Innovate UK, as part of UK Research and Innovation, has selected a pool of investor partners. These investor partners have demonstrated that they have the credibility, capability, capacity and appetite to invest in innovative, technology-led businesses that align with the programmes. These programmes will focus on the future economy as described in the plan for action.
The Future Economy investor partnership programme brings together:
- Innovate UK’s expertise in identifying innovation and using grant funding to change the risk profile of businesses
- investor partners’ aligned funding and expertise in identifying opportunities and teams that can best use extra investment finance
- The aim of this competition is to provide you with support for research and development and access to the capital investment you need to develop and commercialise your innovations.
They are looking to support projects that focus on the future economy areas included in the Innovate UK plan for action. The broad theme areas are:
- net zero
- health and wellbeing
- next generation digital technologies and technology families
Innovation and ideas can come from anyone and anywhere. They want to see investments unlocked for the diverse and extraordinary talent in the UK. They are encouraging diverse applicants and inclusive project applications, pushing beyond the status quo.
They encourage innovation involving communities that are typically under-represented, including:
- from regions that have historically accessed lower levels of investment (outside London, Oxford and Cambridge)
- ethnic minority groups
- women and other marginalised genders
- disabled people
- people with non-traditional education backgrounds
To support this, they also have a targeted theme on equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI).
- The investor partnership programme will be focused on specific themes for the future economy areas that include:
- Net Zero
- capital intensive technologies
- power – particularly offshore wind, civil nuclear, hydrogen, carbon capture and storage, and whole systems integration
- heating and retrofit
- resource efficiency for materials and manufacturing
- critical circular materials
- battery technologies for transport and energy storage (Faraday Battery Challenge)
- Health and Wellbeing
- innovative solutions to health and healthcare challenges (Biomedical Catalyst)
- advancing life-changing Cancer Therapeutics, focussed on immunotherapies and paediatric oncology
- the application of extended reality for digital mental health, including immersive content that could be delivered as a digital mental health therapeutic in formal healthcare settings (Mindset)
- controlled environment agriculture and alternative proteins
- Next generation digital technologies
- projects within the creative industries which are underpinned by innovative digital technology as well as sustainable innovations, such as circular fashion (Creative Catalyst)
- adoption of artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies in targeted industries (Bridge AI)
- Knows No Limit (equality, diversity and inclusion)
- innovations from diverse founders or senior decision-makers that are from under-represented groups and are role models
- innovations outside of the future economy theme areas, including those that support under-served communities and groups
- Net Zero
- If your project is not focused on one of the specific themes above then it may be supported if it is in the future economy areas of net zero, health and wellbeing and digital and technologies as set out in the Innovate UK plan for action.
- For feasibility studies projects:
- your total project costs must be between £50,000 and £300,000
- the project duration must be between 6 and 12 months
- For industrial research projects:
- your total project costs must be between £100,000 and £1 million
- the project duration must be between 6 and 24 months
- For experimental development projects:
- your total project costs must be between £250,000 and £2 million
- the project duration must be between 12 and 24 months
- They are not funding projects that are:
- not carried out by SMEs
- collaborative R&D projects
- not part of a company’s growth plan
- unable to demonstrate there is potential for return on investment and growth
- not working with an investor partner from the selected pool of investor partners
- They cannot fund projects that are:
- dependent on export performance, for example giving a subsidy to a baker on the condition that it exports a certain quantity of bread to another country
- dependent on domestic inputs usage, for example giving a subsidy to a baker on the condition that it uses 50% UK flour in their product
- The eligibility criteria will depend on your research category.
- To apply your organisation must:
- be a UK registered micro, small or medium sized business (SME)
- carry out its project work in or from the UK
- intend to exploit the results in or from the UK
- have discussed and agreed your proposal with your investor partner before submitting your application
- Subcontractors are allowed in this competition.
- Subcontractors can be from anywhere in the UK and you must select them through your usual procurement process.
- Number of applications
- You can only submit one application into this round of the competition.
For more information, visit GOV.UK.