The Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund will work with Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, to invest up to £8 million in innovation projects. These aim to catalyse innovation to support fast recovery and growth from Covid-19 through innovations that improve productivity and sustainability of the UK’s foundation industries.

Your proposal must help the UK’s foundation industries remain globally competitive and become more environmentally sustainable.

Your proposal must focus on resource or energy efficiency opportunities through the development of:

  • long-term viability of domestic supply chains
  • new markets
  • new business models
  • new products and services
  • new processes

We are looking to fund a portfolio of projects, across a variety of technologies, markets, sectors, technological maturities and research categories.

Your project must not focus on fuel switching or technologies for the capture of emissions, such as carbon capture and storage.

Your project must:

  • have total eligible costs between £100,000 and £1million
  • last between 3 and 12 months
  • start by 1 April 2021

To lead a project your UK registered organisation:

  • must be either a business of any size or research and technology organisation (RTO)
  • must carry out its project work in the UK
  • must intend to exploit the results from or in the UK

Academic institutions cannot lead or work alone. Research and technology organisations cannot work alone.

Specific themes

Projects must focus on resource or energy efficiency in the foundation industries and can focus on one or more of the following areas:

  • establish long-term viability of domestic supply chains
  • new markets
  • new business models
  • new products and services
  • new processes

Research categories

We will fund feasibility studies and industrial research projects, as defined in the general guidance.

Projects we will not fund

We are not funding projects that:

  • focus on fuel switching or greenhouse gas capture technology
  • do not focus on foundation industries and their immediate supply chains
  • focus on skills
  • are capital or infrastructure projects

Briefing webinars were held on 17th and 20th July: view the recordings here.