Advanced Machinery Innovation Fund

Key Features

UK registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £1 million for the development of advanced machinery. This funding is from the UKRI Strength in Places Fund (SIPF) supported by the Advanced Machinery and Productivity Institute (AMPI).

Programme:     Innovate UK

Award:     Share of up to £1 million

Opens: 20th May 2024

Closes: 19th Jun 2024

! This scheme is opening soon


This competition is managed on behalf of the Advanced Machinery and Productivity Institute (AMPI). Part of the UKRI Strength in Places Fund (SIPF) programme, AMPI aims to stimulate and support rapid growth of the UK’s machinery manufacturing sector as it transitions to highly integrated digital solutions with sophisticated automated and autonomous systems.


The aim of this competition is to encourage the development of new manufacturing technology within advanced machinery, robotics, automation, or associated industries.

Your project must focus on delivering advancements in machinery for manufacturing and demonstrate innovation at an industrially relevant scale. You must also aim to:

  • develop new technology for use in current or future products or manufacturing
  • develop and disseminate best practices in technologies or processes to support industry
  • demonstrate improvement in business productivity and competitiveness
  • show clear benefit technically
  • show clear benefit in creating or safeguarding jobs
  • enhance capabilities within the broader advanced machinery industry
  • demonstrate clear market opportunity, an innovative project, and a credible route to market

Portfolio approach

We want to fund a variety of projects across different technologies, markets, technological maturities and research categories. We call this a portfolio approach.

Following the Innovate UK assessment, all fundable applications will be considered by a panel of independent advisors. The panel will be convened by Advanced Machinery and Productivity Institute (AMPI) and chaired independently. The panel will review the applications in line with the Portfolio criteria and recommend to AMPI which projects would make up a balanced portfolio. That recommendation will inform AMPI’s final decision on funding awards.

Specific Themes

Target machinery industries include:

  • machine tool manufacturers
  • robotics manufacturers
  • other machine manufacturers
  • machine control system manufacturers
  • providers of digitalisation systems for manufacturing, including sensing and control
  • machinery subsystems manufacturers
  • automation system manufacturers

Target technologies for machinery include:

  • machine tool, robotic, and automation systems
  • advanced controllers and PLCs
  • in-situ and in-process measurement systems
  • intelligent software systems
  • on-machine sensor networks
  • true digital twins of machinery
  • hybrid and reconfigurable systems
  • sustainable machine development


Your project must:

  • have a total grant funding request between £100,000 and £250,000
  • last between 3 months and 18 months
  • carry out its project work within the Greater Manchester or West Yorkshire regions
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK
  • start from 1 November 2024
  • end by 30 April 2026

Projects must always start on the first of the month and this must be stated within your application. Your project start date will be reflected in your grant offer letter if you are successful.

You must only include eligible project costs in your application.

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

Lead organisation

To lead a project your organisation must:

  • be a UK registered business of any size with significant technical operations based within the Greater Manchester or West Yorkshire regions
  • carry out your project work within the defined regions
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK
  • involve at least one university, academic institution or research and technology organisation (RTO) based in the Greater Manchester and West Yorkshire regions

Universities, academic institutions and RTO’s cannot lead or work alone.

Project team

To collaborate with the lead, your organisation must be one of the following UK registered organisations and be based in the Greater Manchester and West Yorkshire regions:

  • business of any size
  • academic institution
  • charity
  • not-for-profit
  • public sector organisation
  • research and technology organisation (RTO)

Projects must contain at least one collaborating university, academic institution or RTO.

Eligible universities, academic institutions and RTOs must also be within the defined regions.

Each partner organisation must be invited into the Innovation Funding Service by the lead to collaborate on a project. Once partners have accepted the invitation, they will be asked to login or to create an account in the Innovation Funding Service. They are responsible for entering their own project costs in the application.

To be an eligible collaboration, the lead and at least one other organisation must apply for funding when entering their costs into the application.

Non-funded partners

Your project can include partners that do not receive any of this competition’s funding, for example businesses outside of the defined regions. Their costs will count towards the total project costs.


Subcontractors are allowed in this competition and are limited to no more than 20% of the project’s total costs.

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

All subcontractor costs must be justified and appropriate to the total project costs.

Number of applications

A business can only lead on one application and can be included as a collaborator in a further two applications.

If a business is not leading an application, it can collaborate in any number of applications.

A university, academic institution or RTO can collaborate on any number of applications but cannot lead or work alone.

Use of animals in research and innovation

Innovate UK expects and supports the provision and safeguarding of welfare standards for animals used in research and innovation, according to best practice and up to date guidance.

Any projects selected for funding which involve animals will be asked to provide additional information on welfare and ethical considerations, as well as compliance with any relevant legislation as part of the project start-up process. This information will be reviewed before an award is made.

You can use a previously submitted application to apply for this competition.


We will not fund projects that:

  • are outside of the Greater Manchester and West Yorkshire regions ​
  • do not meet the eligibility or scope or are not industry led
  • do not collaborate with a university, academic institution or RTO based inside the Greater Manchester and West Yorkshire regions​
  • are solely capital expenditure or infrastructure projects ​
  • do not evidence the potential for their idea to lead to significant return on investment (ROI), positive economic and regional impact, growth and scale-up of the business

We cannot fund projects that are:

  • dependent on export performance, for example giving a subsidy to a baker on the condition that it exports a certain quantity of bread to another country
  • dependent on domestic inputs usage, for example giving a subsidy to a baker on the condition that it uses 50% UK flour in their product

Funding Costs

Up to £1 million has been allocated to fund innovation projects in this competition. Funding will be in the form of a grant.

If your organisation’s work on the project is commercial or economic, your funding request must not exceed the limits below. These limits apply even if your organisation normally acts non-economically but for the purpose of this project will be undertaking commercial or economic activity.

For feasibility studies and industrial research projects, you could get funding for your eligible project costs of:

  • up to 70% if you are a micro or small organisation
  • up to 60% if you are a medium sized organisation
  • up to 50% if you are a large organisation

For experimental development projects which are nearer to market, you could get funding for your eligible project costs of:

  • up to 45% if you are a micro or small organisation
  • up to 35% if you are a medium sized organisation
  • up to 25% if you are a large organisation

Research participation

The research organisations undertaking non-economic activity as part of the project can share up to 30% of the total project costs. If your consortium contains more than one research organisation undertaking non-economic activity, this maximum is shared between them. Of that 30% you could get funding for your eligible project costs of up to:

  • 80% of full economic costs (FEC) if you are a Je-S registered institution such as an academic
  • 100% of your project costs if you are an RTO, charity, not-for-profit organisation, public sector organisation or research organisation

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.