Infrastructure systems round 3

Key Features

UK businesses can apply for a share of up to £15 million to develop innovative solutions to challenges in infrastructure systems.

Programme:     Innovate UK

Award:     Up to £3.5m

Opens: 10th Jul 2017

Closes: 13th Sep 2017

! This scheme is now closed

The aim of this competition is to stimulate innovation in infrastructure systems that provide critical services for our economy, environment and society.

The UK has the potential to lead the world in our 4 priority areas:

  • smart infrastructure
  • urban living
  • energy (comprising energy systems, nuclear fission and offshore wind)
  • connected transport

Innovate UK are looking to fund a portfolio of projects. These may include technical feasibility, industrial research or experimental development. Projects must show significant innovation in one of the priority areas (described further in the next section). Proposals must also improve business growth, productivity and/or create export opportunities for at least one UK SME involved in the project.

There are 4 specific themes for this competition:

Smart infrastructure

Smart infrastructure solutions that bring the digital and physical worlds together. Solutions must add intelligence to physical infrastructure, or the design process, to improve:

  • whole-life cost and/or performance
  • resilience, security and/or sustainability

Urban living

An urban living solution must address the challenges citizens face in cities and urban areas. Solutions must solve problems that span more than one of the following urban system types:

  • ‘hard’ systems, such as energy, transport, waste, water and communication
  • ‘soft’ systems, such as security, law and justice (for example, public order and safety). health, wellbeing, social care and education
  • infrastructure delivering environmental systems, such as parks and green spaces, rivers and canals


Energy systems:

Innovate UK are looking for innovations with the ability to flexibly match changing energy supply and demand profiles of the future. These must create or demonstrate smart system solutions that integrate energy generation and demand at local, regional or national scale.

Nuclear fission:

Innovations that lead to major cost reductions, improved asset integrity and supply chain development. This will be for the current and future UK and global civil nuclear markets, including decommissioning.

Offshore wind:

Innovations that, when in use, will result in substantial reductions in the cost of energy from offshore wind.


Connected transport

Innovate UK are looking for solutions that encourage more efficient transport of people and goods. Although the initial activity may focus on a single mode of transport, there must be potential within the life of the project to connect infrastructure, people and goods with additional transport modes.

Applications must address one of the following strategic areas:

  • innovations related to capacity and congestion across transport modes. This includes freight/logistics (including ports), aviation (with regards to customer experience and connection services) and multi-modal passenger transport.
  • delivering accessible and safe transport for all sectors of society
  • sustainability including improving air quality, reducing carbon emissions and future-proofing connected transport


To be eligible for funding you must:

  • be a UK-based business or research and technology organisation
  • carry out your project work and intend to exploit the results in the UK

To lead a project you must:

  • be an SME if you wish to work alone on a project no longer than 12 months and with costs of less than £100,000
  • work in collaboration, including at least one SME, if your project has costs over £100,000 and/or is longer than 12 months

Project types

There is up to £5 million for projects that last from 3 months to 1 year.

There is up to £10 million for projects lasting from 1 year to 3 years, with costs between £100,000 and £5 million inclusive.

Your project can focus on technical feasibility, industrial research or experimental development. This will depend on the challenge.

For technical feasibility studies and industrial research, you could get:

  • up to 70% of your eligible project costs if you are an SME

For experimental development projects which are nearer to market, you could get:

  • up to 45% of your eligible project costs if you are an SME

To find out more about this competition, click here.