Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, is to invest in 2 competitions to drive digital innovation in UK manufacturing supply chains. The funding is from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF).

Your project must help UK manufacturing supply chains to develop digital technologies to become more efficient, productive, flexible, resilient. These must encourage the use of digital approaches to better integrate and optimise the performance of supply chains.

This competition comprises of 2 strands running at the same time. The strands are:

feasibility studies (this strand) – project size £250k-£500k
industrial research – project size £1m-3m (click here for details)

Your project must:

  • have total eligible costs between £250,000 and £500,000
  • start by 1 April 2021
  • last up to 6 months

To lead a project your organisation must:

  • be a UK registered business of any size
  • collaborate with other UK registered businesses, academic institutions, charities, public sector organisations or research and technology organisations (RTO)
  • involve at least one SME
  • carry out its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK

The aim of this competition is to encourage the use of digital technologies to enable more efficient, productive, flexible, resilient and sustainable UK manufacturing supply chains. Projects should seek to integrate and optimise these supply chains.

Your project must develop a supply chain integration or optimisation idea and design a project to test the concepts. It must focus on a digital application.

Your project must investigate one or more problems that your specific supply chain is experiencing and develop ideas for digital technology solutions to address these problems.

Your project must be across a supply chain, not just focused within one organisation or within one supplier.

Planned outputs from the feasibility study must be:

  • increased understanding of the problems faced by the specific supply chain
  • ideas for digital solutions to address these problems
  • proposal for an industrial research project to test the solution

Your project application must describe how it will help the ISCF Manufacturing Made Smarter Challenge programme achieve the following objectives:

  • Increase UK manufacturing sector investment in industrial digitalisation research and development (R&D) and adoption of new industrial digital technologies (IDTs).
  • Increase the number of digital technology companies providing solutions for manufacturing industries
  • Increase the number of collaborations between SMEs and larger, more established companies up the value chain.
  • Increase the sustainability of UK Manufacturing considering reduction in waste, reuse of resources and reduction of carbon emissions.

Innovate UK will hold several online workshops for potential applicants: click here for details and booking links.

10 July: Pharmaceutical workshop
14 July: Online briefing event
16 July: General workshop for any sector
21 July: Food and drink workshop
31 July: Aerospace and automotive workshop

A recording of the 14th July event is available at the link above.

If you want help to find a project partner, contact the Knowledge Transfer Network.