India – UK Collaborative R&D for industrial sustainability

Key Features

UK registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £5 million to develop innovative proposals with India. This funding is from Innovate UK.

Programme:     Innovate UK

Award:     Share of up to £5 million

Opens: 31st May 2023

Closes: 6th Sep 2023

! This scheme is now closed


Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, will invest up to £5 million in innovation projects in partnership with the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India.


The aim of this competition is to fund collaborative research and development (CR&D) projects between the UK and India focused on sustainability.

Your project must demonstrate:

  • a clear game changing or disruptive innovative idea leading to new products, processes or services
  • a strong and deliverable business plan addressing market potential and needs
  • sound, practical financial plans and timelines
  • value for money
  • a clear, evidence-based plan to deliver significant economic impact, return on investment (ROI) and growth through commercialisation, as soon as possible after project completion
  • clear potential to significantly benefit the UK economy or national productivity
  • the benefits and value of participants from the countries working together
  • a clear definition of where intellectual property (IP) can be used and shared between the participants and countries
  • a clear route to exploitation

Your project must focus on one or both of the following themes.

Sustainable materials and manufacturing

Your project must focus on at least one of these areas:

  • enabling technologies for sustainability, including digital solutions, sensors and controls, bio-based feedstocks, waste recycling and value-added processes for waste streams
  • new supply chain and business models for the manufacturing, materials or foundation industries (glass, paper, cements, ceramics, chemicals and metals), including, but not limited to, the move to a circular economy, industrial symbiosis, co-location and servitisation
  • new and efficient production processes for the manufacturing, materials or foundation industries, including, but not limited to, transformative low temperature processes, waste heat capture and recovery systems, planning optimisation
  • smart design for resource efficiency and through-life value using effective design methods​
  • next generation materials involving the discovery, scaling, processing and adoption of advanced and sustainable materials​
  • other sustainability improvements for the manufacturing, materials or foundation industries

Power electronics, machines and drives

Your project must focus on one or more of these areas:

  • power electronic semiconductor fabrication or device packaging, including innovations in Gallium Nitride and Silicon Carbide
  • power conversion innovations including invertors and convertors for any application, such as electric vehicles or energy systems
  • electric machine design innovations, including design for manufacture, for any application
  • electric machine control innovations, including design and manufacturing
  • magnet manufacturing and end of life recycling solutions
  • electric vehicle (EV) chargers
  • 2 and 3 wheeler electric vehicle powertrains


Your project must:

  • have a grant funding request of between £100,000 and £300,000
  • start by 1 March 2024
  • end by 31 August 2025
  • last between 6 and 18 months

Projects must:

  • be innovative
  • be a new product, process or service
  • involve a technological risk
  • have a high market potential in the participating countries

UK project partners must carry out the majority of their project work in the UK and intend to exploit the results from or in the UK.

The consortium must include at least one business registered in India that is a separate legal entity, not linked to the UK partners.

All businesses in a consortium must be separate legal and non-linked entities. This is to ensure that projects encourage genuine international collaboration, not internal company research. Linked companies are considered a single entity under the parent company.

Projects must represent genuine partnerships. No more than 70% of the total work packages can be delivered by any single partner or by all partners from a single participating country.

You must only include eligible project costs in your application.

The UK government has suspended publicly funded research and innovation collaborations with Russia.

In line with UK government policy, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) will not enter or support any collaboration with partners which involve collaborations with a Russian entity as a third party, where there is any strategic benefit to the Russian State. This includes sourcing any goods or services originating from Russia.

We recognise partner countries’ approach towards Russia’s invasion of Ukraine may differ from our own and respect the right of our partners to choose who they partner with.

To lead a project your organisation must:

  • be a UK registered business of any size
  • be or involve at least one grant claiming UK registered micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME)
  • collaborate with an Indian registered business, which must be a separate legal entity, not linked to the UK partners

Your project can include partners that do not receive any of this competition’s funding. Their costs will count towards the total project costs.

Subcontractors are allowed in this competition, but they are limited to no more than 20% of the total eligible costs of the UK participation.

Subcontractors can be from anywhere in the UK and you must select them through your usual procurement process.

All subcontractor costs must be justified and appropriate to the total project costs.

A UK registered business can lead on one application but can be included as a collaborator in a further 2 applications.

If a UK registered business is not leading any application, it can collaborate in up to 3 applications.

A UK registered academic institution or RTO can collaborate on any number of applications.

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


Innovate UK will not fund projects that:

  • work on non-civilian applications
  • are not in scope
  • do not meet Innovate UK’s eligibility criteria
  • do not have an eligible Indian partner
  • do not submit all mandatory documentation
  • request grant of below £100,000 or more than £300,000 from Innovate UK

Innovate UK cannot fund projects that are:

  • dependent on export performance, for example giving a subsidy to a baker on the condition that it exports a certain quantity of bread to another country
  • dependent on domestic inputs usage, for example giving a subsidy to a baker on the condition that it uses 50% UK flour in their product

Funding Costs

Up to £5 million has been allocated to fund UK participants in innovation projects for this competition. Funding will be in the form of a grant.

If your UK registered 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 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 organisation
  • up to 60% if you are a medium sized organisation
  • up to 50% if you are a large organisation

DST will provide funding support for the Indian partners of up to 50% of eligible project costs.

For more information on company sizes, please refer to the company accounts guidance. This is a change from the EU definition unless you are applying under State aid.

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.

Research participation for UK organisations

The UK 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.

For UK registered research organisations, of that 30% 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
  • 100% of your project costs if you are an RTO

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.