Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, is investing up to £6 million to support R&D projects to advance or develop solutions in service robotics for a more resilient future.

The aim is to encourage R&D investment in service robotics capabilities made in the UK.

The vision for the ISCF Robotics & Artificial Intelligence Challenge is to:

  • develop robotic solutions to make UK industries more resilient to future disruptions
  • increase productivity
  • open up new cross-disciplinary opportunities

We are looking for robotic solutions that exploit business opportunities in areas such as, but not exclusively:

  • healthcare
  • logistics, warehousing and transportation
  • agriculture and food production
  • construction
  • ‘general-purpose’ remote working
  • robotics that can contribute towards the UK’s Net-Zero greenhouse gas commitment.

Your project must:

  • have total eligible costs between £75,000 and £500,000
  • start on or after 1 April 2021
  • end by 31 March 2022
  • last between 6 and 12 months

We will fund industrial research projects and experimental development projects, as defined in the guidance on categories of research. If your project is at an early stage, it may be eligible for the feasibility study strand of this funding (project size £25k-100k, single applicants only) – click here for details.

To lead a project your organisation must:

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

If you are a large business you must involve one micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME).

Research and technology organisations (RTOs) can lead with prior agreement by contacting customer support by email at least 10 working days before the competition deadline. If the lead organisation is an RTO it must collaborate with at least 2 businesses (one SME, and one business of any size).

Academic institutions cannot lead.

When a business or RTO leads on an application it can collaborate in a further 1 application.

If a business is not leading any application, it can collaborate in up to 2 applications.

If an RTO is not leading any application, it can collaborate in any number of applications.

An academic institution can collaborate on any number of applications.

An online briefing event will be held on Tuesday 20th October, 1.30-3.30pm UK time: click here to register.

KTN will also be holding a networking event on Friday 23rd October, 2-3pm: click here to register.

If you want help to find a project partner, contact KTN’s Robotics and AI team.