Innovate UK has published its 12 month delivery plan promising investment of £561 million in innovation and to take a more focused approach to supporting innovative UK companies.
Its delivery plan for the year 2016 to 2017 includes:
a new sector focus that is easier for industry, investors and government to work with
a 5-point plan to underpin activity across these sectors and drive productivity growth
clearer funding programmes that are easier to navigate
improvements to the way Innovate UK connects businesses to knowledge and partners
a stronger regional presence
Chief executive Dr Ruth McKernan commented, “To be globally competitive the UK must innovate and grow. Innovation is responsible for 50% of all productivity growth and the mission of Innovate UK is to help make this happen.”
“We will build on our track record of success, focusing ever more closely on scaling up SMEs, equipping them to reap the benefits of the fourth industrial revolution.”
New sector groupings
Four sector groups have been established within Innovate UK:
emerging and enabling technologies
health and life sciences
manufacturing and materials
Each will have two broad funding competitions, and 2 open competitions for applications from any sector or technology area.
Transport will be split between Infrastructure Systems and Manufacturing and Materials sectors.
There will be other programmes and competitions in partnership with other government organisations.
The new sector approach will be supported by 5 high-level goals:
turning scientific excellence into economic impact
accelerating growth by nurturing high-growth-potential SMEs in key sectors
building on innovation excellence throughout the UK
developing Catapult centres
evolving funding models
Transport in Infrastructure Systems
The Infrastructure Systems sector group covers the major global market opportunities in optimising transport and energy systems and integrating these with other systems such as health and digital in an urban context.
Among ‘key actions’ planned for the next 12 months in Infrastructure Systems will be to continue to Transport Systems and and to continue the OLEV Integrated Delivery Programme 13 (the next being IDP13).
Two Infrastructure Systems competitions are scheduled: one in July 2016 for up to £15m, the second in January 2017 also for up to £15m, to support businesses providing scalable solutions for system challenges across energy generation and supply, transport and urban living. These could be:
solutions for affordable, sustainable and secure energy delivery
solutions for intelligent mobility
integrated solutions to systemic challenges in urban areas
resilience of infrastructure and cities to environmental and societal pressure
Transport Systems Catapult funding will be up to £11 million.
Transport in Manufacturing and Materials
Innovate UK’s Manufacturing and Materials sector group will focus on the development, validation and application of cross-cutting manufacturing and materials technologies and processes to drive productivity and growth.
Among activities planned for the year are competitions themed in areas of Additive Manufacturing, Manufacturing Readiness, and Manufacturing and Materials.
A Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (C-CAV) 2016 Competition is scheduled for the Summer of this year, plus although also included in Infrastructure, an OLEV supported Integrated Delivery Programme 13 (IDP13) is planend for the third quarter of 2016.
The support to be offered for both the C-CAV and IDP 13 competitions are not yet confirmed but the plan states the government will invest more than £600 million between now and 2021 through OLEV to support uptake and manufacturing of ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEVs) in the UK.