ISCF Transforming Foundation Industries : Demonstrators EoI

Key Features

UK registered businesses can apply for a share of up to £14 million for demonstrations of innovative technology for UK foundation industries. We have allocated £180,000 for this expression of interest (EoI) stage.

Programme:     Innovate UK

Award:     Share of up to £180,000

Opens: 11th Oct 2021

Closes: 1st Dec 2021

! This scheme is now closed


Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, will invest up to £14 million from the Transforming Foundation Industries Programme to support projects that demonstrate innovation at an industrial scale.

The aim of the competition is to fund research and development projects that demonstrate future technologies, capable of addressing the resource or energy efficiency challenges of the UK’s Foundation Industries. These will be cross-sector, collaborative, demonstration projects. Your proposal must include significant industry investment.

This is stage 1 of a 2 stage competition:

  • ISCF Transforming Foundation Industries: Demonstrators Expression of interest (EoI) (this stage)
  • ISCF Transforming Foundation Industries: Demonstrators – Full stage: This will be by invitation only to applicants who are successful in the EoI stage.

Your EoI proposal must support a future demonstration of an innovation at an industrially relevant scale, which will develop either:

  • pipeline technologies to reduce deployment risk and accelerate take-up across industries, largely by reducing payback time
  • new technologies that, when deployed, would create a step-change in energy and resource efficiency


Your EoI application must outline your intentions for a full stage project including:

  • the project idea or technology being demonstrated
  • the market for this demonstration
  • the anticipated project consortium, which must contain a minimum of two foundation industries partners
  • how the project will meet the minimum project size of £5m and include significant industry investment

The aim of the full stage competition will be to fund demonstrations of future technologies capable of addressing the resource or energy efficiency challenges of UK Foundation Industries.

For the full stage competition, your project will need to:

  • be collaborative and cross-sector, including a minimum of two foundation industries (cement, glass, ceramics, paper, metals and chemicals)
  • demonstrate future technologies at an industrially relevant scale
  • include significant industry investment
  • improve the sustainability of the foundation industries
  • align to the Transforming foundation industries challenge aims aim to fund a portfolio of projects, across a variety of:

Innovate UK aim to fund a portfolio of projects, across a variety of:

  • industries
  • technologies
  • markets

Specific Themes

Your project must focus on one of the following themes:

  1. Energy efficiency: process improvements to increase energy efficiency including innovative heat recovery trials, alternative feedstocks, and new products
  2. Resource efficiency: including industrial symbiosis, waste utilisation, new products and alternative and biobased feedstocks
  3. Sensors, controls and digitalisation: with a focus on increased efficiency, productivity to increase energy, or resource efficiency)
  4. Other energy or resource efficiency improvements: including new products, processes, new services or business models



Your project

If you choose to claim funding, your project must:

  • have project costs and claim grant funding of £15,000
  • start on 1 February 2022
  • end by 31 March 2022
  • last between 1 to 2 months
  • carry out its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK

You can choose not to claim any grant funding for your costs which will not affect your assessment or invitation to the full stage.

If you are not claiming any funding, your EoI application must be submitted with a zero grant request.

You must complete your application with:

  • a start date of 1 February 2022
  • an end date of 31 March 2022

To lead a project your organisation must be a UK registered business of any size, or research and technology organisation (RTO)

Academic institutions cannot lead a project.

A business, or RTO can lead up to two EoI applications, but can only lead on one full stage application.

You can use apreviously submitted application to apply for this competition.


Innovate UK are not funding projects for this EoI stage that:

  • focus on fuel switching or greenhouse gas capture technology
  • do not focus on foundation industries and their immediate supply chains
  • respond only to the skills needs of foundation industries
  • are capital or infrastructure projects
  • involve primary production in fishery and aquaculture
  • involve primary production in agriculture
  • are not allowed under De minimis regulation restrictions
  • are not allowed under Special Drawing Rights (SDR)
  • have activities relating to the purchase of road freight transport
  • 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

Innovate UK will not award you funding if you have:

  • failed to exploit a previously funded project
  • an overdue independent accountant’s report
  • failed to comply with grant terms and conditions

Funding Costs

Innovate UK has allocated £180,000 to this Expression of Interest (EoI) stage of the competition to fund data gathering projects, that will support a full stage application. We expect to take up to 12 projects to full stage.

You can apply for £15,000 grant at this EoI stage to complete background data gathering and relationship building necessary to create an application for the full stage competition.

If your application is not requesting funding, you must still complete the EoI stage application with the information requested.

Up to £13.6 million has been allocated to fund projects at the Full Stage of the competition.

For your full stage project, your total eligible project costs must be more than £5 million. There is no upper limit to your full stage total eligible project costs.

You must be eligible to claim grant funding of between £2.5 to £3.5 million against your total eligible project costs.

The total grant for the full stage project must be less than 50% of your total eligible project costs.

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