Accelerating trustworthy AI: Phase 1 feasibility study

Key Features

UK registered businesses can apply for a share of up to £2 million in grant funding to form consortia to deliver feasibility studies.

Programme:     Innovate UK

Award:     Share of up to £2 million

Opens: 12th Dec 2022

Closes: 25th Jan 2023

! This scheme is now closed


Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, will invest up to £21 million in innovation projects across two phases of this competition. For this first phase of the competition £2 million has been allocated.


The aim of this competition is to accelerate the adoption of trusted and responsible Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) technologies, by reducing bottlenecks during development and deployment of such technologies.

Your proposal must clearly:

  • indicate how your solution will contribute towards development of trusted and responsible AI and ML solutions
  • indicate how your solution could accelerate development or deployment of AI and ML solutions
  • identify at least one user case that is beneficial to micro, small or medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)
  • indicate how you will access data that is relevant for the development of your solution

Your project must undertake a feasibility study to:

  • build a consortium to evaluate suitability of system architectures, specifications and implementation methodologies
  • confirm the commitment of this consortium if successful and invited to participate in phase 2
  • propose the development of novel solutions, that accelerate the deployment of trusted and responsible AI and ML technologies
  • produce a technical report outlining the approach you intend to implement in phase 2

The consortium you develop in phase 1 must include at least 2 SME end-users of your solution, one research organisation and one large organisation. RTOs can also be part of your consortium and you are encouraged to include them.

Specific Themes

Your project must focus on one or more of the following:

  • data pre-processing
  • modelling
  • evaluation
  • deployment


Your project must:

  • have a total grant request between £25,000 and £50,000
  • start by 1 May 2023
  • end by 31 July 2023
  • last up to 3 months
  • carry out its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK

You must only include eligible project costs in your application.

Up to 40% of project costs can be spent on consortium building activities, which may include:

  • workshops
  • meetings
  • travel and subsistence
  • subcontracting to engage and build a consortium of organisations

Under current restrictions, this competition will not fund any procurement, commercial, business development or supply chain activity with any Russian and Belarusian entity as lead, partner or subcontractor. This includes any goods or services originating from a Russian and Belarusian source.

To lead a project your organisation must be a UK registered:

  • research and technology organisation (RTO)
  • micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME)

More information on the different types of organisation can be found in our Funding rules.

Subcontractors are allowed in this competition.

Subcontractors can be from anywhere in the UK and you must select them through your usual procurement process.

You can use subcontractors from overseas but must make the case in your application as to why you could not use suppliers from the UK.


Innovate UK are not funding projects:

  • that do not clearly demonstrate a contribution to the development or deployment of trusted and responsible AI and ML solutions
  • that involve primary production in fishery and aquaculture
  • that involve primary production in agriculture
  • with activities relating to the purchase of road freight transport
  • not allowed under De minimis regulation restrictions
  • not eligible to receive Minimal Financial Assistance

Innovate UK cannot fund projects that are:

  • dependent on export performance, for example giving an award to a baker on the condition that they export a certain quantity of bread to another country.
  • dependent on domestic inputs usage, for example if we give an award to a baker on the condition that they use 50% UK flour in their product

Funding Costs

Innovate UK have allocated up to £2 million to fund innovation projects in phase 1 of the competition.

You can request 100% funding for your eligible project costs up to a maximum of £50,000.

For more information on company sizes, please refer to the Company accounts guidance. This is a change from the EU definition unless you are applying under European Commission De minimis.

If you are applying for an award funded under European Commission Regulations, the definitions are set out in the European Commission Recommendation of 6 May 2003.

Interested in applying for this competition?

Book an appointment to speak to one of our advisors to discuss your eligibility to apply for this Grant Funding opportunity.