Three new business grant funding competitons open



Businesses can apply for a share of £15 million to support disruptive innovation in any technology area with potential to generate growth.

Innovate UK is making funding available for game-changing, cutting-edge or disruptive innovation projects that leads to new products, processes or service with its Open Programme

Open Programme

Projects can come from any technology, science, engineering or industrial area. They can fit in with any of Innovate UK’s priority sectors – emerging and enabling technologies, health and life sciences, infrastructure systems, and manufacturing and materials – or be outside.

Funding is available for a wide range of projects, from feasibility studies to experimental development that is closer to market.

Priority will be given to proposals that are likely to lead to sustainable growth in productivity or develop products and services that will access new markets overseas. All projects should demonstrate the potential to generate commercial impact and economic growth.

Find out more about Innovate UK’s open programme.

Up to £16 million is available to UK business across 2 competitions for technologies and systems for extreme and challenging environments.

Innovate UK is making the funding available for robotics and artificial intelligence technologies in applications such as deep mining, nuclear energy, space and off-shore energy.

This is an Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund activity. It aims to develop robotics technologies that can take people out of dangerous work environments and go beyond human limits.

Demonstrator programme

There is up to £6 million available for projects that stimulate the development of robotics and artificial intelligence demonstrators.

This is the first phase of the competition. Projects should focus on technical feasibility studies of individual technologies, systems or subsystems in extreme or challenging environments.

Phase 2 will run in 2018. This will focus on experimental developments of fully-integrated systems that will be tested and demonstrated in realistic, extreme environments. To be considered to lead a project in phase 2 you must apply in phase 1.

Find out more about the robotics and artificial intelligence demonstrator competition and apply.

Collaborative research and development

You can apply for a share of £10 million for collaborative research and development (R&D) that results in new and novel systems.

Projects should demonstrate a potential step-change in capabilities. Examples include:

  • innovative materials or systems, for example, actuators, sensors and telecommunications
  • improved robotic capabilities, such as structural and radiation tolerance
  • improved machine vision systems
  • improved situational awareness, navigation, localisation and mapping
  • more energy-efficient devices and systems
  • miniaturised systems, for example, sensors, components and integrated sub-systems
  • systems engineering including verification and validation tools and methodologies
  • mission planning and risk management

The focus is primarily on off-shore energy, nuclear energy, space and deep mining, however, other extreme and challenging environments may also be considered. We are particularly interested in projects that cut across sectors.

Find out more about the robotics and artificial intelligence collaborative R&D competition and apply.

You can see more funding competitions here.