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WORLD LEADING BUSINESS SUPPORT

ADVANCED ENGINEERING &

MANUFACTURING

Multiple funding & business support opportunities for SMEs
& academics in the advanced engineering and manufacturing sector

 

The UK has a thriving manufacturing industry, with significant growth in areas such as advanced materials, low carbon technologies, digital process engineering, additive manufacturing, and robotics and autonomous systems. Artificial intelligence and machine learning are changing engineering with new technologies are set to transform productivity in the next few years, a process referred to as the 4th Industrial Revolution or Industry 4.0.

Our six partner universities possess internationally-recognised centres of research excellence with established track records of collaborative R&D with innovators in the Advanced Engineering & Manufacturing sector.

We therefore invite companies innovating with advanced engineering and manufacturing technologies, researchers (from the universities of Bath, Bristol, Cardiff, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey) and consortia (comprised of companies & researchers) to apply for support to develop R&D proposals.

We are looking to support the most compelling bids with the best chances of success. We can:

  • help businesses to identify missing research expertise from our partner universities’ ecosystems to form a collaboration on the bid
  • offer a wealth of expertise and experience to craft strong bids for major funding calls – we can review your bid, identify gaps and make suggestions for improvements, essentially acting as a ‘critical friend’
  • fund a professional bid consultant’s time to further strengthen the bid.

If you are considering a bid to any upcoming funding calls now is the time to apply for our support to boost your chances of success.

Supported funding calls:

Canada-UK Net Zero Value Chains – Transportation

Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, will work with the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP) to invest a total of up to £4 million in innovation projects. These will enable transition to net zero for the automotive, rail, or maritime transportation sectors.

The aim of this competition is to foster and support collaborative research and development (CR&D) through Canadian and UK partnerships. The joint Canadian and UK project must focus on innovations that enable transition to net zero transportation, for the automotive, rail, or maritime sectors. Proposed project can address on-vehicle, including locomotives, or on-vessel technologies, processes, or technology-based services.

This competition covers 4 themes in net zero on-vehicle or on-vessel technologies: 1. Low and zero emission propulsion; 2. Advanced sustainable materials and manufacturing; 3. Highly disruptive technologies; 4. Assistive technologies and control systems.

This competition closes at 5pm UK time (which is 9am PDT and 12pm EDT) on 29 June 2022 so please submit your application for support below.

Apply Now

SBRI: FOAK 2022 Low emissions and a greener railway

This is a Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) competition funded by the Department for Transport (DfT). The aim of the competition is to deliver high maturity demonstrations of innovations to the UK railways. This competition is part of a larger ‘first of a kind’ demonstrator initiative, on behalf of DfT. The initiative aims to accelerate innovation in the UK rail sector and enable technologies to be readily and efficiently integrated into the railway system.

The first of a kind competition has three themes: Theme 1 – Low emissions and a greener railway (this theme); Theme 2 – Rail Freight; Theme 3 – Cost efficiency and performance priorities for a reliable railway. For theme 1, a total of up to £420,000, inclusive of VAT, is allocated to phase 1. The phase 1 project R&D contracts will be up to £60,000 inclusive of VAT. Phase 2 involves up to 3 contracts being awarded to organisations chosen from the successful phase 1 applicants. Up to £740,000 inclusive of VAT will be allocated for each contract, to develop a prototype and undertake field testing for up to 20 months.

Project must address reduced carbon emissions and the impact of the railway on the environment. Projects can focus on one or more of the following:

  • technology solutions to substantially reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM) when diesel passenger trains are idling
  • passenger trains that can be powered by the AC overhead electrification and charge a battery from the overhead wire, to then run in battery only mode on unelectrified section of a route
  • battery or hydrogen powered freight trains

This competition closes at 11am 8 June 2022, so please submit your application for support below.

Apply Now

SBRI: FOAK 2022 cost efficiency and performance priorities for a reliable railway

This is a Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) competition funded by the Department for Transport (DfT). The aim of the competition is to deliver high maturity demonstrations of innovations to the UK railways. This competition is part of a larger ‘first of a kind’ demonstrator initiative, on behalf of DfT. The initiative aims to accelerate innovation in the UK rail sector and enable technologies to be readily and efficiently integrated into the railway system.

The first of a kind competition has three themes: Theme 1 – Low emissions and a greener railway; Theme 2 – Rail Freight; Theme 3 – Cost efficiency and performance priorities for a reliable railway (this theme). For theme 3, a total of up to £2.5million, inclusive of VAT, is allocated. Contracts will be between £150,000 and £250,000, inclusive of VAT, for each project for up to 12 months.

Project must focus on one or more of the following:

  1. Plan resilience and recoverability (timetabling and associated resources)
  2. Ancillary Plan to deliver right time, right traction from depot (management of rolling stock)
  3. Deterioration in network response to external events including trespass and suicide: this category focuses on the response to incidents. Prevention of incidents is also important but has been covered by other programs.
  4. Operating staff availability
  5. Weather, seasons and climate change: Innovations proposed in this category must be focused on keeping the railway open, not on anticipating weather or seasonal considerations that might suggest closing the railway. Also note that adhesion related proposals are excluded as these have been covered by multiple other programs.
  6. More efficient use of access for infrastructure maintenance: maximising the amount of time spent on core activities whilst trains are not running
  7. Removal of organisational or systemic blockers to deployment of performance initiatives

This competition closes at 11am 8 June 2022, so please submit your application for support below.

Apply Now

SBRI: FOAK 2022 Rail Freight

This is a Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) competition funded by the Department for Transport (DfT). The aim of the competition is to deliver high maturity demonstrations of innovations to the UK railways. This competition is part of a larger ‘first of a kind’ demonstrator initiative, on behalf of DfT. The initiative aims to accelerate innovation in the UK rail sector and enable technologies to be readily and efficiently integrated into the railway system.

