Innovation in infrastructure systems round 2

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: 16th Jan 2017

Closes: 22nd Mar 2017

! This scheme is now closed

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

There are 4 priority areas:

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

The UK has the potential to lead the world in future markets in these areas. The trend is for smart infrastructure, adding data layers, intelligence and innovative capability. With increasing economic, social and environmental pressures, solutions are required that make sure systems:

  • are resilient to change and ‘shocks’ (such as natural disasters or disease epidemics)
  • are fit for purpose in the future
  • provide optimal value for investment

Smart and resilient infrastructure solutions are likely to be multidisciplinary. Businesses in energy, construction and transport will work together. Solutions will include new technologies from the following sectors:

  • digital
  • communications
  • sensors
  • electronics
  • novel materials sectors


Innovate UK is 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.

Proposals must also improve business growth, productivity and/or create export opportunities for at least one UK SME involved in the project.

Specific competition themes

  • Smart Infrastructure
  • Energy systems
  • Nuclear fission
  • Offshore wind
  • Connected transport
  • Urban living

For more information on specific themes, please click here.




  • be a UK-based business of any size
    carry out most of your project in the UK
  • work alone or in collaboration with others (business, research base and third sector)
  • work in collaboration if your total project costs are more than £100,000. (For the project to be collaborative, at least 2 organisations must incur costs and claim the grant)
  • include at least one UK-based SME

Funding and project details

  • All projects must involve at least one SME
  • Projects should last between 3 months and 3 years.
  • Projects are expected to range in total costs between £25,000 and £5 million.

Stream 1: Project costs of £25,000 to £100,000

If you are a UK SME and expect your total eligible project costs to be between £25,000 and £100,000, you may run the project on your own. You may also work with other businesses and/or research organisations.

Stream 2: Project costs of £100,000 to £5 million
If you expect your total eligible project costs to be more than £100,000, you must work with at least one other organisation. At least one partner must be a UK SME.

Project types
Your project may focus on technical feasibility, industrial research or experimental development.

  • For technical feasibility studies and industrial research, you could receive up to:
    70% of your eligible project costs if you are an SME.
  • For experimental development projects nearer to market, you could receive up to:
    45% of your eligible project costs if you are an SME.
  • For all project types, RTOs can receive up to 100% of eligible costs (80% of full costs for academics).

The total allocation to RTOs is capped at 30% of the project budget. RTOs can include universities, research institutes, not-for-profits, Catapult programmes and local authorities.