Decarbonisation of industrial clusters: deployment

Key Features

UK businesses can apply for a share of up to £1 million to develop plans for decarbonising an industrial cluster. This funding is from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF).

Programme:     Innovate UK

Award:     Share of up to £1 million

Opens: 28th Oct 2019

Closes: 4th Dec 2019

! This scheme is now closed


Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, is seeking to invest up to £1 million, split across 2 competition strands, for collaborative projects to plan their route to cluster decarbonisation as part of the Industrial Decarbonisation Challenge Fund.

This is the first phase of a 2-phase competition.

In phase 1 you must develop a plan setting out your proposed approach to phase 2.

In phase 2 up to £131 million will be awarded for projects that will deliver, or support delivery of, significant emissions reductions in a UK industrial cluster by 2030, in line with the Industrial Cluster Mission.

Phase 2 is dependent on the success of phase 1. Only successful applicants in phase 1 will be invited to take part in phase 2.


Your proposal must explain how in phase 1 you will develop a project delivery plan for a phase 2 project.

The project must deliver, or support delivery of, significant emissions reductions in a UK industrial cluster by 2030, in line with the Industrial Clusters Mission. Innovate UK expect all phase 2 projects to include a mix of:

  • engineering designs
  • simulations
  • commercial arrangements
  • impact assessments
  • and baseline measurements

Innovate UK do not expect construction and operation of technology to be feasible within the available funding but welcome your proposal if you believe it is strong.

Your phase 2 project must also:

  • demonstrate economic, environmental and social impact, quantifying these where possible
  • engage a wide variety of industries across the cluster
  • identify any potential to link to other UK clusters
  • identify the route to securing regulatory approvals, such as environmental permits
  • detail project risks, risk management and mitigation measures

The project delivery plan developed in phase 1 must:

  • identify match funding sources for phase 2
  • demonstrate an understanding of the approach you will take to ensure compliance with state aid considerations
  • identify appropriate stage gates within the project plan


To lead a project your organisation must:

  • be a UK registered business of any size
  • collaborate with other UK registered businesses, research organisations, academic institutions, public sector organisations or charities
  • carry out its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results across other UK clusters

Academic institutions, research organisations and public sector organisations cannot lead or work alone.

To collaborate with the lead organisation your organisation must:

  • be a UK registered business, academic institution, research organisation, charity, or public sector organisation
  • carry out its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK
  • be invited by the lead applicant to submit your project costs into the Innovation Funding Service

The lead organisation and one or more other organisations 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.

Funding Costs

Innovate UK have allocated up to £1 million to fund innovation projects in phase 1 of this competition across both strands (roadmaps and deployment).

Organisations that are primarily engaged in commercial/economic activity (i.e. selective advantage) as part of the project must ensure their request for funding does not exceed the limits defined below. This is inclusive of organisations that typically act non-economically but for the purpose of this project with be undertaking commercial/economic activity.

These projects are categorised as feasibility study projects, therefore you could receive 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 or public sector organisations in your consortium can share up to 30% of the total eligible project costs. If your consortium contains more than one research organisation or public sector organisation, this maximum is shared between them.