Commercialising quantum technology: feasibility and industrial research projects round 1

Key Features

UK businesses can apply for a share of up to £6 million for quantum technology innovation projects funded by the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.

Programme:     Innovate UK

Award:     Share of up to £6 million

Opens: 5th Aug 2019

Closes: 30th Oct 2019

! This scheme is now closed


The aim of the competition is to advance the commercialisation of quantum technologies in the UK. This is achieved through the investment of up to £6 million in innovation projects which address one or more of the following technical challenges:

  • connectivity
  • situational awareness
  • computing


Your proposal must identify a clear market opportunity and an innovative project which exploits it.

The project must:

  • study a commercial opportunity
  • quantify performance objectives
  • provide a roadmap of future exploitation
  • exploit second generation quantum techniques

Second generation quantum techniques are defined as the generation or coherent control and manipulation of quantum states, resulting in superposition and entanglement (single photon generation or detection and quantum computing are in scope).

The project must describe how project metrics will be collected. Such metrics must include.

  • investment in addition to the project partner matched funding
  • capital investment

Your project must address at least one of the following:

  1. Connectivity: techniques for securing data in storage and in flight.
  2. Situational Awareness: Autonomous systems. Sensors and detectors for the built environment, transport and infrastructure. Imaging and sensing “seeing things currently invisible”.
  3. Computing: Transformational computers for solving currently intractable problems.

Innovate UK are particularly encouraging applications that:

  • involve consortia which span the supply chain of component suppliers, system integrators, and end user businesses
  • focus on maximising UK return from the quantum technology research undertaken by the UK academic base
  • bring significant new investment and businesses into the UK’s growing quantum technologies sector
  • develop the quantum computing industry sector (hardware, components, simulators, algorithms and software) in the UK


Projects can be single or collaborative but must involve a micro, small or medium sized enterprise (SME), either as the lead or a partner.

To lead a project you must:

  • be a UK based business of any size
  • involve at least one SME
  • carry out its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK

Research organisations cannot lead or work alone.

To collaborate your organisation must:

  • be a UK based business, academic institution, charity, public sector organisation or research and technology organisation (RTO)
  • carry out its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK
  • be invited to take part by the lead applicant
  • enter your costs as part of the application

In a collaborative project, the lead and at least one other organisation must claim funding.

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 eligible project costs. You should make sure that your participation does not prevent any intellectual property (IP) generated by the project from being exploited in the UK.

Funding Costs

There is up to £6 million allocated to fund innovation projects in this competition.

Your project’s total eligible costs must be below £500,000 or £50,000 for market research projects.

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 business
  • up to 60% if you are a medium-sized business
  • up to 50% if you are a large business

The research organisations in your consortium can share up to 50% of the total eligible project costs. If your consortium contains more than one research organisation, this maximum is shared between them.

Projects must last between 6 and 18 months. Projects must start on or before April 2020.


Innovate UK not funding projects that do not exploit second generation quantum techniques.