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Innovation Funding Round-up – June 2020

As UK businesses go through the process of reacting, responding, and recovering to the global COVID-19 pandemic, grant funding is available to support those looking to innovate into new areas and emerge with a competitive edge.

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‘Innovation’ can mean a new product, a new process, a new service or just the deployment of capability in a new way. The funding calls below offer a snapshot of what is currently available for UK businesses. If you have an idea that is not covered below and are looking for funding, please get in touch with your innovation advisor who will be able to assist.

Featured funding call for launching into a growing industry: Space Surveillance and Tracking

There are an estimated 900,000 pieces of space debris larger than 1 cm orbiting the Earth, with only a small proportion of them tracked. The UK Space Agency is providing up to £1 million for organisations to come up with smart solutions to this problem by using cost effective ways to monitor objects in low Earth Orbit or applying artificial intelligence to make better use of existing orbital data.

Organisations will be able to bid for a maximum grant of £250,000. The UK Space Agency are interested in application focusing on one of the two core themes:

  • Low-cost Low Earth Orbit (LEO) surveillance and tracking sensors
  • Artificial Intelligence and Machine learning to enhance SST data exploitation

The market for Space Surveillance and Tracking is growing substantially and is expected to reach over £100 million by 2025. This provides an opportunity for the UK space industry to take a leading role. This fund can support businesses already established in the sector or those new to space related innovation.

More information can be found here.

Applications must be submitted by 10 July 2020.

More space industry specific funding can be found here.

COVID-19 related space industry funding can be found here.

Featured funding call for branching out into sustainable products: Designing sustainable plastic solutions

Innovate UK is investing £800,000 in early-stage, human-centred design projects to reduce the harm that plastics have on our environment, and to increase productivity and growth of the UK economy.  This aim of this competition is to help businesses to create designs for innovative goods, services or business models that will result in less persistent plastic waste entering our environment. This should be achieved by businesses obtaining a better understanding of relevant customer and user behaviours. Total project costs must be between £20,000 and £80,000.

More information can be found here.

Applications must be submitted by Wednesday 16 September 2020 12:00pm.

Featured funding call for growing global partnerships: Eureka: healthy ageing

UK businesses can apply for grants of up to £500,000, to develop digital health and smart device products that promote healthy ageing. Projects must be collaborative, and partners must be based in at least one of the Eureka countries (France, Spain, Belgium, Luxembourg, Canada, Malta, Turkey, and Austria). Projects must focus on one of the following areas:

  • robotics
  • augmented or artificial intelligence
  • software as a medical device
  • wearables
  • medical devices
  • diagnostics
  • imaging
  • data analytics
  • sensors
  • apps

More information can be found here.

Applications must be submitted by Wednesday 5 August 2020 12:00pm

For support finding partners, contact your local Department for International Trade office.

Additional funding

Funding is available for a range of projects, across a range of industries. Competition is high, but successful applications can enable rapid progression of development and diversification of business capability. Support is available for business preparing applications. Get in touch with your advisor to find out more.

More general information on funding available can be found here.

COVID-19 funding

Some funding is still available for organisations looking to develop or re-develop their products in aid of the fight against COVID. The following links offer more information:

UKRI COVID-19 Open call.

If you’d like to switch your existing funding to a COVID specific project.

If you have an Innovate UK funded project but require additional funding support.

If you’d like to collaborate with academic institutions, funding on research grants available can be found here.

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