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£19million in grant funding available from Innovate UK for Manufacturing and Materials and Infrastructure Systems

Posted on 28/11/2017

Briefing event & webinar 12 Dec, London | 14 Dec, Glasgow | 19 Dec, Cardiff

November 2017 dual-strand sector competition for Manufacturing and Materials and Infrastructure Systems.

Innovate UK is to invest up to a total of £19 million to support innovation across the manufacturing and materials and infrastructure systems sectors in the November 2017 dual-strand sector competition. Funded projects will target opportunities that offer significant changes in productivity and cutting-edge innovations.

The London event briefing and live webcast on 12 December have now reached capacity and are FULL. A link to the webcast recording will be available post event.

We still have TWO other similar events in Glasgow and Cardiff with spaces available:

Register now for the briefing event to be held on 14 December 2017 in Glasgow.

Register now for the briefing event, organised with the Welsh government, to be held on 19 December 2017 in Cardiff.

A dual-strand competition, strand 1 will be for manufacturing and materials and strand 2 for infrastructure systems.  Funding will be allocated as follows:

  • up to £5 million for projects up to 12 months
  • up to £14 million for projects between 13 and 36 months

A further £16 million is available to fund Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs).

Applications must improve business growth and productivity or create export opportunities for at least one UK SME involved in the project.

An eligible project in manufacturing and materials must cover at least one of the following areas:

  • innovation in a manufacturing system, technology, process or business model
  • innovation in materials development, properties, integration or reuse
  • a manufacturing or materials innovation, rather than a product innovation

Apply now for the manufacturing and materials competition

An eligible project in infrastructure systems must show significant innovation in one or more of our priority areas, which are:

Apply now for the infrastructure systems competition

Closing date for both competitions is 31st January 2018.

The importance of manufacturing and infrastructure

Booming UK demand for infrastructure systems

Global urban population is growing by almost 60 million every year, which results in a demand for more adaptable infrastructure that is better integrated with social systems. The market for systems that ensure smart and resilient infrastructure is expanding, and we need to improve innovation in the following areas:

  • smart infrastructure, which adds intelligence to physical infrastructure or the design process and creates improvements in whole-life cost and performance, or resilience, security and sustainability
  • urban living solutions that tackle the challenges people face in urban areas, improve user experience and lower costs
  • energy supply and systems, to improve the value, affordability and security, and reduce emissions
  • connected transport that moves people and goods more efficiently, and makes transport more secure, user-centric and accessible

Growing the UK’s manufacturing output

The UK is the ninth largest producer in the world, with an output of $247 billion, accounting for 3% of global manufacturing output and 11% of the nation’s GVA (gross value added). It represents 50% of exports and 69% of business research and development.

New manufacturing technologies and materials can enable new types of products or services. This can grow UK manufacturing productivity, increase material efficiency and sustain our competitiveness in the long term.  Innovation within the manufacturing and materials arena is required to:

  • develop more flexible and efficient processes
  • develop processes that enable faster and greater customisation of products
  • develop materials for ease of manufacture
  • address the manufacturing readiness of growing sectors
  • develop materials to targeted performance specifications
  • diversify product and service lines
  • develop novel services or business models that open up new sources of revenue

£16 million for KTPs in future manufacturing, materials and infrastructure

There is up to £16 million available for KTP business-graduate partnerships within UK organisations developing applications within infrastructure systems, manufacturing and materials.

For over 40 years Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) have been helping businesses access the UK’s world-leading research base to innovate and grow.

If you have an idea for an innovation but do not have all the in-house expertise needed to develop it, a Knowledge Transfer Partnership can link you to the “Knowledge Base” (generally a university or other research organisation) and a capable graduate or post-graduate to work on the project, guided by a team of academic experts.

The deadline to apply for this KTP is 31 January 2018, but the application process is different. You should speak to your local knowledge adviser, who will help you to apply.