Up to £3 million in small collaborative innovation projects will be invested by:

  • Innovate UK, as part of UK Research and Innovation
  • the National Physical Laboratory (NPL)
  • the National Measurement Laboratory at LGC (formerly known as the Laboratory of the Government Chemist)
  • the National Engineering Laboratory (NEL)
  • the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)

The aim of this competition is to match the best UK scientists and cutting-edge facilities with businesses that have analysis or measurement problems.

Your proposal must describe a measurement or analysis problem that will help improve your business’s productivity or competitiveness, and an estimate of the value to your business of solving it.

This is an expression of interest (EoI) competition stage. No funding is awarded at this stage. Successful applicants at this EoI stage will be invited to brokerage consultations with relevant analysis for innovators (A4I) partners. These will focus on how to approach solving their problem. They will also work together to propose joint projects to develop solutions.

Successful stage 2 applications will be grant funded, through special drawing rights funding, to work with the relevant funding partner organisations.

If successful in the EoI stage, your project in stage two must:

  • have total eligible costs of up to £50,000
  • start by 1 January 2022
  • end by 31st March 2022
  • last up to 3 months
  • carry out all of its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK
  • involve at least one of the A4I co-funding partner organisations (listed above)

To lead a project your organisation must be a UK registered business micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME). A business can only lead on one application in this round of the competition.

The aim of this competition is to help businesses address their existing analysis and measurement problems. These are problems that are best explored by scientists and cutting-edge facilities available in the UK.

You must outline what you consider to be the benefits of solving your problem, such as improved productivity or competitiveness.

We will only consider problems that:

  • are related to the measurement or analysis of some quantities or properties of an existing process, product or service
  • are not effectively solvable by simple ‘off the shelf’ methods or techniques

You must outline any methods and attempts that you have previously tried to address the problem. Do not propose how the problem should be solved.

Analysis problems cannot be simply software related, for example pure data analysis.

As part of your application, you must include a short video, up to 2 minutes long. This must be uploaded to Vimeo and provided as an unlisted link in your application. If we are unable to view your video or it is not hosted on Vimeo, your application will be made ineligible.

A list of exclusions is given on the site; in particular, note that primary production in fishery, aquaculture and agriculture is not eligible for support.

An online briefing will be held at 2pm on Tuesday 27th July: click here to book a place or to view the recording after the event.

For any enquiries relating to A4I, please contact Simon Yarwood.