There is a great deal of evidence demonstrating that businesses that use a strong early-stage design process generate increased revenue, market share and exports, as well as having a faster and more cost-effective innovation process.
Early-stage design will give companies (and investors) greater confidence in your ideas, help to streamline development and reduce the likelihood and cost of rectifying problems later on. Brand equity and business resilience can also be improved through design.
Design Foundations is a great opportunity to develop your organisation’s innovation capability and lay the foundations for compelling, high-value propositions that will help attract investors and customers.
What is it?
Design Foundations is a new £3m grant-funding programme from Innovate UK aimed at helping companies to identify high-value innovation opportunities and generate better propositions for new products, services and business models.
The funding supports companies explore future possibilities in collaboration with a design team; bringing new tools and approaches to the plate. It offers up to 70% funding of projects up to £100,000 for any UK company, irrespective of scale or maturity, operating in any sector. There are three rounds of funding across 2017, opening for applications on January 9.
For more information including how this can help businesses , the application process and what makes a good application can be found using the links below.
Innovate UK is to invest up to £15 million in projects to stimulate innovation that creates UK business growth in infrastructure systems. We want businesses to collaborate to develop new integrated solutions and new business models.
Innovate UK are looking to fund a portfolio of projects. These may include technical feasibility, industrial research or experimental development projects. Projects are likley to to range in size from total eligible costs of £25,000 to £5 million. Projects should last between 3 months and 3 years.
Projects must show significant innovation in one of our priority areas:
Proposals must improve business growth, productivity and/or create export opportunities for at least one UK small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) involved in the project. The proposal needs to include at least one SME either working alone or in collaboration with others (business, research base and third sector).
There are 2 competition options:
£5 million for projects that last from 3 months to 1 year with costs from £25,000 to £100,000
£10 million for projects lasting from 1 year to 3 years with costs between £100,000 and £5 million
For more funding opportunities that are most relevant to you, you can set up your own personalised alerts on Research Professional. If you need help setting these up, just ask your School’s/Faculty’s Funding Development Officer in RKEO or view the recent blog post here.
If thinking of applying, why not add notification of your interest on Research Professional’s record of the bid so that BU colleagues can see your intention to bid and contact you to collaborate.
The Network aims to build and nurture a community that brings together industry, the public sector, funders, research organisations, individual researchers and innovators to support the UK in becoming the global leader in trust and responsible innovation with personal data.
Are you working with a business that would be interested in this funding opportunity? Research organisations can participate as project collaborators. (The level of total research participation is set at a maximum of 30% of total eligible project costs.)
UK businesses can apply for a share of up to £15 million to deliver transformational innovations with potential for impact on the UK economy.
The competition is now live and open to the best business-led, innovative or disruptive ideas or concepts. These can be drawn from any technology, engineering or industrial area. This area can be one that fits into, or be outside of, any one or more of Innovate UK’s 4 priority sectors for growth. (Emerging and Enabling Technologies, Health and Life Sciences, Infrastructure Systems, Manufacturing and Materials.)
To be in scope, a proposal must:
demonstrate transformational or disruptive innovation leading to novel, new products, processes or services
articulate a clear, anticipated growth and commercialisation impact for the business(es) with considerable, demonstrable (as you would set out in a pitch to any serious investor) potential to lead to a significant return on investment (ROI)
Priority will be given to proposals that are likely to lead to sustainable gains in productivity and/or access to new overseas markets through export-led business growth.
To lead a project you must:
be a UK-based business
be a business of any size
carry out your project in the UK
work alone or in collaboration with others (businesses, research base and third sector) – this could be BU
SME innovation awards (2016) – small business were honoured on Tuesday evening at an awards ceremony at the Houses of Parliament.
The awards recognise the many innovative successful projects that Innovate UK has co-funded. They celebrate the projects and companies that show the impact of innovation on business growth and the economy.
