UK registered businesses can apply for a share of up to £1.5 million to research, test and develop step-change circular economy approaches.
Programme: Innovate UK
Award: Share of up to £1.5 million
Opens: 13th Oct 2022
Closes: 7th Dec 2022
Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, will invest up to £1.5 million in circular economy innovation projects.
This funding forms part of the UKRI National Interdisciplinary Circular Economy Research programme (NICER). It enables SMEs to engage with and benefit from access to expertise at five research centres and hub via collaborative research and development (CR&D) activities.
The aim of this competition is to support feasibility studies, industrial research and experimental development projects that address the challenges of transitioning to a circular economy.
Your project must demonstrate how you will create a step-change in the adoption of circular economy approaches.
The broad spectrum of circular economy approaches will be in scope, for example:
Projects are particularly encouraged that focus on retaining the maximum amount of value in a product or system.
Innovate UK aim to fund projects with direct or indirect commercial outcomes for the partners. A project to improve understanding where the outputs would be made freely available to build the knowledge base of the broader NICER programme, for example, would be in scope.
Innovate UK want to fund a portfolio of projects, across the range of resource flows and topics covered by the Interdisciplinary Circular Economy Centres and Hub and types of projects. Applicants must consider the benefits, risks, costs and trade-offs associated with adopting a more circular approach.
The focus on circular economy in this competition does not assume how best to deliver environmental, social, cultural, economic and technical benefits for any particular resource flow.
Your project can focus on one or more of the following examples:
Other focus areas that clearly address the challenges of transitioning to a circular economy are welcomed.
Your project must align with the NICER programme and be supported by a NICER centre or the CE-hub.
Resource flows covered by the Interdisciplinary Circular Economy Centres:
Themes covered by the CE-hub:
Further details on themes and potential collaboration topics can be found at NICER CE-hub
Innovate UK are not funding projects that:
Your project must:
Your application must include a letter of support from at least one of the UKRI Interdisciplinary Circular Economy Centres or the NICER CE-hub. The letter must demonstrate alignment of your proposed activities to one or more Centres’ aims and objectives. Collaboration directly with the centres or the hub as a project partner is encouraged but not essential.
Under current restrictions, this competition will not fund any procurement, commercial, business development or supply chain activity with any Russian entity as lead, partner or subcontractor. This includes any goods or services originating from a Russian source.
To lead a project or work alone your organisation must be a UK registered micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME)
Academic institutions cannot lead or work alone.
To collaborate with the lead, your organisation must be one of the following UK registered:
Each partner organisation must be invited into the Innovation Funding Service by the lead to collaborate on a project. Once accepted, partners will be asked to login or to create an account and enter their own project costs into the Innovation Funding Service.
If part of a collaboration the lead and at least one other organisation must claim funding when entering their costs during the application.
Your project can include partners that do not receive any of this competition’s funding, for example non-UK businesses. Their costs will count towards the total project costs.
Subcontractors are allowed in this competition.
A business can only lead on one application but can be included as a collaborator in a further 2 applications.
If an business is not leading any application, it can collaborate in up to 3 applications.
You can use a previously submitted application to apply for this competition.
Up to £1.5 million has been allocated to fund innovation projects in this competition. Funding will be in the form of a grant.
If the majority of 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.
For feasibility studies and industrial research projects, you could get funding for your eligible project costs of:
For experimental development projects which are nearer to market, you could get funding for your eligible project costs of:
NICER Centre and Hub academic partners can apply for funding for activities or additional resources and materials that are essential to the project achieving its full potential.
These costs must be eligible project costs, which have not been supported by UKRI funds already awarded.
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 State aid.
If you are applying for an award funded under State aid Regulations, the definitions are set out in the European Commission Recommendation of 6 May 2003.
The research organisations undertaking non-economic activity as part of the project can share up to 30% of the total eligible 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:
Book an appointment to speak to one of our advisors to discuss your eligibility to apply for this Grant Funding opportunity.