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Commercialising Quantum Technologies: Germinator projects round 1

Overview:

UK-registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £1million for high risk, high return, quantum technology projects with defined commercial outputs. This funding is from ISCF.

Innovate UK will invest up to £1million in innovation projects. This competition is funded through the Commercialising Quantum Technologies programme of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) and builds on the pioneer ‘Commercialising quantum devices: innovation R&D’ competition launched in April 2018. It forms part of the UK National Quantum Technologies Programme.

The aim of the competition is to stimulate the commercialisation of quantum technologies in the UK through the development of early-stage quantum technology opportunities.

Your proposal must identify a promising application of quantum technologies, a project to demonstrate its potential and a route to market.

This competition is split into three strands. The other strands are:

  1. Feasibility studies R2.
  2. Germinator projects (this strand).
  3. CR&D and Tech 2.

It is your responsibility to make sure you submit your application for the correct strand.

Your project’s total eligible costs must not exceed £50,000.

Open Date:

10/02/2021

Close Date:

31/03/2021

The aim of this competition is to stimulate the commercialisation of quantum technologies in the UK through the development of early stage quantum technology opportunities.

Your proposal must identify a promising application of quantum technologies, a project to demonstrate its potential and a route to market.

Your project must:

  • Identify a commercial opportunity
  • Quantify technological outcomes
  • 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. Technologies involving single photon generation and quantum computing are regarded as being within scope.

Proposals should identify what future work and funding would be required to bring the project to commercial maturity.

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

Your project must:

  • Have total eligible costs up to £50,000
  • Start by 1 October 2021
  • End by 31 March 2022
  • Last six months

To lead a project, your organisation must:

  • Be a UK-registered business of any size, an academic institution, research and technology organisation (RTO) or research organisation
  • Carry out its project work in the UK
  • Intend to exploit the results from or in the UK

A research organisation, academic institution or research and technology organisation (RTO) cannot work alone but they can lead a project if they have a UK-registered business as a partner.

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 EC de minimis.

Project team

To collaborate with the lead, your organisation must:

  • Be a UK-registered business, public sector organisation, academic institution, research and technology organisation (RTO) or research organisation
  • Carry out its project work in the UK
  • Intend to exploit the results from or in the UK
  • Be invited by the lead organisation

In 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. Partners must enter their own project costs into the 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.

The research organisations undertaking non-economic activity as part of the project can share up to 70% 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.

Subcontractors

Subcontractors are allowed in this competition.

Subcontractors can be from anywhere in the UK and you must select them through your usual procurement process.

You can use subcontractors from overseas but must make the for why you could not use suppliers from the UK.

You must provide a detailed rationale, evidence of the potential UK contractors you approached and the reasons why they were unable to work with you.

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

Number of applications

In this competition, organisations can lead on up to two applications and can collaborate on any number of applications.

Previous applications

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

Innovate UK will not award you funding if you have:

  • Failed to exploit a previously funded project
  • An outstanding independent accountants’ report
  • Failed to comply with grant terms and conditions

Small value funding opportunity (and EC de minimis where applicable)

The UK-EU Trade Cooperation Agreement (TCA) has agreed on funding allowances under the Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) for these grants. The funding will be made as an SDR (Special Drawing Rights) Small Value Funding Opportunity (SVFO) subsidy grant. These are for subsidies up to SDR of 325,000 (approximately £345,000) given to a single beneficiary for a period of up to 3 fiscal years. This includes any cumulation of grants under EC De minimis for the same period.

For applicants located in Northern Ireland and/or conducting activities that affect the trade of goods (including wholesale electricity) between Northern Ireland and the EU, this amount follows the ceiling of 200,000 euros set by the European Commission de minimis regulations.

You must declare this allowance to any other funding body who requests it.

You must complete and provide Innovate UK with a declaration.

The declaration asks you to tell Innovate UK about any awards, including those made under the European Commission de minimis and SDR subsidies, (from any source of public funding) during the current and previous two fiscal (tax) years.

Total grant must not exceed approximately £345,000 (325,000 SDR) for any one organisation. For de minimis this amount is 200,000 euros

Further information about the UK Subsidy Control requirements can be found within the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation agreement and the subsequent BEIS guidance.

You must apply under European Commission State aid rules if you are an applicant who is conducting activities that will affect trade of goods and electricity between Northern Ireland and the EU as envisaged by Article 10 of the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland in the EU Withdrawal Agreement.

In certain limited circumstances, the European Commission State aid rules may also apply if you are an organisation located in England, Wales, or Scotland and conduct activities that affect the trade of goods and electricity between Northern Ireland and the EU. For further information, please see section 7 of the BEIS technical guidance.

Further Information

For further information see the general guidance on de minimis and BEIS guidance on the Northern Ireland Protocol.

If you are unsure about your obligations under the UK Subsidy Control regime or the de minimis rules, please take independent legal advice.

You must make sure at all times that the funding awarded to you is compliant with all current Subsidy Control legislation applicable in the United Kingdom.

This aims to regulate any advantage granted by a public sector body which threatens to or actually distorts competition in the United Kingdom or any other country or countries.

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

Innovate UK have allocated £1million to fund innovation projects in this competition.

The research organisations undertaking non-economic activity as part of the project can share up to 70% 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 not allowed under de minimis regulation restrictions
  • Projects for ‘writing up’ extensions
  • Activities relating to the purchase of road freight transport
  • Projects that involve the audio visual sector (such as film production)
  • Projects that are dependent on export performance, for example giving a subsidy to a baker on the condition that they export a certain quantity of bread to another country
  • Projects that are dependent on domestic inputs usage, for example if Innovate UK insisted that a baker use 50% UK flour in their product

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.