Innovate UK supports many events that bring together innovators, successful entrepreneurs and investors. At the events information is available on the support and funding available in addition to offering a great opportuntity to make connections and build networks. Find out more and register for these upcoming events:
Connected cities mission: apply to join trade delegation to India
Date: 7-12 November 2016 The Department for International Trade, Innovate UK and the UK Defence and Security Organisation are seeking businesses with expertise in fields that could allow them to take advantage of the growing smart cities market in India. Find out more & apply >>
Want to be kept up to date with events in your area ? Let Innovate UK know your location so they can keep you up to date about events in your area. Update my location>>
A recent report published by the ESRC shows that social scientists are becoming increasingly engaged through their research. This is testament to how the knowledge exchange agenda has become embedded and been embraced. That said, what disciplines are involved varies, as does who they are engaging with. It is also striking, if not entirely unsurprising, that social scientists are more likely to engage with charitable and public sector organisations (49%) than with businesses (30%).
There are, of course, many reasons for this. However, it is important to emphasise that this is not for a lack of relevant insight! Indeed, this raises an important question about how the social sciences can and should engage with businesses to realise the impact of research-based insights. If opportunities for businesses engagement are in the eye of the beholder, then there is a need to make social scientists more aware about the possibilities. If we cannot identify our own value, we cannot expect others to see it.
Engaging with business is not the privileged domain of engineering and the sciences. The challenge, however, is ensuring that the value of the social sciences is not overlooked by businesses, or worse goes unrecognised. The onus, therefore, is on social scientists to demonstrate the relevance of their research to business, just as they have to charitable and public sector organisations. This is about translation, making research insights accessible where the findings are non-obvious and engaging with businesses to co-produce new knowledge.
Take part in the global showcase of UK innovation, hear from global thought-leaders and create real business opportunities at Innovate 2016. Find out about today’s business opportunities and future-looking trends across manufacturing, health, cities of the future and technologies of the future.
Hear from industry-leaders on topics such as:
Retaining the edge with disruptive business models
Manufacturing: Tackling the productivity gap
Implementing resilience in a city of the future
Next-generation medicine: The UK as a world leader
Hear from top-level inspirational speakers from organisations including: Siemens, Versarien, Amazon, University of Manchester, Hyperloop One, High Value Manufacturing Catapult and of course Innovate UK CEO Dr Ruth McKernan CBE and Catherine Raines, CEO from the Department for International Trade. Support zone
Discover the breadth of funding and support for businesses and meet with the organisations that exist to help business thrive. The Support Zone will be back featuring among others the UK Business Angels Association, British Business Bank, HMRC and Growth Hubs.
UK industry, RTOs and Catapult Centres currently win approximately 340 million euros a year of funding from Horizon 2020. It is about one third (31%) of the total funding for the UK and our SMEs win more funding than any other country.
Industry, like science, is a global endeavour and whilst it is critical that we successfully manage the transition of our relationship with the EU, we must also seize the opportunity to build new global connections and to redefine our collaborations and partnerships around the world.
Innovate UK and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) are to invest a total of £19.5 million to support projects in Quantum Technologies. Projects may involve technologies belonging to one of the core groups defined in the UK’s roadmap for quantum technologies: clocks, sensors, imaging, communications or computing.
The call is now open, the registration deadline is 28th September and the call closes at noon on the 5th October.
Projects must be industry-led, but projects involving academics as partners are welcome, provided academic costs do not exceed 50% of the total.
Up to £6 million will be available for Feasibility Studies, which will fund the development of early stage devices, component technologies and for marketing studies. Projects will last up to 12 months and have total costs of £50k- £400k.
The Collaborative R&D call will seek to connect the supply chain, to deliver a demonstrator technology and must include an end user. A fund of £13.5 million is available. Total project values should be £500k – £2 million, but an addition 10% is available which can only be used for capital equipment, taking the maximum project value to £2.2 million.
