News story

Emerging and enabling & health and life sciences: apply for funds

Organisations can apply for a share of £19 million for innovative projects or £12 million for business-graduate partnerships in either industry sector area.

Robopod at Innovate 2017
Robopod's configureable robotics, on display at Innovate 2017. By Adam Gasson.

Innovate UK has up to £19 million to invest in innovative ideas for new products, processes and services in the fields of emerging and enabling technologies and health and life sciences.

You can apply to either industry sector, so long as your project meets the specific competition scope.

A further £12 million is available in Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP), which allows businesses to recruit graduates that can help them on an innovation project.

New and novel, emerging and enabling technologies

Emerging and enabling technologies have the potential to transform a wide range of markets and generate significant economic growth.

Projects should be in one of 4 priority areas:

  • emerging technologies, which have either recently developed or are starting to come out of the research base. It includes biofilms, energy harvesting, graphene and cutting-edge imaging technologies
  • digital technology, specifically in the areas of machine learning and artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, big data, distributed ledger, Internet of Things, 5G and virtual and augmented reality
  • enabling capabilities, such as electronics, sensors and photonics, robotics and autonomous systems, as well as opportunities in the creative industries
  • space applications including satellite communications, positioning, navigation and timing and Earth observation

All projects should provide business growth, productivity or an export opportunity for at least one SME and be applied in more than one industry, sector or market.

Competition information

  • the competition is open, and the deadline is at midday on 28 March 2018
  • projects must be led by a business or a research and technology organisation and must include an SME
  • we expect projects to range in size from £35,000 to £2 million and to last from 3 months to 3 years
  • businesses could attract up to 70% of their project costs
  • briefing events will be held in Edinburgh, Cardiff and Leeds in January and February

Addressing health and life sciences challenges

We are seeking projects that lead to increased agricultural productivity, better food quality and sustainability or improved health.

These could be in:

  • agricultural productivity, such as advanced and precision engineering, novel genetics and breeding, or fighting agro-chemical and antimicrobial resistance
  • enhancing food quality, for example, through better authenticity and traceability, modern manufacturing, new ingredients and smarter packaging
  • precision medicine, including accurate decision-making for patient management and choice of therapy
  • advanced therapies, including development of innovative cell and gene therapies
  • medicines discovery, including development and validation of technologies, models and test systems
  • advanced biosciences, such as the development of tools, platforms and techniques

Competition information

  • the competition is open, and the deadline for applications is at midday on 28 March 2018
  • projects must be led by a business or a research and technology organisation and must include an SME
  • we expect projects to range in size from £50,000 to £2 million and to last between 6 months and 24 months
  • businesses could attract up to 70% of their project costs
  • briefing events will be held in Edinburgh, Cardiff and Leeds in January and February

Applying for KTPs

Up to £12 million is available to fund KTPs across emerging and enabling technologies and health and life sciences.

The scheme can help businesses to grow by linking them with an academic or research organisation and a graduate with relevant skills.

We particularly welcome KTPs that meet the competition scope, however, we will consider disciplines and applications that span across the sectors.

Projects can last between 12 and 36 months. Businesses should speak to a knowledge transfer adviser before starting an application.

Published 22 January 2018