UK registered businesses can apply for a share of up to £5 million for collaborative projects to develop innovative solutions in environmental monitoring. This funding is from Innovate UK and The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra).
Programme: Innovate UK
Award: Share of up to £5 million
Opens: 22nd Jan 2024
Closes: 6th Mar 2024
The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) and Innovate UK (IUK), part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), will invest up to £5 million in innovation projects.
This partnership funding is part of the Innovation in Environmental Monitoring programme.
The aim of this competition is to fund collaborative projects that develop environmental monitoring solutions to enable improved monitoring of environmental variables.
Innovate UK are looking for projects that will:
This competition is limited to terrestrial geographies, including near shore regions in transitional and some coastal waters, such as estuaries and salt marshes, provided they can be accessed from land.
Your proposal must develop new, or repurpose existing sensor systems and capabilities, such as:
Innovate UK encourage proposals that include testing in end user conditions and include a rigorous comparison against the current best practice, to allow ground truthing of the solution and data to verify reliability and accuracy. We also strongly encourage proposals that fit into the soil health challenge area.
Innovate UK want to fund a variety of projects across different technologies, markets, technological maturities, regions, scope areas and project sizes.
Your project can address one or more of the topics listed below. These lists are not exhaustive and if you are seeking to address a different topic, you must provide a strong rationale within your application.
If your project does not fall within the topics listed then you must provide justification by email to email@example.com at least 10 working days before the competition closes. We will decide whether to approve your topic area.
If you have not requested approval or your application has not been approved by us, you will be made ineligible. Your application will then not be sent for assessment.
Biodiversity and natural capital
Example end users: citizens, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and government statutory monitoring including protected species, protected areas, Environment Act 2021 (targets), landowners, biodiversity net gain, ecosystem and service markets.
Soil carbon and soil health
Including organic and peat soils.
Example end users: participants in environmental or natural capital markets, Government, land managers, agri-food sector.
Example end users: Government delivery bodies, water companies, NGOs, civil society, local authorities, private companies.
Greenhouse gases (GHG) and ammonia emissions from Defra sectors
The scope is limited to nitrogen-related pollutants that deposit and impact biodiversity and ecosystem function, primarily ammonia but also NOx as they affect nitrogen deposition.
Example end users: participants in carbon markets, Government (devolved administrations, Defra, Department for Energy Security and Net Zero), landfill companies, water companies, farmers and companies wanting to monitor their environmental impact.
Your solution can significantly improve on current approaches to environmental monitoring such as providing:
Your project must:
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.
To lead a project your organisation must:
More information on the different types of organisation can be found in our Funding rules.
Your project team must have the relevant environmental monitoring expertise for the environment they are testing in , or have experts involved in an advisory capacity.
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 (IFS) 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 IFS. They are responsible for entering their own project costs and completing their Project Impact questions 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.
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. All subcontractor costs must be justified and appropriate to the total project costs.
Subcontractors can be from anywhere in the UK and you must select them through your usual procurement process.
You can use subcontractors from overseas but must make the case in your application as to why you could not use suppliers from the UK.
You must provide a detailed rationale, evidence of the potential UK contractors you approached and the reasons why they were unable to work with you. We will not accept a cheaper cost as a sufficient reason to use an overseas subcontractor.
Number of applications
A business can only lead on one application but can be included as a collaborator in two further applications.
If a business is not leading any application, it can collaborate in any number of applications.
All other organisations can collaborate on any number of applications.
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 and 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.
Innovate UK are not funding projects that:
If you are addressing GHGs, the scope is limited to nitrogen-related pollutants that deposit and impact biodiversity and ecosystem function.
Innovate UK cannot fund projects that are:
Innovate UK and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) have allocated up to £5 million to 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 industrial research projects, you could get funding for your eligible project costs of:
The research organisations undertaking non-economic activity as part of the project can share up to 50% 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 50% 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.