Media Cymru: Scale up fund

Key Features

UK registered organisations based in South Wales can apply for a grant funding request between £100,000 and £250,000 to develop innovative products, services or experiences for the media sector.

Programme:     Innovate UK

Award:     Share of up to £100,000

Opens: 18th Sep 2023

Closes: 1st Nov 2023

! This scheme is now closed


This competition will be delivered by Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, on behalf of Media Cymru, a consortium of 23 partner organisations led by Cardiff University. It is funded by UKRI Strength in Places to invest up to £900,000 through this competition.

Media Cymru is a five year programme with the aim to turn the Cardiff Capital Region (CCR) into a global hub for media innovation with a focus on green and fair economic growth.


The aim of this competition is to deliver innovative products, services and experiences to identified challenges and opportunities within the media industry in South Wales through R&D grant funding.

Through this fund we are looking to support commercially viable business led innovation.

Your project must:

  • address and provide solutions to challenges and opportunities that you have identified and have undertaken work to asses the feasibility of
  • demonstrate a realistic potential to deliver economic growth
  • actively share knowledge and outputs with Media Cymru and the wider sector
  • influence and encourage an innovative approach to developing new products, services and experiences within the sector
  • align with Media Cymru programme pillars around Growth, Global, Fair and Green

The Media Cymru programme pillars are:

  • Growth, driving growth and productivity through RD&I
  • Global, increasing international collaborations
  • Fair, creating a fair, equal and diverse sector
  • Green, reducing the environmental impact of the sector

Portfolio approach

Innovate UK want to fund a variety of projects across different technologies, technological maturities and location. We call this a portfolio approach.

This competition will use the portfolio approach approach to fund projects that can demonstrate innovation within the media sector with a particular focus around continuing advances in virtual production and exploiting immersive technologies.

Specific Themes

Your project can focus on one or more of the following areas:

  • advances in the creation of immersive storytelling exploring Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), Extended Reality (XR) and Mixed Reality (MR)
  • exploration of products at the convergence of Virtual Production and traditional production
  • scalable and flexible Virtual Production solutions
  • sustainable and accessible Virtual Production solutions

Project team

To collaborate with the lead, your organisation must be one of the following UK registered:

  • business of any size
  • academic institution
  • charity
  • not for profit
  • public sector organisation

Each partner organisation must be invited into the Innovation Funding Service by the lead to collaborate on a project. Once accepted, partners will be asked to login or to create an account and enter their own project costs into the Innovation Funding Service.

To be an eligible collaboration, the lead and at least one other organisation must apply for funding when entering their costs into the application.


Your project must:

  • have a primary focus within the media sector
  • demonstrate significant potential for economic benefit to the Cardiff Capital Region (CCR) or Wales
  • have a total grant funding request between £100,000 and £250,000
  • contribute match funding towards project delivery
  • start by 1 April 2024
  • end by 30 September 2025
  • last between 12 and 18 months
  • carry out all of its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results in the media industry

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.

Lead organisation

The lead organisation may be based outside the CCR but justification must be made in your application as to why the project could not be led by an organisation from the CCR. If the lead organisation is based outside the CCR, you must collaborate with an organisation in the CCR.

To lead a project your organisation must:

  • be a UK registered business of any size, community interest company (CIC) or not for profit
  • be based in the CCR or collaborate with at least one UK registered business, research organisation, public sector organisation or charity, in the CCR
  • carry out the project work in the CCR

Collaboration is encouraged within the following sectors and with micro, small or medium-sized enterprises (SME) in the supply chain:

  • film, television and media
  • games
  • academia
  • technology for example, IT, software, electronics and computer services

Academic institutions cannot lead or work alone.

Non-funded partners

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, community interest company (CIC) or not for profit can only lead on one application but can be included as a collaborator in a further two applications.

If a business, CIC or not for profit is not leading any application, it can collaborate in up to three applications.

An academic institution or research and technology organisation (RTO) can collaborate on any number of applications.

You cannot use a previously submitted application to apply for this competition.


Innovate UK will not fund projects that:

  • are early-stage research and development or feasibility studies
  • are content creation for example, short films, plays, live music events, feature films and television pilots
  • are for general business development
  • are one-off art commissions
  • do not demonstrate the potential to be economically sustainable
  • do not demonstrate clear innovative advancement of a product, service or experience
  • have disproportionate involvement of non-UK based partners or subcontractors
  • do not meet the competition eligibility or scope
  • do not address the size, potential and access to market for the innovation
  • do not give consideration to the four pillars of Growth, Global, Fair and Green
  • do not evidence the potential to exploit the IP created through the project
  • do not commit to sharing their knowledge and outputs with Media Cymru and wider industry

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

A total of up to £900,000 is available to fund projects in this competition. Awards will be between £100,000 and £250,000 per project. 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:

  • 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

For experimental development projects which are nearer to market, you could get funding for your eligible project costs of:

  • up to 45% if you are a micro or small organisation
  • up to 35% if you are a medium sized organisation
  • up to 25% if you are a large organisation

Research participation

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:

  • 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, charity, not for profit organisation, public sector organisation or research organisation

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.