The first of a kind competition has three themes: Theme 1 – Low emissions and a greener railway; Theme 2 – Rail Freight (this theme); Theme 3 – Cost efficiency and performance priorities for a reliable railway. For theme 2, a total of up to £2.4million, inclusive of VAT, is allocated. Contracts will be up to £400,000, inclusive of VAT, for each project for up to 12 months.

Project must focus on one or more of the following:

  • innovation to support modal shift to rail for freight services
  • innovation to deliver rail freight growth, increase efficiency and meet future customer needs
  • improved timetabling and scheduling, to allow a wider variety of freight to be shipped, including keeping freight running during engineering work.
  • improved routing and tracking capabilities, for example to ensure that the railway can integrate fully with intermodal freight and services to develop new markets for light packed, high value goods
  • innovation which supports rail freight resilience
  • flexible interiors for light freight
  • innovation to reduce the noise impact of freight trains
  • innovation to decarbonise rail freight and to improve air quality
  • freight handling automation
  • multi-functional rolling stock
  • innovation to make electrification compatible with freight depots
  • innovation to increase average speed and to support high-speed rail freight services to improve competitiveness with other modes
  • delivery of freight by rail into congested city centres.
  • next generation logistics
  • automated modal interchanges, allowing freight to be transferred quickly and efficiently for onward transit
  • innovation to support freight operations during railway construction, such as spoil disposal
  • better wagon design and maintenance
  • improved operation through new freight hubs
  • self-assembling consists
  • repurposing of redundant passenger and freight rolling stock
  • freight solutions which work in tandem with passenger services
  • innovation that might support future autonomous freight trains
  • lower cost of whole life operation for rail freight
  • innovation to make rail freight more competitive compared to other transport modes and to reduce freight costs
  • passenger luggage solutions
  • innovation in freight diversionary activities
  • last mile interface for freight delivery
  • reduction of end-to-end freight journey times

This competition closes at 11am 8 June 2022, so please submit your application for support below.

Apply Now

Net Zero Hydrogen Fund – Strand 1 Development Expenditure (DEVEX)

This competition will support development expenditure (DEVEX) costs for front end engineering design (FEED) and post-FEED studies. The aim is to build the pipeline of hydrogen production projects and measurably move them closer to deployment. This competition supports multiple hydrogen production pathways.

Proposals must demonstrate how you will develop a credible project that will contribute to the at-scale production of low carbon hydrogen by 2025. Funded projects must support the delivery towards the 10GW production target by 2030 set out in the Energy Security Strategy.

A project must have a total grant request between £80,000 and £15 million, start by 1 January 2023, end by end by 31 March 2024, and last between 6 and 15 months.

Applications for funding close at 11am on 22 June 2022 so please submit your application for support below.

Apply Now

Net Zero Hydrogen Fund – Strand 2 – Capital expenditure (CAPEX)

This competition will provide capital expenditure (CAPEX) to support low carbon projects to take a Final Investment Decision (FID) and begin deployment in the early 2020s. Your project must not require support from a hydrogen business model (these projects are covered in Strands 3 and 4 of the NZHF). This competition supports multiple hydrogen production pathways.

Projects must address low carbon hydrogen production opportunities and must focus on the construction of new low carbon hydrogen production facilities. Credible projects are expected to utilise one of the following hydrogen production types:

  • electrolysis
  • methane reforming
  • gasification

A project must have a total grant request between £200,000 and £30 million, start by 1 January 2023, end by end by 31 March 2025, and last between 6 and 27 months.

Applications for funding close at 11am on 6 July 2022 so please submit your application for support below.

Apply Now

UK-South Korea Collaborative R&D

Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, will invest up to £2 million in innovation projects in partnership with the Korea Institute for Advancement of Technology (KIAT)

The aim of this competition is to fund collaborative research and development (CR&D) projects focused on industrial research. Proposals must include at least one partner from the UK and one partner from South Korea.

Project must focus on one or more of the following sectors: (1) advanced manufacturing and materials; (2) artificial intelligence; (3) clean energy, specifically battery technologies, hydrogen mobility technologies, and future vehicles.

Funded projects are expected to result in a new product, industrial process or service, be innovative, involve a technological risk, and have high market potential in the participating countries.

Applicants can apply for a maximum grant of up to £350,000 for a project, and projects must start by 1 November 2022 and end by 31 October 2025, last between 24 and 36 months, the majority of the work carried out in the UK, and the results exploited from or in the UK.

Applications for funding close at 11am on 6 July 2022 so please submit your application for support below.

Apply Now

Application form

If you wish to apply for funding and support for the R&D opportunities shown above complete the form below to join the Scale Up Programme as an associate – which is free and without commitment. Read a guide on how to make a good application

Alternatively, if you are unsure which opportunity is for you still complete the form below and we will get in touch to discuss your proposal and check it’s in scope for the support programme.


















Membership of the Scale Up programme is open to any company pending internal review of the expression of interest raised by the company and incurs a one off charge of £150 inc. VAT. Full Membership will be offered to companies who are already part of our network and wish to access the CR&D proposal development support or investment raising support services. Full membership is subject to payment by the member company of a one-off fee and Membership is valid for one year. For the year 2020/21 the Membership Fee is £1,600 inc. VAT or for any eligible company, it can be waived under the Article 3.2(4) exemption of the Subsidy Control chapter of the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement ("TCA"), and which requires eligible companies to complete a Statement of Previous Aid declaration.

The Scale-Up Programme is a partnership between: