Feasibility studies for Artificial Intelligence solutions

Key Features

UK registered businesses can apply for a share of up to £5 million in grant funding to deliver feasibility studies. These studies will be to develop innovative solutions using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to address business challenges and opportunities.

Programme:     Innovate UK

Award:     Share of up to £5 million

Opens: 28th Mar 2023

Closes: 24th May 2023

! This scheme is now closed


Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, will invest up to £5 million in innovation projects.

Funding for this opportunity is subject to business case approval by the Department for Science Innovation and Technology (DSIT) and HM Treasury.

These will be to develop Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) driven solutions that address a business challenge or opportunity in target industry sectors:

  • construction
  • transport, including logistics and warehousing
  • creative industries
  • agriculture and food processing


The aim of this competition is to support innovative projects prompted by a challenge to business in an area of operations that can drive improvements in business productivity.

Your project must:

  • be a feasibility study to develop Artificial Intelligence (AI) driven solutions
  • address a business challenge in construction, transport including logistics and warehousing, creative industries or agriculture and food processing
  • demonstrate an increase in business productivity
  • be a collaboration between an organisation seeking to adopt AI to address a business challenge or opportunity, with an organisation that can develop AI to help address this opportunity

Innovate UK want to fund a variety of projects across different technologies, markets, technological maturities.

Specific Themes

Your project can focus on one or more of the following:

  • data driven decision making
  • automation of administrative tasks
  • project management optimization
  • supply chain optimisation and forecast models
  • waste management
  • intellectual property (IP) management
  • design


Your project must:

  • have a grant funding request between £25,000 and £50,000
  • start by 1 September 2023
  • end by 29 February 2024
  • last between 4 and 6 months
  • carry out its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK

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 and Belarusian entity as lead, partner or subcontractor. This includes any goods or services originating from a Russian and Belarusian source.

To lead a project your organisation must:

  • be a UK registered micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME)
  • collaborate with one other UK micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME) or academic institution

More information on the different types of organisation can be found in our Funding rules.

To collaborate with the lead, your organisation must be a UK registered:

  • micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME)
  • academic institution

Your partner organisation must be invited into the Innovation Funding Service by you as the lead to collaborate on a project. Once accepted, your partner will be asked to login or to create an account and enter their own project costs and complete their own Project impact questions into the Innovation Funding Service.

To be an eligible collaboration, the lead and the other eligible organisation must apply for funding when entering their costs into the application.

Subcontractors are allowed in this competition.

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 also provide a detailed rationale, evidence of the potential UK contractors you approached and the reasons why they were unable to work with you.

We expect all subcontractor costs to be justified and appropriate to the total eligible project costs. We will not accept a cheaper cost as a sufficient reason to use an overseas subcontractor.

The lead SME can only be involved in one application.

If an SME is not leading any application, it can collaborate in up to two applications.

If you are successful in both applications you will be contacted and will need to justify you have the resources to deliver both projects.

An academic institution can collaborate on any number of applications.

You can use a previously submitted application to apply for this competition.


Innovate UK are not funding projects:

  • in marketing and advertising
  • that do not demonstrate increase in business productivity

Innovate UK cannot fund projects that:

  • involve primary production in fishery and aquaculture
  • involve primary production in agriculture
  • have activities relating to the purchase of road freight transport
  • are not allowed under De minimis regulation restrictions
  • are not eligible to receive Minimal Financial Assistance
  • are dependent on export performance, for example giving an award to a baker on the condition that they export a certain quantity of bread to another country
  • are dependent on domestic inputs usage, for example if we give an award to a baker on the condition that they use 50% UK flour in their product

Funding Costs

Innovate UK have allocated up to £5 million to fund innovation projects in this competition.

A project can request 100% funding for eligible project costs up to a maximum of £50,000 to be shared between all partners.

The research organisations undertaking non-economic activity as part of the project can share up to 50% of the total eligible project costs.

Of that 50% you could get funding for your eligible project costs of up to 80% of full economic costs (FEC) if you are a Je-S registered institution such as an academic.

Interested in applying for this competition?

Book an appointment to speak to one of our advisors to discuss your eligibility to apply for this Grant Funding opportunity.