It’s great to be able to share the first edition of EmpowerRD’s grant funding review and to wish you all a Happy New Year!

2022 promises to be a momentous one for UK innovators. The government has pledged to invest “unprecedented funding” into innovation, with a target of £20 billion in R&D spending per year by 2024, and more funding opportunities are appearing every month.

We understand how difficult it is to stay up-to-date with the ever-changing funding landscape, which is why we’ve handpicked a selection of UK grant opportunities that are open to businesses now.

This review covers a wide range of topics, from UK-Singapore collaborative R&D to the commercialisation of quantum technologies in the United Kingdom. Read through and see if any of these funding opportunities are suitable for your company.    

UK-Singapore Collaborative R&D

Innovate UK has partnered with Enterprise Singapore, a government agency supporting enterprise growth. Together, they’re investing up to £3 million to fund business-led R&D projects that focus on industrial research.

To be eligible, you must be a UK-based business with an innovative project with technological risk and high market potential for commercialisation in Singapore and Britain. 

Innovate UK plans to fund projects that produce a new product, industrial process, or service. The following industries will be “particularly encouraged” to apply:

  • Advanced manufacturing and materials
  • Agrifood tech
  • Mobility and transport
  • Cybersecurity
  • Health and life sciences

A qualifying partnership must include at least one member from the United Kingdom and one from Singapore. Success Applicants will receive a maximum grant of £350,000. 

Opened: 24 January 2022
Closes: 20 April 2022

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Automotive Transformation Fund Feasibility Studies: Round 3

The Automotive Transformation Fund has launched a £10 million competition for business case feasibility studies to help scale the UK’s zero-emission automotive supply chain.

The Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC), Innovate UK, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Department for Internation are all involved. It supports industrialisation at the scale of a high-value electrified automotive supply chain in the UK.

To be eligible, you must be a single organisation or consortium with a proposal for business case feasibility studies up to the value of £1 million. These feasibility studies must produce a decision-ready business case in preparation for projects which will develop large scale manufacturing facilities in the UK.

The resulting projects must support the UK automotive industry in:

  • increasing business confidence in making large scale manufacturing investments
  • building electrified vehicle supply chain

Also, you must have started your project on or after 1 May and ended on or before 31 March 2023. It must also be completed within 6 months.

Opened: 24 January 2022
Closes: 9 March 2022

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Innovate UK Smart Grants: January 2022

Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, has set up Innovate UK Smart Grants. This ‘open grant funding’ programme offers UK registered companies the chance to apply for a share of up to £25 million for ‘game-changing and commercially viable R&D innovation that significantly impacts the UK economy.’ 

To be eligible, the project must include one micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME) as the lead or a collaborative grant claiming partner. It must have started by 1 October 2022 and ended by 30 September 2025.

Also, if your project’s duration is 6 to 18 months, it must have total eligible project costs between £100,000 and £500,000, and it can be single or with a collaborative grant claiming partner.

Alternatively, if the project’s duration is 6 to 18 months, it must total eligible project costs between £100,000 and £2 million and be collaborative. 

Applications can come from any sector of technology and be used to address a wide range of industries, such as, but not limited to:

  • net zero
  • health and wellbeing
  • technologies
  • the arts, design and media

Opened: 17 January 2022
Closes: 13 April 2022

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ISCF Commercialising quantum technologies: feasibility studies round 3

UK registered businesses can apply for a share of up to £6 million for projects to advance the commercialisation of quantum technologies in the UK. This funding is from Innovate UK, specifically from the ISCF Commercialising quantum technologies challenge.

This funding programme intends to advance the commercialisation of quantum technologies in the UK and to address numerous technical challenges in:

  • connectivity
  • seeing the invisible
  • positioning, navigation and timing
  • computing

To be considered, you must have a proposal that demonstrates a “clear market opportunity”, and your endeavour must be innovative.

Your project must:

  • Outlines the industry investment it will generate 
  • Exploits second-generation quantum techniques
  • Demonstrates how your technology will contribute to the commercialisation of quantum in the UK

Furthermore, your project must start by 1 November and last between 12 and 18 months and your project total eligible costs can come up to £500,000.

Opened: 17 January 2022
Closes: 9 March 2022

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SBRI – Climate and Environmental Risk Analytics for Resilient Finance: Phase 1

To develop solutions that combine climate and environmental factors in the financial services business, businesses can apply for a share of up to £1.5 million inclusive of VAT.

This is a Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) competition funded by Innovate UK as a continuation of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Climate and Environmental Risk Analytics for Resilient Finance (CERAF) competition, which focussed on academic innovation.

The purpose of this competition is to encourage a greater focus on climate and environmental risk (CER) in the financial services sector as part of net-zero carbon goals. It aims to show and implement innovative ideas that integrate climate and environmental factors into financial services.

It is the first phase of a two-phase competition. Your initial application in phase 1 will determine whether you proceed to the final stage, which is an application process in itself.

To be eligible for phase 1, your project must start by 1 June 2022 and end by 31 August 2022 and it must last up to 3 months. You must also have a maximum total eligible costs of up to £50,000 inclusive of VAT.

Opened: 17 January 2022
Closes: 16 February 2022

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