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UK and USA: Innovation in global composites markets


UK businesses can apply for a share of up to £1.7million to develop innovative technologies for global composites markets with US partners.

Under the UK Research and Innovation Funding for International Collaboration (FIC) the UK and USA are running a joint grant funding competition.

The competition will focus on collaborative research and development (CR&D) projects, which should result in a new product, industrial process or service. Projects must be innovative, involve a technological risk and target large global markets.

Innovate UK welcome proposals from UK organisations who can collaborate with existing US partners in the field of composites manufacturing.

US projects are being run by the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI) and their industrial partners.

Open Date:


Close Date:


Innovate UK and IACMI have developed a portfolio of composite manufacturing technology priority areas. These are relevant to the UK and the USA. IACMI has selected a number of existing projects that reflect this portfolio. UK organisations are invited to apply to collaborate with these projects.

Your project must show:

  • A clear game-changing and/or disruptive innovative idea leading to new products, processes or services
  • A strong and deliverable business plan that addresses market potential and needs
  • A team, business arrangement or working structure with the necessary skills and experience to run the project successfully and complete on time
  • Awareness of the main risks the project will face (including contractor or equipment failure) with realistic management, mitigation and impact minimisation plans for each
  • Sound, practical financial plans and timelines
  • Good value for money
  • A clear, evidence based plan to deliver economic impact, return on investment (ROI) and growth through commercialisation, as soon as possible after project completion
  • Considerable potential to positively impact both the UK and the US economy
  • The benefit to participants from the 2 countries working together

Innovate UK are looking to fund a portfolio of projects, across a variety of technologies, markets, technological maturities and research categories to build a portfolio of projects that:

  • Are high quality
  • Target opportunities that benefit both the UK and the USA economy and/or productivity in a positive way
  • Demonstrate sufficient innovation, potential return on investment and degree of technical risk
  • Demonstrate value for money, including the potential impact of the project relative to its cost, and the cost of other projects under consideration

Details of the projects you can collaborate with include:

  1. SMC Reinforced by Recycled or Textile Carbon Fibres (IACMI reference number 6.23)
  2. Development of Non-destructive Evaluation/Non-destructive Testing (NDE/NDT) Tools for High-Volume, High-Speed Inspection of CFRP Structures in Automotive Manufacturing (3.13)
  3. Development of Automotive Grade Carbon Fibre Composite Performance Standards to Reduce Costs and Drive Mainstream, High Volume Vehicle Production with CFRP (6.21)
  4. Low Cost Pultruded Carbon Fibre Reinforced Polymer (CFRP) Composites for Spar Caps (4.7)
  5. Tailored Fibre Placement for Complex Preforms (5.7)
  6. Closing the Loop on Automotive Carbon Fibre Prepreg Manufacturing Scrap (6.20)
  7. NanoStitch® Format and Function Optimisation for Multifunctional Composites (5.8)
  8. Hybrid Injection Moulding (Injection Overmoulding) for Structural Components (
  9. Prepregging with Textile Carbon Fibres (6.19)

To lead a project, UK applicants must be one of the following, and involve the other as collaborator:

  • A UK business of any size
  • A UK research and technology organisation (RTO) or UK university

You must collaborate with a US project team.

The lead and at least one other organisation must claim funding. Collaborations must contain a minimum of one UK business of any size and one academic organisation or RTO. Beyond these rules there is no limit on additional collaborators.

For UK partners, subcontracting is allowed for up to 20% of the UK total project costs.

Each partner must carry out the majority of their funded work within the country from which they receive funding. That is the UK for UK Research and Innovation FIC funding and the USA for IACMI funding.

UK applicants must contact the Knowledge Transfer Network to be put in touch with a US project team. They will then be put in contact with IACMI in order to establish a consortium. You must upload a draft International Collaboration Agreement (ready for signing) as an appendix to question 11 of your grant application.

For UK applicants, up to £1.7million has ben allocated to fund innovation projects in this competition. This is matched by an equivalent US contribution from IACMI to fund the US project partners.

For industrial research projects, you could get 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

For experimental development projects which are nearer to market, you could get funding for your eligible project costs of:

  • Up to 45% if you are a micro or small business
  • Up to 35% if you are a medium-sized business
  • Up to 25% if you are a large business

The research organisations in your consortium can share up to 50% of the total eligible project costs. If your consortium contains more than one research organisation, this maximum will be shared between them.

Innovate UK will not fund projects that:

  • Have entirely non-civilian applications
  • Do not include eligible partners from both the UK and the USA
  • Seek to develop solutions that cannot be deployed in composites manufacturing

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.