UK registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £750,000 for innovation projects that can improve capabilities in monitoring UK marine assets with technologies that are ready to test in real-world conditions. This funding is from DEFRA.
Programme: Innovate UK
Award: Share of up to £750,000
Opens: 24th Jul 2023
Closes: 6th Sep 2023
Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, will work with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) to invest up to £1.5 million in grant funding across 3 years. This funding is for innovation projects that can improve the observation capabilities of the UK’s waters, towards improved assessment and evaluation of the status and risks to natural capital assets. These can include the data acquisition, communication, storage, analysis and modelling systems.
The aim of this competition is to test innovative technologies and approaches as part of end-to-end marine monitoring systems, from in-situ data collection through to generating insights from the data. The innovation must focus on measures of marine asset extent, condition, and human pressures. The outputs of the work must demonstrate how the data collected can be used to generate insights into ecosystem services flows from marine assets, or how these flows could be impacted by human pressures.
Innovations must be within 5 years of being integrated into real-world marine monitoring programmes or used in other sectors with application to marine monitoring. The innovation can target any part of the end-to-end monitoring system, from data collection to data processing, analysis or visualisation, but must be tested as part of a complete system.
DEFRA is looking for ways to significantly improve approaches to measure changes in the extent or condition of marine natural capital assets and provision of ecosystem services by these assets, such as by providing:
Your proposal must clearly:
Innovate UK want to fund a variety of projects across different technologies, marine monitoring systems and technological maturities. We call this a portfolio approach.
Your project must focus on one or more of the following:
Integration of innovative approaches across an end-to-end system
For example innovations in in-situ observations combined with innovations in data processing, analysis, or visualisation, to achieve efficiency gains across the whole system.
Integrated monitoring of marine assets
For example a monitoring system set up to understand interconnections between two or more assets, such as marine habitats and species. This can also include linkages between assets that span different ecosystems, such as estuaries, coast and offshore environments, or land and sea.
Innovation in approaches to monitor human pressures
Including their impacts on marine assets and the ecosystem services they provide.
Your project must:
The test site must match the real-world marine conditions that the innovation is being designed for. Arranging a suitable test site is the responsibility of the applicant and should be factored into project costs.
Organisations that are applying technology used in a different sector to marine monitoring must have relevant marine science expertise on the project team, or involved in an advisory capacity, to advise on monitoring the intended marine assets.
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 or work alone your organisation must:
More information on the different types of organisation can be found in our Funding rules.
If the lead organisation is an RTO it must collaborate with 2 businesses. These partners must include one SME and one business of any size.
Academic institutions cannot lead or work alone.
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 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 the Innovation Funding Service. They are responsible for entering their own project costs and completing their Project Impact questions in the application.
If collaborating, 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.
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.
All subcontractor costs must be justified and appropriate to the total project costs.
Number of applications
A business or research and technology organisation (RTO) can only lead on one application but can be included as a collaborator in a further 2 applications.
If an organisation is not leading any application, it can collaborate in any number of applications.
You cannot use a previously submitted application to apply for this competition.
Innovate UK are not funding projects that:
Innovate UK cannot fund projects that are:
Up to £750,000 has been allocated to fund the development of innovation projects in 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:
For more information on company sizes, please refer to the company accounts guidance.
If you are applying for an award funded under State aid Regulations, the definitions are set out in the European Commission Recommendation of 6 May 2003.
The research organisations undertaking non-economic activity as part of the project can share up to 30% 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 30% 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.