Innovate UK (IUK) is investing up to £19 million to support innovation across the manufacturing and materials and infrastructure systems sectors. Funded projects will target opportunities that offer significant changes in productivity and cutting-edge innovations. The competition has two strands: a manufacturing and materials strand, and an infrastructure systems strand.

The manufacturing and materials strand aims to encourage and broaden innovation in the manufacturing and materials sector. Projects should target opportunities for significant changes in productivity and in cutting-edge innovations with significant potential for encouraging growth in all parts of the UK economy. Projects should range in size from £50,000 to £2 million and last between six months and three years and must address at least one of the following areas:

  • Innovation in a manufacturing system, technology, process or business model.
  • Innovation in materials development, properties, integration or reuse.
  • A manufacturing or materials innovation, rather than a product innovation.

The infrastructure systems strand aims to encourage innovation in infrastructure systems that provide critical services for the economy, environment and society. Projects should range in size from £25,000 to £3 million and last between three months and three years. They must show significant innovation in at least one of the following priority areas:

  • Smart infrastructure
  • Energy supply and systems
  • Connected transport
  • Urban living

To be eligible for funding applicants must be a UK-based business or research and technology organisation (RTO) and carry out their project work, and intend to exploit the results, in the UK. Projects with costs under and including £100,000 can be single or collaborative but must be led by an SME, while projects over £100,000 must be collaborative and involve an SME.

Proposals in both strands must improve business growth and productivity or create export opportunities for at least one UK SME involved in the project. A portfolio of projects will be funded and projects may focus on technical feasibility, industrial research or experimental development.

The lead applicant must first register online before completing and uploading the online application.

The deadline for both strands of the competition is 31 January 2018.

For more information please click here: Competition