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Commercialising Quantum Technologies: Feasibility studies round 2

Overview:

UK-registered businesses can apply for a share of up to £7million for feasibility studies or market research projects.

The aim of the competition is to advance the commercialisation of quantum technologies in the UK. This funding is from ISCF.

This advance is achieved through the investment of up to £7million in innovation projects which address one or more of the following technical challenges:

  • Connectivity
  • Situational awareness
  • Computing

Your proposal must identify a clear market opportunity and an innovative project which exploits it.

Your project must:

  • Exploit second generation quantum techniques
  • Demonstrate how the technology will contribute towards the commercialisation of quantum technologies in or from the UK
  • Outline the investment from industry that you will generate

Applications can be single or collaborative and must be led by a business. All applications must include a micro, small or medium sized enterprise (SME).

Your feasibility study project’s total eligible costs can be up to £500,000. If your project is market research, its total eligible costs can be up to £50,000.

Open Date:

18/01/2021

Close Date:

10/03/2021

The aim of the competition is to advance the commercialisation of quantum technologies in the UK. Your proposal must identify a clear market opportunity and an innovative project which exploits it.

The project must:

  • Study a commercial opportunity
  • Quantify performance objectives
  • Provide a roadmap of future exploitation
  • Exploit second generation quantum techniques

Second generation quantum technologies are defined as those involving the generation and coherent control of quantum states, resulting in phenomena such as superposition or entanglement. Innovate UK consider technologies involving single photon generation and quantum computing to be in scope.

You must describe how you will collect project metrics, including:

  • Investment in addition to the project partner matched funding
  • Additional capital investment aligned to or dependent on the project outcomes

Your project must address at least one of the following:

  1. Connectivity: techniques for securing data in storage and in flight.
  2. Situational Awareness: Autonomous systems. Sensors and detectors for the built environment, transport and infrastructure. Imaging and sensing “seeing things currently invisible”.
  3. Computing: Transformational computers for solving currently intractable problems.

Innovate UK want to fund a portfolio of projects, across a variety of technologies, markets, technological maturities and research categories.

Innovate UK will consider funding market research proposals to explore a unique commercial opportunity in quantum technologies.

Specific themes

Your project can focus on one or more of the following:

  • Involve consortia which span the supply chain of component suppliers, system integrators, and end-user businesses
  • Focus on maximising UK return from the quantum technology research undertaken by the UK academic base
  • Bring significant new investment and businesses into the UK’s growing quantum technologies sector
  • Develop the quantum computing industry sector (hardware, components, simulators, algorithms and software) in the UK

Your project must:

  • Have total eligible costs up to £500,000 for feasibility studies
  • Have total eligible costs up to £50,000 for market research projects
  • Start by 1 February 2022
  • End by 31 July 2023
  • Last from 12 to 18 months

Projects can be single or collaborative but must involve a micro, small or medium sized enterprise (SME), either as the lead or a partner.

Lead organisation

To lead a project or work alone, your organisation must:

  • Be a UK-registered business of any size
  • Involve an SME
  • Carry out its project work in the UK
  • Intend to exploit the results from or in the UK

You can collaborate with other UK registered businesses, research organisations, public sector organisations or charities.

Academic institutions cannot lead or work alone.


Project team

To collaborate with the lead, your organisation must:

  • Be a UK-registered business, academic institution, charity, not-for-profit, public sector organisation or research and technology organisation (RTO)
  • Carry out its project work in the UK
  • Intend to exploit the results from or in the UK

If a collaboration, the lead and at least one other organisation must claim funding by entering their costs during the application.

Each partner organisation must be invited into the Innovation Funding Service by the lead to collaborate on a project. Once accepted, partners will be asked to login or to create an account and enter their own project costs into the Innovation Funding Service.

Your project can include partners that do not receive any of this competition’s funding, for example non-UK businesses. Their costs will count towards the total eligible project costs.

Subcontractors

Subcontractors are allowed in this competition and must be selected through a participant’s normal procurement process. Subcontractors can be from anywhere in the UK. If an overseas subcontractor is selected, a case must be made as to why no UK-based subcontractor can be used including a detailed rationale, evidence of UK companies that have been approached and reasons why they were unable to do so.

Innovate UK expect subcontractor costs to be justified and appropriate to the total eligible project costs. A cheaper cost is not deemed as a sufficient reason to use an overseas subcontractor.

Number of applications

Any one business can lead up to three applications, but all applicants can partner in any number of applications.

State aid

This competition provides state aid funding under article 25, ‘Collaborative Research, Development and Innovation, of the General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER). It is your responsibility to make sure your organisation is eligible to receive state aid.

Innovate UK is unable to award grant funding to organisations meeting the condition known as undertakings in difficulty (UiD). However, as per the amendment on 2 July 2020 to the General Block Exemption regulation, they will provide funding to organisations that can prove they were not a UiD on the date of 31 December 2019 but became a UiD between 1 January 2020 and 30 June 2021. You will be asked for evidence of this.

Any UK registered business claiming grant funding must be eligible to receive state aid at the time we confirm you will be awarded funding. If you are unsure, please take legal advice. For further information see our general guidance on state aid.

Innovate UK have allocated up to £7million to fund innovation projects in this competition.

If your organisation’s work on the project is mostly commercial or economic, your funding request must not exceed the limits below. These limits apply even if your organisation normally acts non-economically.

For feasibility studies and market research projects, you could get funding for your eligible project costs of:

  • Up to 70% if you are a micro or small organisation
  • Up to 60% if you are a medium-sized organisation
  • Up to 50% if you are a large organisation

The research organisations undertaking non-economic activity as part of the project can share up to 50% of the total eligible project costs. If your consortium contains more than one research organisation undertaking non-economic activity, this maximum is shared between them.

Innovate UK are not funding: projects that do not exploit second generation quantum techniques.

Cresco Innovation works with companies to develop and implement innovation strategies. We help client companies identify opportunities to develop new products and services, and then create a package of support to ensure that the idea is turned into a commercial reality.

Our services include securing grants (as a team we have raised around £40million over three years), business planning, IP advice, access to finance and funders, project management and IP commercialisation support.

We regularly act as the interface with the funding bodies and help clients ensure that their projects are properly managed to ensure the best outcome for all.

Call to find out more

If you’d like to know more about this competition, please give us a call on 01509 261182 and one of our team will be delighted to help you access this funding opportunity for your business.