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Manufacturing and Materials Funding Round-Up

Posted on 15/05/2019

Find out about the latest funding calls which are relevant to the Manufacturing and Materials sectors. Last updated 8th November 2019.

To make it easier to navigate the funding landscape KTN have pulled together the latest open relevant funding calls for the manufacturing and materials sectors into one place.  Find out more details about each below, or if you wish to find out more about further funding opportunities then please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our Manufacturing and Materials teams.

Call for Feasibility Studies - EPSRC Future Manufacturing Hubs

Competition closes: 15.11.19

The EPSRC Future Manufacturing Research Hubs in Composites, Compound Semiconductors, Metrology and Photonics have partnered to offer up to £1 million in funding to support a number of feasibility studies at TRLs 1 to 3. The funding is available for novel research in manufacturing technologies pertinent to the priority areas identified by each of the four partner Hubs. The joint call is open to all UK academics eligible to receive EPSRC funding and is the primary mechanism for new academic collaborators to engage with the four Hubs. The partnership is motivated by the possibility for collaborations spanning multiple Hubs, in projects where the research area is of mutual interest to more than one funding partner.

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Innovation loans: September-November 2019 open competition

Closing date: 27.11.19

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.Projects should aim to develop new products, processes or services (or innovative use of existing ones) believed to be significantly ahead of anything similar in the field.

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Driving the electric revolution: building regional centres of excellence

Registration closes: 27.11.19

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.

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Decarbonising the UK's Industry

Competitions close: 04.12.19

Competition 1: Deployment

UK businesses will have the opportunity to apply for a share of up to £1 million to develop plans for decarbonising an industrial cluster. Successful applicants from phase 1 will then compete for phase 2, where up to £131 million will be awarded for projects that will deliver, or support delivery of, significant emissions reductions in a UK industrial cluster by 2030.

Competition 2: Roadmaps

UK organisations can apply for a share of up to £1 million to prepare plans for their journey to achieving low carbon and net zero industrial clusters. In phase 2 up to £8 million will be awarded for the development of industrial cluster decarbonisation roadmaps for major UK industrial clusters. These must set out how a cluster could be decarbonised to net-zero levels.

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NATEP: helping SMEs innovate in aerospace, autumn 2019

Competition closes: 04.12.19

Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, is working with the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). Together we will invest up to £10 million in aerospace innovation projects as part of the ATI Programme.

This competition is the first of 4 rounds. We plan to open the others every 6 months. The last round is scheduled for spring 2021.

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STFC Bridging for Innovators (B4I) programme

The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) is a multidisciplinary research organisation that funds and operates a number of large science facilities offering research and development access to commercial users. Through these facilities, and their expert staff, they can provide access to advanced experimental and computational tools to address challenges and opportunities in manufacturing and materials. Their £8 million Bridging for Innovators (B4I) programme is specifically designed to help companies overcome difficult product, manufacturing or process performance issues by providing access to advanced analytical technologies, supporting expertise and capabilities through STFC’s large scale science facilities located around the UK. The competition runs until April 2021, with applications being assessed as they come in.

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Knowledge Transfer Partnerships

Current KTP period: Open date: 03.10.19 – 11.12.19 (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.

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Management Knowledge Transfer Partnerships – winter 2019/spring 2020

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.

These will open on 12th December 2019 for the first round of MTKPs, closing 19th February 2020.

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Innovate UK Smart Grants

Competition Closes: 08.01.2020

Smart is the new name for Innovate UK’s ‘Open grant funding’ programme. Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, will invest up to £25 million in the best game-changing, innovative or disruptive ideas with a view to commercialisation. All proposals must be business focused. Applications can come from any area of technology (including arts, design, media or creative industries), science or engineering and be applied to any part of the economy.

The current round of Smart Grants opened on 17th October 2019 and will close on 8th January 2020. Read more here.

Future flight challenge: discovery workshop, phase 1

Closes: 13 November 2019

A 2 day discovery workshop for successful applicants to refine, validate and collaborate on the challenge of Future Flight against 6 problem statements.

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UKRI Interdisciplinary Circular Economy Centres & Coordinator

Following on from the UKRI Circular Economy workshops in June 2019, UKRI has now made £22.5m available to support five Circular Economy Centres for up to four years (at 80% FEC).

Closing date: 05.12.19

Applications are also open for the post of Coordinator for the hubs: this can be done by one full-time applicant, but is also open to academics that job share, have a part time contract or those currently committed to other large existing grant.

Closing date: 19.11.19

Read more here

Waste Prevention Implementation Fund

Investments funded through the grant must be complete by 31.12.19

It is recognised that while organisations understand the benefits of waste prevention, they often do not take action, lacking the finance and support to make the necessary changes.  This fund has therefore been designed to help organisations overcome these barriers to undertake a particular project with a focus on raw materials savings, carbon savings and the movement of waste material up the waste hierarchy.

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ISCF Future food production systems

Competition closes: 22.01.20

Apply for a share of up to £20 million to transform food production systems, improve productivity and sustainability, and help the industry move towards net zero emissions by 2040. This funding is from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.

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ISCF transforming foundation industries: fast start projects

Competition closes: 05.02.20

Innovate UK, as part of UK Research and Innovation, will invest up to £5 million in innovation projects for the foundation industries. These will be cross-sector, collaborative, fast start, short duration, industrial research and development (R&D) projects.

The aim of this competition is to bring businesses from different foundation industries together to work on common resource and energy efficiency opportunities. Your project can focus on any part of the manufacturing process, including feedstock inputs, production, material product development. Your consortium must include at least 2 businesses representing at least 2 sectors in the foundation industries (cement, glass, ceramics, paper, metals and bulk chemicals).

