Transforming Foundation Industries: Investor Partnership Programme (£7m) – Investor partner selection competition

The Transforming Foundation Industries Investor Partnership Programme aims to provide simultaneous grant funding and venture capital investment in UK-registered SMEs to support R&D projects and business growth. Innovate UK is now in a position to offer UK established equity providers the opportunity to join us and become investor partners on this Programme to make investments in SMEs aligned with Innovate UK grants.

Webinar recording is now available


We are looking for a mix of investors with an interest in foundation industry markets including venture capital, angel network, or corporate venture investors. These small businesses must aspire to develop products, services or business models to help UK-based foundation industries to becoming internationally competitive by reducing by reducing the consumption of energy or improving waste utilisation. The Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund definition of Foundation Industries includes the cement, ceramics, chemicals, glass, metals and paper sectors.

The grant award from Innovate UK will be dependent on the underlying SME’s securing equity investment from the Investor that introduced them to Innovate UK. The Innovate UK grant would look to award R&D projects (feasibility studies and industrial research) up to 70%* of the total project costs which can be up to £2m (i.e. maximum grant of £1.4m). The aim is to commit the £7 million funding by 31 March 2022.

Investors must be an equity provider with the potential to act as sole or lead investor in investments from £50,000 to £2 million.

We are particularly interested in investors who:

  • are prepared to deploy their investment with a patient and long-term view
  • can follow their investment and potentially provide more financing when required with an aspiration to fund or leverage total investment of up to 3 times the original grant funding by 2025
  • can commit to helping the SMEs with international aspirations to grow and scale up
  • have relevant sector or technology-specific expertise around the foundation industry sectors.

*This depends on the nature of the business and the proposed activity, and could change after the EU transition period.


14:00 | Introduction – Ajay Kapadia, KTN

14:05 | Overview of Innovate UK, ISCF & TFI challenge – Hugh Falkner, Innovate UK

14:15 | The Investor partnerships programme – Nazia Iqbal, Innovate UK

14:30 | Investor perspective – Tom Whitehouse, Leif Capital

14:40 | Competitions process – Sharon McHugh, Innovate UK

15:00 | Q&A chaired by Ajay Kapadia, KTN

15:20 | Close – Nigel Walker, Innovate UK

15:30 | End