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Innovate UK launches new £15M funding competition: Manufacturing and materials

Innovate UK is to invest up to £15 million in innovation projects in manufacturing and/or materials. These projects will focus on identified technical or commercial challenges. They will fund projects that aim to lead to increased UK SME productivity, competitiveness and growth.

Projects need to be led by a business and must involve at least one SME. They can be carried out by an SME working alone or in collaboration with other organisations. Projects should last between 6 months and 3 years. They should range from total costs of £50,000 to £2 million. Projects with costs of £100,000 or more must involve working with other partners.

They are looking for projects which focus on any of the technical feasibility, industrial research or experimental development research categories.

If you are interested in finding out about support for Industrial Biotechnology projects within this call please contact our IB team. This call may also interest food manufacturers looking for innovation to increase productivity & material efficiency through process engineering or new business models - please contact a member of the food team for details.  

 

Competition scope

The aim of this competition is to stimulate and broaden innovation in manufacturing and materials. Innovate UK will fund a range of projects that address technical or commercial challenges in this scope. These aim to lead to increased business productivity, competitiveness and growth, especially for SMEs. A project may focus on technical feasibility, industrial research or experimental development. The type of innovation project will depend on the nature of the challenge facing your business.
 
Innovation is needed to increase UK manufacturing productivity, material efficiency and competitiveness into the long term. This may come from many avenues, for example:
  • taking an innovative step in addressing the manufacturing readiness of growing sectors
  • the development of more flexible or efficient processes
  • greater customisation of products to fit diverging consumer needs
  • diversification of product and service lines to serve new markets
  • the development of novel services that open up new sources of revenue from manufacturing
To be in scope, a project must cover one of the following areas:
  • innovation in a manufacturing system, technology, process or business model. For example, in process engineering, industrial biotechnology, mechanical conversion processes, coatings, textiles, supply chain management, new product introduction processes or remanufacture
  • innovation in materials development, properties, integration or reuse. For example, for light-weighting, energy generation and storage (such as heat and electricity), electronics/sensors or for operation in demanding environments. For the purposes of this competition, materials include, but are not limited to, nano-materials, ceramics, metals and inter-metallics, polymers, composites, coatings, smart materials and joining of dissimilar materials. This could include bio-based materials.

You must show how your proposal will enable a step change in productivity and competitiveness for at least one UK SME involved in the project. The focus of your project must be on manufacturing or materials developments that have cross-sector applicability.

For this competition Innovate UK would specifically like to encourage applications featuring:

  • the novel application of a digital technology or approach to manufacturing or materials development (such as automation, modeling and simulation, data analysis)
  • design for manufacture, use and end-of-life
For full details please read the competition brief.
 
 

Briefing events

KTN  has run three briefing events about this competition, and a video of the breifing webinar is available here.

KTN and the Synthetic Biology Special Interest Group (SynBio SIG) hosted a webinar on 20th May 2016 to highlight funding opportunities for industrial biotechnology and synthetic biology in the Innovate UK delivery plan, including this competition. The recording and slides from this webinar are available now.
 

Further information

Please visit the competition page at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/funding-competition-manufacturing-and-materials.

If you are interested in finding out about support for Industrial Biotechnology projects within this call please contact our IB team. This call may also interest food manufacturers looking for innovation to increase productivity & material efficiency through process engineering or new business models - please contact a member of the food team for details.  

Registration deadline: noon on 6 July 2016

Application deadline: noon on 13 July 2016

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Webinar on funding opportunities for Industrial Biotech & SynBio

This KTN webinar provided an update on the upcoming funding opportunities for industrial biotechnology & synthetic biology, with particular focus on the remit of each competition and where applications are likely to fit best. 

Download the slide deck >>

Watch the webinar recording >>

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