible costs between £40,000 and £80,000.
  • Last no longer than 6 months.
  • Start on or after 1st April 2021 and end by 30th September 2021.

This competition is open to single applicants only, who must be UK registered SMEs. The organisation should also carry out its project work in the UK and intend to exploit the results from or in the UK.

Scope

Innovate UK state that projects must focus on a detailed investigation of a problem framed around a system and software stack concept. Projects can focus on one or more of the following aspects: software frameworks, tooling, development environments, operating systems, language runtimes, libraries and ancillary support, and middleware. However, this not an exhaustive list; other aspects may also be in scope.

In more detail, your project should:
  • Describe your use case or cases and related scenarios. Therefore, you must explain how your area of detailed investigation will enable a full software stack approach to increased security
  • Show how DSbD technologies will be incorporated into your detailed investigation work
  • Frame your solution under investigation in the context of a full software stack. It should describe how your work will address identified technical challenges, requirements, dependencies, and related complexities
  • Explain how you will use the available Fixed Virtual Platform (FVP) model to inform your detailed investigation. In contrast, if you choose not to use it, you should explain your rationale and justify your decision
  • Explain how DSbD security will enhance your approach to security and how you will confirm if it is a viable way forward
  • Identify and describe how you plan to overcome any dependence on other technology, ecosystem, or business requirement.

This competition opens on 30th November, with an online briefing event scheduled to take place on 27th November. All applications must be submitted before 13th January 2021. If you need more information, please visit the Innovate UK competition page. Alternatively, if you’d like to discuss your project with one of our expert advisers, please contact us today.

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£2 million available for sustainable plastic packaging projects

Innovate UK is investing up to £2 million in early-stage projects through the Future Plastic Packaging Solutions competition. This forms part of the wider Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging (SSPP) Challenge, which aims to deliver cleaner growth across the supply chain and reduce the amount of plastic waste entering the environment.

Scope

This competition will support feasibility studies and industrial research projects that address widely known problems related to plastic packaging. Innovate UK aims to fund projects with either direct or indirect commercial outcomes for the partners.  Additionally, proposals should explain how their innovation addresses one or more of the UK Plastics Pact targets.

Projects must deliver one or more of the following:

  • a more circular plastic packaging value chain, with reduced environmental impacts, such as carbon emissions and improved recyclability
  • improved understanding of effective communication techniques to increase recycling rates and uptake of re-use/refill business models
  • more consistent data and increased knowledge relevant to the supply chain.

You can find more information on in-scope projects, including specific themes, here.

Eligibility

Projects can last up to 18 months, starting by 1st June 2021 and ending by 30th November 2022. To lead a project or work alone, your organisation must be a UK registered business of any size, charity, non-government body or not-for-profit. It must carry out its project work in the UK and intend to exploit its results from or in the UK. If you are planning to work collaboratively, you can find the full eligibility criteria here.

To find out more, visit the ISCF Future Plastic Packaging Solutions competition page. Alternatively, if you'd like to discuss your project with one of our expert advisers, please contact us today.

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£5 million available for innovative food production projects

SMEs can apply for a share of £5 million in grant support to transform food production towards net zero. The grant funding is from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund. The project must also align with a Series A investment, which you can read more about here.

Scope

In short, you must develop precision technologies and data-driven solutions that make a significant step towards realising net zero food production systems by 2040. Additionally, you must demonstrate how your project meets the overall aims of the ISCF Transforming Food Production Challenge, which are to:

  • help food production systems achieve net zero emissions by 2040
  • help produce food in ways that are more efficient, resilient and sustainable
  • speed up the development and use of integrated precision approaches to improve productivity in agricultural systems.

Funding is only available for experimental development projects. They must focus on one or more of the following themes:

  • the development of precision solutions and systems that will make a significant step towards net zero emissions for food production
  • improving productivity of the agricultural sector
  • stimulating the establishment of novel high value production systems
  • developing export opportunities
  • Please also note that projects involving equine, amenity horticulture, wild-caught fisheries or non-food crops are ineligible.
Eligibility

Your project must have total eligible costs of between £1 million and £3 million. It should last 18 months, starting by 1st October 2021 and ending by 31st March 2023. To secure grant funding, you must also secure an investment of at least twice the amount of grant through one of the lead investors associated with this programme. However, you can submit your application before speaking to an investor.

This competition is open to single applicants only. To apply your organisation must:

  • be a UK registered micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME)
  • carry out its project work in the UK and intend to exploit the results from/in the UK
  • be prepared to negotiate head of terms for an aligned series A investment.

The ISCF Transforming Food Production Challenge opens on 2nd November and closes on 13th January. To find out more, please visit Innovate UK. Alternatively, you can contact us if you have any further questions.

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UK and Canada biomanufacturing innovations in cell and gene therapies

Canada flag blowing in the skyInnovate UK has partnered with the National Research Council of Canada for a new funding opportunity aimed at UK SMEs. They aim to identify UK partners who will bring innovative solutions to support and collaborate with the NRC Challenge Program in Health and Disruptive Technologies for Cell and Gene Therapy.

This competition aims to support improvements in biomanufacturing for cost-effective gene and cell-based therapies. Your project must develop solutions to address one of the following two areas:

1. Process improvement for adeno-associated virus (AAV) based gene therapy.

 

In this area, your proposal must:

  • Demonstrate economic viability by coupling your proposal to more cost-effective downstream processing options than what is currently available.
  • Be based on transient transfection, developing improvement of serum free media or processes to increase AAV upstream yields.
  • Develop faster in-line, online, at-line or off-line process analytical assays in order to support process development.
  • Develop more cost effective, robust and scalable AAV particle separation methods (preferably chromatography based).
2. Deploy process analytical technologies to perfusion-enabled lentiviral vector manufacturing.

In area 2, you will have access to the perfusion-enabled high yield LV production process developed at NRC. Your proposal must show how you will develop and deploy complementary in-line monitoring technologies for real time process characterisation using:

  • Capacitance frequency scanning (Aber Instruments).
  • Multi-wavelength fluorometry (NRC technology).
  • Raman spectroscopy including analysis algorithms.
Eligibility

Firstly, your project must:

  • Start by 1st May 2021.
  • Be up to 24 months in duration.
  • Have total eligible costs of up to £128,000, of which up to 75% will be funded by this initiative.

To lead a project, your organisation must be either a SME, catapult, charity, or not for profit. Before starting an application, you must also have established a partnership with an appropriate research team at NRC Canada. The Knowledge Transfer Network is holding an information session on the 3rd November where NRC researchers will explain the type of projects they are looking for. This provides a great opportunity to connect with NRC counterparts before applying.

This competition closes on 23rd December 2020. To find out more, please visit Innovate UK. Alternatively, you can contact us with any further enquiries.

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