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Emerging and Enabling Technologies funding round-up

Posted on 14/08/2019

Find out about the latest funding calls of relevance to the Emerging and Enabling Technologies sectors. Updated 15 November 2019.

The funding landscape can be complex, so KTN’s Emerging and Enabling Technologies teams have created a list of some of the latest relevant funding calls for the Emerging Technologies, Quantum and Position and Navigation and Timing (PNT) sectors, as well as for the Electronics, Photonics, Sensors and ICT ones.

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

Driving the electric revolution: building regional centres of excellence

Registration opens: 23.10.19. Closing date: 27.11.19.

Award: Up to £30 million in a single project to create a network of regional centres.

Organisation: Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund

Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, is to invest up to £30 million in a single project to create a network of regional centres. The centres will be used by industry and researchers for the development and scale up of power electronics, machines and drives (PEMD) technologies. The funding is from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF).

The aim of this competition is to provide funding to establish the centres, building on existing capabilities and expertise where it already exists. The centres will support the industrialisation of PEMD technologies to help accelerate the growth of the UK’s supply chains for PEMD. The centres must be open access facilities that support the development, prototyping and scaling of PEMD technologies and manufacturing processes.

Click here to find out more.

Technology and Innovation in UK Maritime - MarRI call

Registration opens: 30.09.19, Closing date: 20.12.19
Award: Funding awards up to £170K, which can cover up to 70% of your costs depending on business size.
Organisation: Department for Transport


In January 2019 the government published the ambitious Maritime 2050 strategy, setting out a long-term vision for the future of the UK maritime sector. The maritime sector is likely to undergo significant changes as technology revolutionises the way the sector operates and environmental concerns create new and more stringent requirements for the maritime industry.

The Department for Transport (DfT) is keen to continue to engage with industry to promote the development of technological innovation in UK maritime. For this reason, Technology and Innovation in UK Maritime Call was launched. The call will fund innovative solutions within mid TRL (TRL 3-7) to demonstrate potential applications for innovative technology or for proof of concept of new ideas in this field. £1.5M is available for competition, which administered by MarRI-UK.

Click here to find out more.

Innovation loans: September-November 2019 open competition

Innovate UK is offering up to £10 million in loans to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Loans are for highly innovative late stage projects with the best game changing and/or disruptive ideas or concepts. There should be a clear route to commercialisation and economic impact.

Your project should aim to develop new products, processes or services which are significantly ahead of anything similar in the field. You can also propose an innovative use of existing products, processes or services.

Your proposal can use any technology from any part of the economy.

Your project must focus on commercialisation, growth or scale up. We will give priority to proposals likely to lead to growth and gains in productivity.

Click here for more details. Apply by 27.11.2019.

Advanced Vision for 2020 and Beyond: Electro-Optics and Infrared

Registration opens: 01.08.2019. Closes: 13.12.19.

Award: Up to £2.5m total funding

Organisation: Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA)

Electro-Optic and Infrared (EOIR) sensors are a key military capability used for surveillance, reconnaissance, target acquisition, threat warning, target detection and more. A particularly important attribute of EOIR sensors is high image resolution, which is critical for accurate identification of objects of interest. The ever evolving nature of military operations means that we wish to invest in novel and resilient technologies that can function in contested/congested environments, that will extend the range, lower the cost and size, and expand the range of targets that can be addressed by EOIR sensors.

This Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) competition, run on behalf of the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), aims to develop and demonstrate a number of novel technologies or applications in the area of EOIR to address the future need for highly capable and affordable sensors.

Click here to find out more.

EPSRC call: ISCF Digital Security by Design Research Projects

Registration opens: 26.09.2019. Closing date: 07.01.2020

The Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) Digital Security by Design challenge is executing a mission to increase the protection of software in the light of increased cyber attack against various class of software vulnerabilities, through additional hardware protection capabilities architected around the containment of pointers, and the privilege by which regions of fine grain data can be accessed.

Leveraging the Capability Hardware concepts and approaches investigated by the CHERI program (led by the University of Cambridge), a consortium led by Arm is investigating a prototype silicon-based solution based on Arm AArch64 architecture. This prototype solution will be made openly available to academics and businesses across the UK, so as to provide early access, evaluation, and the opportunity to feed back on the proposed major change to the instruction set architecture of a processor, while investigating the broader impact to various aspects of computer science and ICT in general.

Up to £8m (at 80% FEC) is available for academic research in this area, supporting 6 to 9 research project.

Click here for more details.

UK-China: precision for enhancing agricultural productivity

Registration opens: 14.10.2019. Closing date: 15.01.2020

Innovate UK, as part of UK Research and Innovation, and the Ministry of Science and Technology of the People’s Republic of China (MoST) are each investing around £5 million in innovation projects. Innovate UK will fund the UK partners and MoST will fund the Chinese partners.

The aim of this competition is to encourage the use of data-intensive methods for commercial farming. This approach, described as either ‘precision farming’ or ‘smart farming’, is defined as the complete incorporation of:

  • monitoring
  • intelligent decision support
  • action planning
  • timely and effective intervention autonomous technologies (sensors, systems, vehicles and robotics)
  • data-driven solutions to enhance productivity while reducing emissions

Click here to find out more.

Network Rail SBRI: railway platform end and edge technology, and gauging

1) Opportunity for businesses to apply for a share of £1.08m+VAT to develop solutions to detect and deter trespass at railway platform ends & edges.

This will support the development of a technological and/or physical solution which will detect and deter trespass onto the railway from platform ends and edges.

Whilst Network Rail are eager to embrace new forms of innovation, the solution must be scalable to suit a variety of station environments. This will be tested through trials at multiple live station environments.

Your project’s total eligible costs must be between £200,000 and £360,000, plus VAT.

Closes 22nd Jan 2020. Click here for details.


2) Innovation in automated survey processing for railway structure gauging, phase 1

Network Rail will invest up to £720,000 (plus VAT) in phase 1 of this competition. An extra £1,080,000 (plus VAT) will be available for phase 2. This will support the development of a technological demonstrator for automated structure gauging processing. The competition process is managed by Innovate UK, as part of UK Research and Innovation.

Gauging is the process through which Network Rail ensures adequate clearance between passing trains and lineside objects and features. The objective of this competition is to:

demonstrate innovations to Network Rail that will enhance the interpretation of point-cloud data
provide accurate information on the location and identity of trackside features to enable accurate gauging clearance processing

For phase 1, your project’s total eligible costs must be up to £90,000 plus VAT. Phase 1 projects must plan to start by May 2020 and end by July 2020.

Closes 22nd Jan 2020. Click here for details.

Funding for SMEs in the manufacturing sector

Registration opens: 01.06.2018. Closing date: 29.04.2020
Award: Up to 50,000 euros in funding
Organisation: KET4CleanProduction (Horizon 2020 project)

Are you an SME working in the manufacturing sector? If  you have a project to integrate key enabling technologies (KET – micro and nanoelectronics, nanotechnology, industrial biotechnology, advanced materials, photonics, and advanced manufacturing technologies) to solve clean production challenges, this funding opportunity is for you.

European project KET4CleanProduction is offering micro grants for projects that would use key enabling technologies (KET) to solve clean production challenges.

You will need to team up with at least two KET technology centres (KET TCs) to work on your project.

Click here to find out more.