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Innovate UK and UK Research and Innovation publish funding to improve resource and energy efficiency

30 October 2019

UK businesses can apply for a share of £5 million for fast start projects to improve the resource and energy efficiency of foundation industries.

The aim of this competition is to bring businesses from different foundation industries together to work on common resource and energy efficiency opportunities.

Foundation industries are:

  • cement
  • paper
  • glass
  • ceramics
  • metals
  • bulk chemicals

They will fund cross-sector and collaborative research and development projects aimed at improving the productivity and competitiveness of the sectors’ companies and supply chains, and encourage companies to stay in the UK.

Innovate UK, as part of UK Research and Innovation, will invest up to £5 million in innovation projects for the foundation industries through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.

Project details

These will be cross-sector, collaborative, fast start, short duration, industrial research and development (R&D) projects.

Your project can focus on any part of the manufacturing process, including:

  • feedstock inputs
  • production
  • material product development

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 £50,000 and £500,000
  • be collaborative
  • be led by a UK registered business of any size, or a research and technology organisation
  • include at least one micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME)
  • include at least 2 businesses, of any size, from at least 2 foundation industry sectors
  • last between 3 and 12 months
  • be ready to start in July 2020

You do not need to be in the foundation industries to lead the consortium.

Competition timeline

The competition is open for applications and closes on 5 February 2020 at midday.

There are briefing events for potential applicants:

  • 14 November 2019: London
  • 20 November 2019: Wales
  • 21 November 2019: Northern Ireland
  • 22 November 2019: Online
  • 27 November 2019: Scotland

Find out more about the competition by clicking here.

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