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Digital Economy and Creative Industries funding round-up

Posted on 09/10/2019

Find out about the latest funding calls of relevance to the digital & creative industries. Last updated 9th of March 2020.

The funding landscape can be complex, so KTN’s Digital & Creative team have compiled a list of some of the latest funding calls relevant to digital and creative industries, notably IoT, 5G, Cybersecurity, Blockchain and FinTech, bringing them together in one place – find out more below.

The team will be happy to help if you wish to find out more about these or other funding opportunities, need help finding collaborative partners or are seeking advice on how to apply for funding. Please do not hesitate to get in touch.

ISCF DSbD: technology enabled business led demonstrators, phase 1

Competition opens: 16.03.2020 Closes: 15.04.2020 12:00pm

UK businesses can apply for up to £5.8 million to collaborate on a digital security by design demonstrator project in which an additional technology ‘ingredient’ is required. This funding is from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.

As this is an Expression of Interest competition, the phase 1 application process is straightforward & covers three areas : Project Outline/Team/Resources. Applications deemed to be within the scope of the competition will be invited to attend an interview in London & give a presentation before a panel of experts.

Successful applicants in phase 1 will be invited to proceed to phase 2 and apply for funding by submitting a full project proposal.

The objective of this competition is to develop a demonstration of a product and/or service in which capability enabled hardware will be used to provide a more secure solution

‘Capability enabled hardware’ includes security features or safeguards that are built in the processor architecture and hardware system so that it becomes more secure in the face of a range of security vulnerabilities.

Click here for more info.

Demonstrators addressing cyber security in the Internet of Things: round 2

Open now, Closes 15.04.2020

Innovate UK is to invest up to £4 million in collaborative, business led research and development (R&D) projects. These projects should result in a new product or products, industrial process or service, which must be proven in as part of a demonstrator.

The aim of this competition is to solve industry-focused major cyber security-related challenges in the Internet of Things (IoT). We will show preference to projects that include a plan to test near-to-market interventions and experiments in real environments.

Your proposal must address one of the following 2 themes:

  • Cyber resilient IoT systems for critical national infrastructures.
  • Secure and energy-efficient IoT systems in resource-constrained environments.

Your project’s total eligible costs must be between £2 million and £4 million and you can claim a maximum of £2 million grant funding.

An online briefing event was held on 4 February 2020: view the recording.

Click here for more information.

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships

Current KTP period closes 4th March: the following period opens on 5th March, and closes on 29th May 2020 (after this the next round will be available immediately, so don’t rush your application unnecessarily).

A Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP)  links your organisation with one of the UK’s world-class knowledge bases (a university or research organisation) to power strategic innovation projects, embed expertise and drive commercial growth. needed to develop it, a Knowledge Transfer Partnership may be the answer. It creates a dynamic three-way collaboration – between a business or not for profit organisation, a UK university or research organisation, and a suitably qualified graduate – to help realise a strategic innovation project, bring about transformative change and embed new capability.

Read more


Management Knowledge Transfer Partnerships

Just like our highly effective KTP programme, Management KTPs (MKTPs) create a dynamic 3-way partnership between your company, a team of academic experts and a skilled graduate. The focus of a MKTP is specifically on increasing effectiveness and improving results through better management practices.

The first round of these has now closed – visit to be kept informed about future MKTPs.

SBRI rail demonstrations: first of a kind 2020

Registration opens: 13.01.2020, Closing date: 04.03.2020

This is a Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) competition and is open to organisations of all sizes from the UK, EU, or EEA.

The aim of the competition is to demonstrate innovations to stakeholders and railway customers in a representative railway environment.

This competition has 4 themes:

  • environmental sustainability
  • customer experience
  • optimised railway operations
  • optimised and cost-effective maintenance

We expect to fund projects with total eligible costs between £100,000 and £400,000, including VAT.

Click here for more info.

Innovate UK Smart Grants: January-April 2020

Registration opens: 09.01.2020, Closing date: 22.04.2020

Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, is investing up to £25 million in the best game-changing and commercially viable innovative or disruptive ideas. All proposals must be business focused.

Applications can come from any area of technology and be applied to any part of the economy, such as but not exclusively:

  • the arts, design and media
  • creative industries
  • science or engineering

Whilst we welcome projects that overlap with the grand challenge areas, this is not a requirement, as we are also keen to support projects in other areas.

Click here for more info.

Horizon 2020 CALL: FET Open - Novel Ideas for Radically New Technologies

Registration opens: 07.11.2017, Closes: 13.05.2020, 17:00

FET Open aims to establish European leadership in the early exploration of future technologies. It looks for opportunities of long-term benefit for citizens, the economy and society. It aims to mobilise Europe’s most creative and forward thinking researchers from all disciplines to work together and explore what may become the leading technology paradigms of the future.

This call for proposals includes the following topics. Click on the topic to link directly to the Participant Portal.

Click here for more info.

STFC Bridging for Innovators (B4I) programme

Deadline for submissions: 01.04.21.

From start-ups to large corporates, B4I helps companies to overcome product, manufacturing or process performance issues by leveraging more than £2bn worth of government investment in world-leading science facilities. Working closely with Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) research and innovation experts, companies can develop projects that address specific innovation challenges to accelerate business productivity.

Click here to find out more.