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.

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.


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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European Green Deal: €1 billion available for innovative projects

One of the European Commission’s top priorities is to tackle climate change and make Europe climate-neutral by 2050. As a result, the Commission has launched a €1 billion call for research and innovation projects that respond to the climate crisis. Funded by Horizon 2020, the European Green Deal Call aims to drive Europe’s recovery from the coronavirus crisis by turning green challenges into innovation opportunities.

Due to the urgency of the challenges it addresses, the Green Deal Call aims for clear, discernible results in the short to medium-term, but with a perspective of long-term change. Therefore, there are fewer, but more targeted, larger and visible actions. The focus is on rapid scalability, dissemination, and uptake.


The projects funded under this call must deliver results with tangible benefits in ten areas. Firstly, there are eight thematic areas reflecting the key work streams of the European Green Deal:

  1. Increasing climate ambition
  2. Clean, affordable and secure energy
  3. Industry for a clean and circular economy
  4. Energy and resource efficient buildings
  5. Sustainable and smart mobility
  6. Farm to fork
  7. Biodiversity and ecosystems
  8. Zero-pollution, toxic-free environments

Secondly, there are two horizontal areas: strengthening knowledge and empowering citizens. They offer a longer-term perspective in achieving the transformations set out in the European Green Deal.

Furthermore, we are pleased to confirm that UK scientists, researchers, and businesses are eligible to apply for this funding. UKRI has confirmed that projects will receive funding for the lifetime of Green Deal projects, even if they continue beyond 31st December 2020 (when the UK’s period of transition out of the EU ends).

The closing date for applications is 26th January 2021, with selected projects expected to start in autumn 2021. For our assistance in putting together a competitive proposal, contact us today.