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Innovate UK – April 2021 Funding Update

Wowzers, my latest ‘Current funding opportunities’ email from Innovate UK received earlier this week, had 15 themed competitions and reference to the ‘open’ (i.e. non themed) Smart Grants competition.

Below I summarise the details of a few of the competitions but suggest, as always:

a) Signing up to receive details of competition etc direct from Innovate UK
b) Browsing their Funding finder page

Smart Grant

As a reminder, Smart Grants are Innovate UK’s ‘Open grant funding programme’, some background to which was blogged by my colleague on their launch back in 2019.

The latest round of Smart Grants opened earlier this year and closes on 26 May 2021 and provides an ‘Opportunity for UK registered organisations to apply for a share of up to £25 million from Innovate UK to deliver game-changing and commercially viable R&D innovation that can significantly impact the UK economy.’ More details can be found at link.

Themed competitions

A selection of themed competitions – you will also see from the below a theme of carbon reduction linking quite a few of the below (and more that I have not summarised below):

Title Summary Closing date (11:00 UK time)
Zero emission road freight strand one: electric road systems UK registered businesses can apply for a share of up to £10 million for feasibility studies into an electric road system demonstration. This competition will conduct pre-deployment work for a possible future electric road system demonstration. 5 May 2021
SBRI zero emission road freight, supporting uptake of battery electric trucks Organisations can apply for a share of £10 million, inclusive of VAT, to provide an innovative solution to enable fleets to switch to battery electric trucks 21 April 2021
Clean maritime demonstration: strand 2 UK registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £10 million for innovative clean maritime and smart shipping projects 2 June 2021
Clean maritime demonstration: strand 1 UK registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £10 million for innovative clean maritime and smart shipping projects 2 June 2021
NATEP: helping SMEs innovate in aerospace spring 2021 UK registered businesses can apply for a share of up to £2.5 million to carry out industry-led civil aerospace collaborative research and development (R&D) projects 19 May 2021
Farming innovation pathways (FIP): industrial research UK registered businesses and research organisations can apply to carry out industrial research.
Projects will address these farming challenges:
• productivity
• sustainability
• net zero emissions
28 April 2021
IETF deployment of energy efficiency technologies, spring 2021 Organisations can apply for a share of up to £40 million for grants to improve the energy efficiency of industrial processes, reducing energy bills and cutting carbon emissions. 14 July 2021
Expression of interest: Automotive Transformation Fund: Feb 2021 UK registered businesses can apply to run a capital investment project.
The project must help industrialise the electrified automotive supply chain at scale in the UK
Open – no closing date

 

PKF Francis Clark

Personally, I think it is good to see funding being channelled to look for innovative solutions to the biggest challenge of our time – climate change. As indicated before, we anticipate seeing more funding directed to this area in the future both nationally and at a regional level– see blog for recent example.

As always, I would suggest a potential applicant to a grant for innovation funding to speak to one of my colleagues at PKF Francis Clark in the innovation & technology tax group to understand the interaction between R&D Tax Credits (a valuable tax relief) and the grant being applied for before starting with an application.

As there is sometimes a link between innovation and fast-growing businesses, I would also suggest that, specifically younger / smaller innovative companies check out my colleague’s ‘Conversation over Coffee’ on Equity funding for SMEs – details and registration at link.

Back to the theme of ‘sustainability’ we are actively working on some more events on that theme, so please keep an eye on the events section of our website.

FEATURING: Richard Wadman
Richard qualified as a Chartered Accountant with KPMG in 1993. Since 2006 he has worked in Corporate Finance, firstly with the predecessor firm in Truro… read more
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