Funding is available to harness emerging and enabling technologies to help UK businesses broaden out innovation activities in order to find new sources of revenue from new products, processes or services.
The total budget for this call is up to £15 million.
Projects are expected to last between six months and three years and to range in size from total costs of £35,000 to £2 million, depending on the type of project.
An SME can apply on its own for funding up to £100,000.
IUK's Emerging and Enabling Technologies programme (E&E) identifies and invests in new technologies and the underpinning capabilities that improve existing industries. The aim is to inspire the new products, processes and services of tomorrow, for the benefit of industry and to disrupt existing markets.
An emerging technology is one that is progressing in, or has recently emerged from, the research base. It allows something new to take place that was not possible before. Because of this, it disrupts existing markets and enhances value to customers. It can improve lives and lead to new sources of wealth generation. Enabling technologies underpin the development of high-value products and services in many industrial sectors and markets. They improve performance and productivity.
The aim of this Emerging and Enabling Technologies Competition, worth up to £15 million, is to help businesses broaden their innovation activities in order to find new sources of revenue from new products, processes or services. Projects will:
- Harness E&E technologies across the economy.
- Develop and scale-up research and development to bring ideas, processes and products closer to availability at scale and commercial release.
- Use design processes to understand customer motivations and behaviour and use that insight to create better products, services and processes.
For the current round, IUK has four priority areas:
- Emerging technologies.
- Enabling capabilities, including electronics, sensors and photonics (ESPs), robotics and autonomous systems, and creative economy.
- Space applications.
This competition should help businesses broaden out innovation activities to find sources of revenue from new products, processes or services. IUK is looking to fund projects that meet all of the following criteria:
- show significant innovation in one of its priority areas;
- show outputs that could be applied in more than one industry, sector or market;
- improve business growth, productivity and/or create export opportunities for at least one UK SME involved in the project.
Projects costing more than £500,000 and lasting two years or longer should demonstrate a current understanding of the challenge being addressed and the needs of customers or users. Otherwise, such activities should be included in the first six months of the project.
IUK is looking to fund a portfolio of projects. These may include technical feasibility, industrial research or experimental development.
In this competition IUK will not fund:
- technologies not covered by the specific competition themes;
- incremental innovations unlikely to significantly improve UK economic and SME growth;
- projects in scope for the commercialisation of quantum technologies 3 competition
Projects must be UK business led and involve at least one SME. The applicant must carry out the project work and intend to exploit the results within the UK.
SMEs can work alone or in collaboration with other businesses or research organisations if the eligible project costs are up to £100,000. If the eligible project costs are more than £100,000, the business must work with at least one other business or research organisation (at least one of which must be an SME).
Each partner in a project can receive funding towards their project costs. The funding is a percentage of the total eligible project costs and varies, depending on the type of organisation and the type of research.
For technical feasibility studies and industrial research, applicants could receive:
- up to 70% of eligible project costs for a small business
- up to 60% for a medium-sized business
- up to 50% for a large business
For experimental development projects that are nearer to market, applicants could receive:
- up to 45% of eligible project costs for a small business
- up to 35% for a medium-sized business
- up to 25% for a large business
Costs associated with eligible research and development projects.
This programme is currently closed.
The key dates for the round two competition were:
- Competition open: Midday on Monday 6 March 2017
- Briefing event for applicants: Wednesday 8 March 2017 in London
- Brokerage events:
- Belfast: Monday 13 March 2017
- Edinburgh: Tuesday 14 March 2017
- Cardiff: Thursday 16 March 2017
- Manchester: Thursday 23 March 2017
- Registration deadline: Midday on Wednesday 3 May 2017
- Application deadline: Midday on Wednesday 10 May 2017
Applicants must first register with IUK prior to making a full application.
Those who have registered will receive an email acknowledgement of the registration followed by a second email (up to 48 hours later) which will contain a username and password for IUK's secure upload facility along with a unique application number and form.
Once the username and password has been obtained the applicant can sign into the secure website to access the finance forms for this competition. The lead partner should submit the application form, project appendices (as PDF documents) labelled with the application number, partner finance forms for every non-academic partner in the project and Je-S submission PDF output document for every academic partner in the project.
Further advice and assistance with submitting an application may be sought directly from IUK.