2020: A Year in Review

2020 – well, where do we begin? It’s been an eventful year for RedKnight and all of our clients, with the Covid-19 pandemic bringing challenges that none of us could have foreseen. We’ve spent the best part of the year working from home, more committed than ever to making innovation funding easier for start-ups and SMEs. It’s fair to say we lost count of all the Zoom meetings a long time ago!


While the year has had its challenges, it’s also brought highpoints that we as a business are extremely proud of. We've supported projects from a range of sectors, from digital health to advanced materials. In particular, we were proud to support the innovative medtech start-up, GeneFirst, with a successful application to Horizon 2020’s Innovative Medicine Initiative, winning €2.8 million. The competition was extremely competitive; of 144 applications, just 8 projects received funding. An impressive feat, considering RedKnight had just 14 days to develop and write the 70-page application! To read more about GeneFirst’s Rapid-Covid project, and the other successful projects we’ve supported this year, visit our website.

2020 in Numbers

It's been another busy year of bid writing, with 26 proposals submitted at the time of writing. We are proud to have secured a further £3.7 million in grant funding, bringing our total to almost £10 million! Our average application score now stands at 78%, with a success rate of over 42%.

Overall, 2020 has been a great year for RedKnight, and we look forward to taking on new challenges in 2021. We’d like to take the opportunity to say a huge thank you to all of our clients, both new and old, who’ve trusted us to support their proposals. We look forward to following your projects in 2021 and working with you again in the future!

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The Green Industrial Revolution: What it means for innovation

UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has this week outlined his Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution, marking the beginning of the UK’s path to net zero. The plan will mobilise £12 billion of government investment to create and support 250,000 jobs throughout the UK. Significantly, the Government has pledged that the UK’s industrial heartlands, including Wales, the Midlands, and the North East, will be at the foreground of this movement.

The plan covers a wide range of sectors, including clean energy, transport, nature, and innovative technologies. Innovation will be vital in these areas to ensure that the UK reaches net zero by 2050.

Therefore, the 10 points are as follows:
  1. Offshore wind: Producing enough offshore wind to power every home, quadrupling the amount of energy the UK currently produces to 40GW by 2030.
  2. Hydrogen: The Government will work with industry to generate 5GW of low carbon hydrogen production capacity by 2030.
  3. Nuclear: Advancing nuclear as a clean energy source.
  4. Electric vehicles: Accelerating the transition to electric vehicles, as well as improving national infrastructure to support the transition.
  5. Public transport, cycling and walking: Making further investments in zero-emission public transport.
  6. Jet zero and greener maritime: Supporting the aviation and maritime industries, which the Government regards as “difficult-to-decarbonise.”
  7. Homes and public buildings: Making homes, schools, and hospitals greener, warmer, and more energy efficient.
  8. Carbon capture: Developing technologies to capture and store carbon emissions away from the atmosphere.
  9. Nature: Protecting the natural environment, for example by planting 30,000 hectares of trees every year.
  10. Innovation and finance: Developing new technologies to ensure the UK reaches its energy ambitions.
Clean Growth and Innovation

Clean growth and infrastructure is a priority area of investment for Innovate UK, as set out in its 2019-20 Delivery Plan. The KTN, who is also playing a key role in this area, welcomed the Government's plans. However, they believe there are areas in which the plan does not go far enough. For example, they suggest more money will be required to decarbonise and retrofit all UK homes, as well as for the maritime sector to become greener.

This year alone, we have seen a multitude of innovation competitions linked to areas set out in the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan. Past competitions include sorting and segregating nuclear waste, zero-emission vehicle technologies, and more! Additionally, SMEs can apply now for a share of £5 million to help transform food production towards net zero.

Following the Green Industrial Revolution announcement, we expect to see more environmental competitions in the coming months. Stay up to date with grant funding opportunities on our blog or through our free monthly newsletter.