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ISCF TFI: Large collaborative R&D projects

Overview:

UK-registered businesses can apply for a share of up to £8million for research and development projects to improve the productivity and competitiveness of UK foundation industries. This funding is from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.

Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, is investing up to £8million for collaborative cross-sector, research and development projects.

The aim of this competition is to improve the productivity and competitiveness of foundation industry companies and supply chains, by funding cross-sector collaborative research and development projects.

Your project must work on resource and energy efficiency challenges common to two or more of the foundation industries.

The foundation industries sectors include:

  • Cement
  • Paper
  • Glass
  • Ceramics
  • Metals
  • Chemicals

Your project must:

  • Further develop technologies to reduce deployment risk and accelerate take-up across industries
  • Develop new technologies that, when deployed, would create a step-change in resource or energy efficiency in these industries

Your project must be designed to help the UK’s foundation industries remain competitive.

Your project’s total eligible costs must be between £1million and £2million.

Open Date:

11/01/2021

Close Date:

10/03/2021

This competition aims to bring foundation industry sector businesses together with their immediate supply chain and equipment providers. Together they will work on common resource and energy efficiency challenges.

It will fund cross-sector and collaborative research and development projects which:

  • Further develop technologies to reduce deployment risk and accelerate take-up across industries
  • Develop new technologies that, when deployed, would create a step-change in resource or energy efficiency in these industries

The foundation industries sectors include:

  • Cement
  • Paper
  • Glass
  • Ceramics
  • Metals
  • Chemicals

Your project must be aimed at improving the productivity and competitiveness of foundation industry companies and their immediate supply chain.

Your project must address one or more resource or energy efficiency challenges that are common to more than one of the six foundation industries sectors.

Your project can focus on any part of the manufacturing process, including:

  • Inputs in materials and other feedstocks
  • Development of new materials
  • Process efficiency (for example heat recovery, waste utilisation)
  • Business model development

Your application can build upon innovations developed in earlier Transforming Foundation Industry competitions, including:

Innovate UK want to fund a portfolio of projects, across a variety of sectors, technologies, risks, and markets.

Specific themes

Your project must address one or more of these themes:

  • Heat recovery and utilisation
  • Sensors, controls and digitalisation
  • Waste utilisation and symbiosis
  • Other energy or resource efficiency improvements (business model, process, product or supply chain)

Your project must:

  • Have total eligible costs between £1million and £2million
  • Start by 1 September 2021
  • Last between 12 and 24 months

Project lead

Your organisation must:

  • Be a UK-registered business of any size or a research and technology organisation (RTO)
  • Collaborate with other UK registered businesses, RTOs, research organisations, public sector organisations or charities
  • Carry out its project work in the UK
  • Intend to exploit the results from or in the UK

You do not need to be in the foundation industries to lead a consortium but you must include at least two businesses of any size, from at least two foundation industry sectors.

If the lead organisation is an RTO it must collaborate with two businesses of any size.

Academic institutions cannot lead a project.

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

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

When a business or RTO leads on an application it can collaborate in a further two applications.

If a business is not leading any application, it can collaborate in up to three applications.

If an RTO is not leading any application, it can collaborate in any number of applications.

An academic institution can collaborate on any number of applications.

State aid

This competition provides state aid funding under article 25, Aid for R&D projects, 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, Innovate UK 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 it is confirmed you will be awarded funding. If you are unsure, please take legal advice. For further information see our general guidance on state aid.

ISCF have allocated up to £8million 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 industrial 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 30% 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 focus on foundation industries and their immediate supply chains
  • Are undertaking feasibility studies or experimental development
  • Focus on fuel switching or greenhouse gas capture technology
  • Focus solely on skills
  • Are capital or infrastructure projects

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.