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Multiple funding & business support opportunities for SMEs
& academics in the area of sustainable innovation



With the recent publication of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report on the impacts of global warming on health, livelihoods, food security, water supply, human security and economic growth, the pressing need to act to create real solutions has never been so clear.

Current UK Government policy supports the objectives of the COP26 UN Climate change conference, and its sustainability policy commitments are predicted to increase. As such a number of new sustainability-related funding opportunities are likely to arise in the coming months.

Anticipating the announcement of these opportunities, we are inviting companies developing innovative sustainable 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 for funding calls.

In order to support you to submit the most compelling bid possible with the best chance of success, we can provide the following:

  • if you are a business and don’t already have an academic partner, we can help identify the missing expertise to deliver a successful project by linking you with considerable research expertise of our Partner Universities to form a partnership to collaborate on the bid
  • a wealth of expertise and experience of crafting bids for major funding calls – we can review your bid, identify gaps and make suggestions for improvements – essentially acting as a ‘critical friend’
  • professional bid consultant’s time can be allocated to improve the bid.

We’ve identified some key Government funding calls, listed below, for which we can provide support. So if you are considering a bid to any of these funding calls now is the time to apply for this support to boost your chances of success.

SETsquared Scale-Up University Expertise Connected to the Sustainable Innovation Sector

Supported funding calls

UK – Germany Bilateral: Collaborative R&D

Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, will work with The Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Klimaschutz (BMWK), (The Federal Ministry For Economic Affairs And Climate Action), to invest up to £4 million in innovation projects.

The aim of this competition is to support UK and German business-led collaboration in innovation with grant funding. Innovate UK will support UK businesses to collaborate successfully with German counterparts and build your global growth prospects.

Projects must have a maximum grant funding request of £400,000 for all UK partners, start by 1 December 2023, end by 30 November 2026, and last between 12 months and 36 months.

Applications for funding close on 7 June 2023 11:00 am, so please submit your application for support below.

Apply Now

Energy Catalyst Round 10

Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, will work with the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to invest up to £10 million in innovation projects. This funding is part of the Ayrton Fund. This competition is split into 3 strands: early-stage, mid-stage and late-stage.

The aim of this competition is to accelerate the innovations needed to create new or improved clean energy access in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia or Indo-Pacific regions. Creating a just and inclusive energy transition, and extending the benefits of clean energy to all to meet sustainable development goals (SDGs) 7 and 13.

Projects must focus on improving energy access in Official Development Assistance (ODA) eligible countries in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and Indo-Pacific regions, and having a technology or business model which is affordable, reliable and low carbon.

Projects must have total costs between £50,000 and £5 million; start on 1 April 2024; end by 31st March 2027; last between 6 months and 36 months; help deliver clean energy access in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, or the Indo-Pacific; involve at least one partner with a legal entity in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia or the Indo-Pacific region, this can include in-country offices; involve testing and or demonstration work in an eligible ODA country; and include a UK registered administrative lead.

Applications for funding close on 28 June 2023 12:00pm, 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:

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