If you are interested in this call you must contact RKEO with adequate notice before the deadline. Please note that some funding bodies specify a time for submission as well as a date. Please confirm this with your RKEO Funding Development Officer.
You can set up your own personalised alerts on Research Professional. If you need help setting these up, just ask your School’s/Faculty’s Funding Development Officer in RKEO or view the recent blog post here. If you are thinking of applying, why not add an expression of interest on Research Professional so that BU colleagues can see your intention to bid and contact you to collaborate.
It was the first time that the importance of place was recognised in the science and innovation strategy and set in motion a series of new conversations and the development of a new set of connections.
Everyone has a different definition for “innovation”. Is the view of Kevin Baughan Director of Technology and Innovation at Innovate UK. For him innovation defined simply as “delivering better outcomes”.
It is broad enough in scope to reflect the importance of innovation in enhancing every aspect of our lives, whilst at the same time emphasising the criticality of delivery and the need for leadership and collaborations in order to achieve those better outcomes.
Better connections was a key theme of the new Secretary of State’s early speeches on introducing his new ministerial team The Rt Hon Greg Clark MP, observed that: “[An industrial] strategy makes connections between what might otherwise be disparate forces; aligning them, rather than leaving them isolated or even opposed.”
So how do you use industrial strategy to make effective connections between what might otherwise be disparate forces and how do you then use those connections to deliver better outcomes? As part of a series of blog posts these ideas are introduced:
Game changer 1 = UK innovators + cross disciplinary science
Each sector of the economy is of course very different and the journey from concept to commercialisation is rarely a linear one but a clear industrial strategy fosters connections and alignment.
We have all experienced the powerful difference when you are in a team with a common purpose.
This not only fits well with the benefits demonstrated by the earlier automotive example, but it moves the entire game on, by ensuring that it’s cross disciplinary research teams, which are integrated into cross technology innovation initiatives which are in pursuit of our future industrial strategies.
Innovate UK has launched a fund to encourage small British firms to work with international businesses and to help them enter global markets.
UK businesses looking to create international business networks can apply for funding to enable commercial research and innovation partnerships. It will also help businesses explore ideas for future collaboration.
Innovate UK is funding this competition. It is open to small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The funding will enable SMEs to carry out short feasibility studies and spend time abroad. The competition will encourage UK firms to create long term partnerships with overseas companies. It will also help them gain a better understanding of collaborative opportunities.
The competition opens on 5 August 2016
The deadline for registration is noon on 21 September 2016
The deadline for application is noon on 28 September 2016
A UK SME must lead the project
A UK SME can carry out the project on their own or work with other UK partners
Only UK SMEs will receive funding
Innovate UK will fund projects with eligible costs of up to £30,000
Businesses may receive funding of up to 70% of their total project costs
Innovate UK supports many events that bring together innovators, successful entrepreneurs and investors. At the events information and advice is available highlighting the type of support and funding that is currently available. Find and more and register for upcoming events:
Innovate 2016– Manchester Central
Date: 2 – 3 November 2016.
Innovate 2016 is Innovate UK’s flagship event showcasing the very best of innovation talent and global opportunities for businesses. Find out more & register >>
Why not update Innovate UK with your location so you can receive relevant communications including events in your area Update my location>>
As part of its strategy development for Emerging and Enabling Technologies, Innovate UK are in the process of re-thinking its strategy for the Creative Economy.
The strategy will show the opportunities for UK companies, the barriers to realising those opportunities and the intervention that Innovate UK and its partners will take to help UK companies to achieve success.
There are two worksops being run in London on 17 August. In this workshop, Innovate UK will share its early, straw-man thoughts , see input, and together design a strategy which describes a future of working together to achieve complementarity, joined up working and great successes for UK innovation.
In accordance with the terms and conditions of the voucher offer, there will not be any extensions to the claim deadline and any claims submitted after the 31 July 2016 deadline will not be processed for payment. (All Round 14 voucher holders have been sent an information pack providing detailed information on the claim process.)