KTN will be running a series a briefing events on this competition in November – find out more here.

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SBRI: DASA A Joint Effort, Phase 2

This Defence and Security Accelerator competition continues to seek innovations that will accelerate the integration of advanced materials onto military platforms. These materials may be monolithic, composite or functionally graded depending on the application. They may have been manufactured using conventional or advanced manufacture techniques, including additive manufacture.

Developments of particular interest for this competition include:

  • enabling new material combinations
  • novel approaches to the integration of advanced or novel materials
  • increasing durability of joints in military operating conditions
  • joints that allow easier modification/replacement of components or sub-systems on a platform
  • health and usage monitoring of joints

Competition Challenges

Like Phase 1, Phase 2 intends to fund proof-of-concepts that address one or more of the challenges outlined below but to a higher level of maturity. Key requirements that apply across all the challenges for creating and managing joints on military platforms are:

  • creating effective joints in real-world conditions (for example with surface contamination or repairing damaged material)
  • developing techniques that are cost effective (whether this is by reducing manufacturing costs or via through-life savings)
  • considering the fire, smoke and toxicity performance of materials and interfaces
  • developing joining approaches that are light weight compared to current methods

For more details, click here. Applications close on 31st January 2020.

Sustainable Advanced Manufacturing

Sustainable Advanced Manufacturing is a £5.1M project to support the implementation of product and process development, and the introduction of technology to the SME manufacturing sector, in the NE LEP area. The project is part funded by ERDF (£2.6M) and the University of Sunderland, who are investing £2.5M and managing the delivery of this project.

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SMEs in the manufacturing sector - Key Enabling Technologies

Competition closes: 29.04.20

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.

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Call for Proposals for Data driven applications and experiments in CPS/IOT

This is an Open Call.

The open call aims at complementing functionalities around MIDIH reference architecture and performing experiments in CPS/IOT based on the components provided by the architecture. The experiments must cover one of the three main scenarios: Smart Factory or Smart Product or Smart Supply chain.

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Industrial Heat Recovery 

Open until November 2019 (various funding windows)

In addition to the £100m funding from the Industrial Strategy BEIS has also committed a further £18m through their Heat programme to support the manufacturing industries to recover and use their waste heat. The IHRS funds the design and demonstration of heat recovery from the industrial process for reuse on site as heat or power, or donated to a nearby heat network.

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Management Knowledge Transfer Partnership (MKTP)

Competition opens: 12.12.19; competition closes: 19.02.20

Effective management can be the difference between thriving companies and failing companies. That is why Innovate UK has introduced a new programme designed to inject significant management expertise that expands business capability, increases efficiency and enables lasting change and growth.

The initiative is called a Management Knowledge Transfer Partnership (MKTP), and it runs alongside our highly successful Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) programme which has been helping companies innovate for growth for over 40 years. The difference with a MKTP is that companies are linked with one of the UK’s world class Business Schools in a partnership focused on a management-based project. Talk to one of our specialist Knowledge Transfer Advisers if you think a MTKP could help drive your company’s growth.

A webinar explaining more about MKTP and how to apply will run on Tuesday 29th October, 10-11am. You can register for your free place here.

Circular Economy Fund (WRAP Cymru)

This £6.5m fund will offer grants to businesses of any size seeking capital investment funding to increase their use of recycled materials in manufactured products, components or packaging. WRAP Cymru will administer the fund on behalf of the Welsh Government.

Click here to find out more (applications assessed quarterly, running until at least March 2020)

5G Sector Specific Testbeds & Trials Roundtables: £40m match funding

Digital Catapult has partnered with the UK Government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) to support the design and development of a new Industrial 5G competition focused on the manufacturing and logistics sectors, as part of the 5G Testbeds & Trials Programme.

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Made Smarter North West pilot

The newly-launched Made Smarter programme is designed to support manufacturers, engineers, makers and creators with facilities or operations in Cheshire, Cumbria, Lancashire, Greater Manchester and Liverpool City Region to grow through adoption of new technologies. The Made Smarter pilot can help you understand which new industrial technology application is right for your operations and help you to develop a strategy for implementation that fits in with your core business needs.

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ISCF: Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging

Part of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund Wave 3, this Challenge will develop a new generation of advanced and sustainable plastic packaging to reduce single-use plastics, increase recyclability and the amount of plastic packaging that is recycled and ultimately reduce the amount of plastic waste entering the environment.  Government is prepared to invest up to £60 million in this Challenge from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, with additional funding of up to £149 million from industry. The Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging Challenge aims to establish the UK as a leading innovator in sustainable plastic packaging for consumer products, delivering cleaner growth across the supply chain, with a dramatic reduction in plastic waste entering the environment by 2025.

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Zero Waste Scotland Circular Economy Investment Fund

The Circular Economy Investment Fund is a funding opportunity for small and medium sized businesses and organisations in Scotland working in all business and social economy sectors.  Zero Waste Scotland are investing up to £18 in grant funding for businesses;

  • Exploring markets for new circular economy products
  • Development and adoption of innovative business models for new circular economy products and services
  • Development and uptake of innovative technologies, products and services to support a circular economy

Read More (applications ongoing, 30 day turnaround, projects can run until June 2023)

KTN’s sector teams are experts in navigating the funding landscape. If you need any guidance regarding the opportunities above or you would like help finding other funding opportunities please contact our Manufacturing and Materials teams.