The UK grant funding landscape continues to be robust in response to the ongoing COVID-19 situation and over the past month more details on funding have materialised following government announcements for COVID specific support at the outset of the pandemic which promised £750 million in grants and loans for SMEs focusing on R&D. There is a clear focus across these schemes on green innovations and sustainable solutions in alignment with the government’s strategy to ‘build back better’ and for a green economic recovery, as well as new requirements for applicants around equality, diversity and inclusion.
New funding announcements include: the Catalysing Green Innovation under the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund with open calls focusing on manufacturing and transport sectors; the Manufacturing Made Smarter programme supports the development of digital solutions to help supply chains become more efficient; plus 2 programmes to support the energy sector, the Industrial Energy Transformation Fund and the Energy Catalyst programme. Most recently, a separate Sustainable Innovation Fund has opened to support sustainable economic recovery from COVID-19 with 2 calls so far and more to open later in the year that are open to all sectors.
For the Life Sciences sector, a £200 million Life Sciences Investment Programme was announced in March 2020 and the Biomedical Catalyst programme is expected to open for applications in July.
The next SMART round has been delayed slightly to accommodate the COVID-19 calls listed above but it is still going ahead and will reopen for applications in August with extra money being added to the last round due to the unusually large number of applications received (currently under review).
Further updates to follow as more details become available.
Contact Claire Flanagan on +44 (0) 7896 517 291 or firstname.lastname@example.org