Businesses can apply for funding to support a range of innovation projects that tackle commercial challenges in manufacturing and materials.
Innovate UK has up to £15 million to invest in projects that support innovation in manufacturing and materials and lead to improvements in productivity, competitiveness and growth.
We are seeking to support feasibility studies, industrial research and experimental development. Projects may span more than one category of research.
The competition is the first of Innovate UK’s new simplified competitions focused on the 4 key sectors of manufacturing and materials; emerging and enabling technologies; health and life sciences; and infrastructure systems.
Universities and Science Minister Jo Johnson said:
The UK is a global leader in many areas of specialist manufacturing, and we are committed to supporting industry to grow, develop innovative ideas and boost productivity. This £15m competition is a milestone in our approach to support large and small companies as well as researchers to get their ideas off the drawing board.
Manufacturing is strong growth market
In this manufacturing and materials competition, we are particularly seeking applications that:
- take an innovative step in addressing the manufacturing readiness of growing sectors
- develop flexible or efficient processes
- seek greater customisation of products to fit diverging consumer needs
- diversify product and service lines to serve new markets
- develop novel services that open up new sources of revenue from manufacturing
Additive manufacturing is not included in the scope of this competition but will be the focus of a second competition to be launched soon. An open competition that is not sector based will also be launched in June.
- the competition is opens and the deadline for registration is at noon on 6 July 2016
- projects must be led by a business and include at least one SME
- projects with eligible costs up to £100,000 can involve a single SME
- projects with eligible costs of more than £100,000 must involve a business working with at least one other business or research organisation
- we expect projects to range in size from total costs of £50,000 to £2 million and to last from 6 months to 3 years
- businesses could receive up to 70% of their project costs for feasibility studies and industrial research, and up to 45% of their costs for experimental development
- briefing events for potential applicants will take place in London on 23 May 2016, in the West Midlands on 26 May 2016 and in Manchester on 27 May 2016