+44 (0)1509 261182

ISCF decarbonisation of industrial clusters: Roadmaps


UK businesses can apply for a share of up to £1million to prepare plans for their journey to achieving low carbon and net zero industrial clusters. This funding is from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF).

Innovate UK, as part of UK Research and Innovation, is seeking to invest up to £1million, split across two competition strands, to support collaborative projects to plan their route to cluster decarbonisation as part of the Industrial Decarbonisation Challenge Fund.

This is the first phase of a two-phase competition.

In phase 1, you must develop a plan setting out your proposed approach to phase 2.

In phase 2, up to £8million will be awarded for the development of industrial cluster decarbonisation roadmaps for major UK industrial clusters. These must set out how a cluster could be decarbonised to net-zero levels, in line with the Industrial Clusters Mission.

Phase 2 is dependent on the success of phase 1. Only successful applicants from phase 1 will be invited to take part in phase 2.

Innovate UK are running a separate deployment strand at the same time as this one. It is focused on projects to deliver or support the delivery of significant emissions reductions in industrial clusters.

You can apply for both strands. There will be additional funding for each strand in phase 2.

Open Date:


Close Date:


Your proposal must explain how in phase 1 you will develop a plan setting out your proposed approach to phase 2. This phase 1 proposal must:

  • Demonstrate how you will develop and apply the systems thinking, capability, tools and evidence required to identify and assess technical, economic, environmental and social needs and impacts in your cluster decarbonisation roadmap
  • Demonstrate how you will work with a variety of industries and stakeholders across the cluster
  • Demonstrate how you will develop methodologies to assess, and evidence on, the feasibility, costs, benefits, requirements and risks of different 2030 decarbonisation and 2040 net-zero options for UK industrial clusters
  • Demonstrate how you will allow for the importance of replicable solutions
  • Demonstrate how you will consider wider cross-economy decarbonisation choices and scenarios as part of your roadmap

Innovate UK are looking to fund a portfolio of projects, across a variety of industrial cluster locations, organisations, and approaches.

Your project’s total eligible costs must be between £40,000 and £120,000.

Innovate UK encourage you to collaborate with other organisations. Your organisation can apply alone, but must demonstrate how it will collaborate within a cluster.

Innovate UK want projects to start as soon as possible and can last between three and four months, however, Innovate UK require projects to finish no later than 31 July 2020.

To lead a project your organisation must:

  • Be a UK-registered business of any size, a research organisation, public sector organisation, charity or academic institution
  • Carry out its project work in the UK
  • Intend to exploit the results in at least one UK industrial cluster

To collaborate with the lead organisation your organisation must:

  • Be a UK-registered business of any size, a research organisation, public sector organisation, charity or academic institution
  • Carry out its project work in the UK
  • Be invited to take part by the lead applicant to submit your project costs into the Innovation Funding Service

The lead organisation and one or more other organisations must claim funding.

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.

Innovate UK have allocated up to £1million to fund innovation projects in phase 1 of this competition across both strands.

Organisations that are primarily engaged in commercial/economic activity (ie selective advantage) as part of the project must ensure their request for funding does not exceed the limits defined below. This is inclusive of organisations that typically act non-economically but for the purpose of this project with be undertaking commercial/economic activity.

These projects are categorised as feasibility study projects, therefore you could receive funding for your eligible project costs of:

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

The academic, research and public sector organisations in your consortium can share up to 30% of the total eligible project costs. If your consortium contains more than one research or public sector organisation, this maximum is shared between them.

Innovate UK are not funding solutions that do not align with the ISCF Industrial Decarbonisation Challenge programme objectives or BEIS Industrial Clusters mission.

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.