Commercialising Quantum Technologies: germinator projects round 1

Key Features

UK registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £1 million for high risk, high return, quantum technology projects with defined commercial outputs. This funding is from ISCF.

Programme:     Innovate UK

Award:     Share of up to £1 million

Opens: 10th Feb 2021

Closes: 31st Mar 2021

! This scheme is now closed


Innovate UK will invest up to £1 million in innovation projects. This competition is funded through the Commercialising Quantum Technologies programme of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF).


The aim of this competition is to stimulate the commercialisation of quantum technologies in the UK through the development of early stage quantum technology opportunities.

Your proposal must identify a promising application of quantum technologies, a project to demonstrate its potential and a route to market.

Your project must:

  • identify a commercial opportunity
  • quantify technological outcomes
  • provide a roadmap of future exploitation
  • exploit second generation quantum techniques

Second generation quantum technologies are defined as those involving the generation and coherent control of quantum states, resulting in phenomena such as superposition or entanglement. Technologies involving single photon generation and quantum computing are regarded as being within scope.

Proposals should identify what future work and funding would be required to bring the project to commercial maturity.


This competition is not funding:

  • projects not allowed under de minimis regulation restrictions
  • projects for ‘writing up’ extensions
  • activities relating to the purchase of road freight transport
  • projects that involve the audio visual sector (such as film production)
  • projects that are dependent on export performance, for example giving a subsidy to a baker on the condition that they export a certain quantity of bread to another country
  • projects that are dependent on domestic inputs usage, for example if we insisted that a baker use 50% UK flour in their product

Funding Costs

£1 million has been allocated to fund innovation projects in this competition.

The research organisations undertaking non-economic activity as part of the project can share up to 70% 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.


Your project must:

  • have total eligible costs up to £50,000
  • start by 1 October 2021
  • end by 31 March 2022
  • last six months

To lead a project your organisation must:

  • be a UK registered business of any size, an academic institution, research and technology organisation (RTO) or research organisation
  • carry out its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK

A research organisation, academic institution or research and technology organisation (RTO) cannot work alone but they can lead a project if they have a UK registered business as a partner.

To collaborate with the lead, your organisation must:

  • be a UK registered business, public sector organisation, academic institution, research and technology organisation (RTO) or research organisation
  • carry out its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK
  • be invited by the lead organisation

In a collaboration the lead and at least one other organisation must claim funding by entering their costs during the application.