Innovate UK (IUK) is investing up to £15 million in innovative R&D projects that are designed to help businesses develop new products, processes and services with commercial potential. The aim is to enhance UK competitiveness, growth and improve national productivity. Concepts can cover any technology, engineering or industrial area, including Innovate UK’s 4 priority sectors for growth: emerging and enabling technologies; health and life sciences; infrastructure systems; and manufacturing and materials. Projects should demonstrate disruptive, cutting-edge innovations from businesses with clear ambition and potential for growth. Priority will be given to proposals that are likely to lead to sustainable gains in productivity and/or access to new overseas markets through export led business growth. IUK expects projects to last 6 to 36 months.  Total eligible project costs from £25,000 up to £1 million, depending on the type of project.

There are 2 streams, dependent on the size and length of the project.

  • Stream 1: Projects with eligible costs of up to £100,000 and 12 months or less in duration. Total funding available £5 million.
  • Stream 2: Projects with eligible costs of up to £1 million and between 12 and 36 months in duration. Total funding available £10 million.

The competition will be open to both SMEs and large companies based in and carrying out a project in the UK. They can work individually or collaboratively. Research organisations can participate in projects as collaborators. The level of total research participation is set at a maximum of 30% of total eligible project costs. Successful applicants can attract grant funding towards their eligible innovation project costs. The funding is to be used towards research and development projects that tackle technical challenges. Projects can focus on: market research; technical feasibility; industrial research; or experimental, development depending on the challenge identified and proposed solution.

The deadline for competition registrations is noon on 31 August 2016. For more information: