Finance · 29 November 2017

Innovate UK launches £19m competition for manufacturing and infrastructure projects

Manchester at night
Funding will be awarded to projects that improve Britain’s infrastructure

Britain’s innovation agency, Innovate UK, will invest up to £19m in innovative projects in the manufacturing and infrastructure sectors, the government has announced.

A new Innovate UK competition, opened on 28 November, will award funding to projects which improve productivity and efficiency in manufacturing and infrastructure.

The types of innovative UK project the competition will look to fund include those to do with “smart” infrastructure, urban living solutions (including projects in areas like energy and waste, as well as policing and law), reducing emissions and improving transport.

To qualify for funding, infrastructure projects must fit the competition’s specifications, improve business growth and productivity, or create export opportunities for at least one small UK business.

The deadline for applications for the Innovate UK competition is 31 January 2018, and UK-based businesses of any size, including research and technological organisations, are eligible to apply.

Qualifying projects will range from £25,000 to £3m, and last between three months and three years. Successful applicants could get as much as 70 per cent of their eligible costs covered.

Apply for infrastructure project funding  

Apply for manufacturing project funding

Additional funding of up to £16m is also being made available for more Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) which help businesses recruit qualified graduates for innovation projects.

This follows an announcement of an extra £30m of funding made available for KTPs by Innovate UK earlier this month.

The government is making additional innovation funding available at time when demand for smart, efficient and long-lasting systems in manufacturing and infrastructure projects is increasing.

Innovate UK’s competition is designed to support the government’s National Infrastructure Delivery Plan, which has pledged investment for infrastructure projects of £425bn by 2021.

Innovate UK provides £18m funding boost for manufacturing projects

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Fred Heritage was previously deputy editor at Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and international relations from the University of Kent and an MA in international conflict from Kings College London.