UK news

Launch of the £246 million Faraday Challenge to boost expertise in battery technology

On 24th July, Business Secretary Greg Clark announced the first phase of a £246 million investment in battery technology as he launched the Industrial Strategy’s landmark ‘Faraday Challenge’. The aim is to make the UK a world leader in low carbon vehicle technology. BEIS and Innovate UK have up to £30 million available for collaborative research and development projects for new battery technologies, and up to a further £10 million for feasibility studies. The competitions opened on 25th July 2017, and the deadline for applications is at midday on 14th September 2017. More information on this funding and on other elements of the Faraday Challenge can be found here.

Infrastructure systems round 3 competition now open

Innovate UK is to invest up to £15 million in projects in this competition. This is to stimulate innovation that creates UK business growth in infrastructure systems. Innovate UK wants businesses to collaborate to develop new integrated solutions and business models. Projects will range in size from total project costs of £25,000 to £5 million and must last between 3 months and 3 years. Projects must show significant innovation in one of the following priority areas:

Proposals must improve business growth, productivity and/or create export opportunities for at least one UK small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) involved in the project. There is up to £5 million for projects that last from 3 months to 1 year. There is up to £10 million for projects lasting from 1 year to 3 years, with costs between £100,000 and £5 million inclusive. The competition closes on 13th September 2017 at noon. More information can be found here.

Offshore Wind Innovation Exchange (OWiX): Call for ideas

OWiX is a cross-sector pilot scheme that aims to accelerate the cost reduction of offshore wind by matching industry challenges with innovative solutions adapted from other parts of the economy. At the same time, it will provide targeted opportunities for UK businesses in different industries to deliver into the renewable energy supply chain.

This Call for ideas is an opportunity for innovative SMEs or organisations with great new technologies or innovations to become directly linked to, or collaborate with, global players (operators and Original Equipment Manufacturers) in this rapidly growing sector. Offshore wind is actively seeking new and disruptive technologies from a myriad of sources to help it achieve its full potential.

The OWiX programme team has worked with key industry stakeholders to develop specific innovation challenges through a series of ‘guided innovation’ workshops. The challenges predominantly focus on near-term issues that could make a substantial difference to the cost of energy of operating wind farms and newly constructed Round 2 and 3 developments. The Call for ideas opened on 13th June 2017 and will close on 11th August 2017. More information can be found here.

Cutting-edge technology innovation: apply for business funding

Innovate UK has up to £15 million for game-changing, cutting-edge or disruptive innovation projects that leads to new products, processes or services. This funding is part of a regular series of open competitions that support good ideas with market potential, no matter where they come from. Projects can come from any technology, science, engineering or industrial area. They can fit in with any of Innovate UK’s priority sectors – emerging and enabling technologies, health and life sciences, infrastructure systems, and manufacturing and materials – or be outside. Funding is available for a wide range of projects, from feasibility studies to experimental development that is closer to market. The competition is now open and the deadline for registration is 9th August 2017. More information can be found here.