Innovate UK awarded £19 million to boost innovation in Britain


The UK's technology development arm, Innovate UK, has been awarded up to 19 million from the government to invest in innovation.

The investment, which includes a further 12 million in Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) to allow businesses to recruit graduates that can help them on an innovation project, is all about finding and developing ideas for "new products, processes and services in technologies and health and life sciences".

In a post on the UK government's official website, Innovate UK said any business can apply to either industry sector, so long as its project meets the specific competition scope.

However, there are of course guidelines in place for those applying. Innovate UK said projects for consideration should come from one of 4 priority areas, which are:

  • Emerging technologies, which have either recently developed or are starting to come out of the research base. This includes biofilms, energy harvesting, graphene and cutting-edge imaging technologies
  • Digital technology, specifically in the areas of machine learning and artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, Big Data, distributed ledger, Internet of Things, 5G and virtual and augmented reality
  • Enabling capabilities, such as electronics, sensors and photonics, robotics and autonomous systems, as well as opportunities in the creative industries
  • Space applications, including satellite communications, positioning, navigation and timing, and Earth observation

All projects should provide business growth, productivity or an export opportunity for at least one SMB and be applied in more than one industry, sector or market.

Respondents have until 28 March this year to submit their proposal, and must be run by a business or a research and technology group. The projects' scopes must cost between 35,000 and 2 million, with a duration of between 3 months and three years.

Also, a part of the eligibility criteria is that businesses should be able to raise up to 70% of their costs on their own. Briefing events will be held in Edinburgh, Cardiff and Leeds in January and February, Innovate UK said.