Grant information


closed    Opened: 28 March 2022   |   Closes: 20 April 2022

Overview

UK businesses can apply for a share of up to £3 million to resolve productivity and competitiveness issues by working with top scientists and research facilities.

Description

Up to £3 million in small collaborative innovation projects will be invested by Innovate UK, as part of UK Research and Innovation including partnerships with:

  • the National Physical Laboratory (NPL)
  • the National Measurement Laboratory (NML) at LGC Group
  • the National Engineering Laboratory (NEL)
  • the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)
  • National Institute for Biological Standards and Control (NIBSC)
  • National Gear Metrology Lab (GEARS)
  • Henry Royce Institute
  • Newton Gateway to Mathematics
  • Advanced Sustainable Manufacturing Technologies (ASTUTE 2020+)

The aim of this competition is to match the best UK scientists and cutting-edge facilities with businesses that have complex analysis or measurement problems.

Your proposal must describe a measurement or analysis problem where you are seeking a solution to improve your businesses productivity or competitiveness. You must provide an estimate of the value to your business of solving it.

This is stage 1 of a 2 stage competition. No funding is awarded at this stage.

If you are successful at this stage, you will be invited to brokerage consultations with relevant analysis for innovators (A4I) partners. These will focus approaches to solving your problem. You will work together to propose joint projects to develop solutions.

Successful stage 2 applications will be grant funded, to work with the relevant partner organisations.

This competition is split into two strands. These are:

In applying to this competition, you are entering into a competitive process. This competition closes at 11am UK time on the deadline stated.

Funding type

Grant

Project size

Your project’s total costs must be no more than £50,000.

Who can apply

Your project

Your proposed project in stage two must:

  • have total costs of up to £50,000
  • start between October 2022 and January 2023
  • end by 31 March 2023
  • last up to 3 months
  • carry out all of its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK
  • involve at least one of the A4I partner organisations

Lead organisation

To lead a project or work alone your organisation must be a UK registered micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME).

Subcontractors

Subcontractors are not allowed in this competition.

Number of applications

You can only make one application in this strand of the competition.

You can only submit a problem once to either strand of the competition.

Previous applications

You can use a previously submitted application to apply for this competition.

Innovate UK will not award you funding if you have:

Minimum financial assistance (and De minimis where applicable)

Grant funding in this competition is awarded as Minimal Financial assistance (MFA). This allows public bodies to award up to £315,000 to an enterprise in a 3-year rolling financial period.

In your stage 2 application, you will be asked to declare previous funding received by you. This will form part of the financial checks ahead of Innovate UK making a formal grant offer.

To establish your eligibility, Innovate UK needs to check that our support added to the amount you have previously received does not exceed the limit of £315,000 in the ‘applicable period’.

The applicable period is made up of:

(a) the elapsed part of the current financial year, and

(b) the two financial years immediately preceding the current financial year.

You must include any funding which you have received during the applicable period under:

You do not need to include aid or subsidies which have been granted on a different basis (such as an aid award granted under the General Block Exemption Regulation).

Further information about the UK subsidy control requirements can be found in:

EU Commission rules now only apply in limited circumstances. Please see our general guidance to check if these rules apply to your organisation.

Further information

If you are unsure about your obligations under the UK’s International Obligations to Subsidy Control or the De minimis rules, you should take independent legal advice. Innovate UK cannot advise on individual eligibility or your legal obligations.

If there are any changes to the above requirements that means Innovate UK needs to change the terms of this competition, they will tell you as soon as possible.

Funding

Up to £3 million has been allocated to fund innovation projects in stage two of this competition. Funding will be in the form of a grant.

For more information on company sizes, please refer to the Company accounts guidance. This is a change from the EU definition unless you are applying under European Commission De minimis.

If you are applying for an award funded under European Commission Regulations, the definitions are set out in the European Commission Recommendation of 6 May 2003.

Scope

Your proposal

The aim of this competition is to help businesses address their existing analysis and measurement problems. These are problems that are best explored by scientists and cutting-edge facilities available in the UK.

You must outline what you consider to be the benefits of solving your problem, such as improved productivity or competitiveness.

Innovate UK will only consider problems that:

  • are related to the measurement or analysis of some quantities or properties of an existing process, product or service
  • are not effectively solvable by simple ‘off the shelf’ methods or techniques

You must outline any methods and attempts that you have previously tried to address the problem. Do not propose how the problem should be solved.

Analysis problems cannot be simply software related, for example pure data analysis.

As part of your application you must include a short video, up to 2 minutes long.

You must use Innovate UK Analysis for Innovators (A4I) Video platform to record your video and then provide a link in your application

If Innovate UK is unable to view your video, your application will be made ineligible.

Innovate UK wants to fund a portfolio of problems, across a variety of technologies, markets, and sectors.

Projects that will not be addressed

Innovate UK will not consider problems that are:

  • not measurement or analysis problems
  • ones Innovate UK considers to be resolvable with easily available methods, such as those that do not require any innovative or cutting-edge science or facilities
  • solely computer software analysis problems, such as algorithms to analyse objects
  • not related to a company’s existing processes, products or services
  • involved with primary production in fishery and aquaculture
  • involved with primary production in agriculture
  • not allowed under De minimis regulation restrictions
  • not eligible to receive Minimal Financial Assistance’
  • relating to the purchase of road freight transport
  • dependent on export performance – for example giving an award to a baker on the condition that they export a certain quantity of bread to another country
  • dependent on domestic inputs usage - for example if Innovate UK gives an award to a baker on the condition that they use 50% UK flour in their product

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