Ocean plastic solutions investment accelerator: reducing plastic pollution

Key Features

UK businesses can apply for a share of up to £2 million to develop solutions that tackle the environmental crisis of plastic pollution in the world’s oceans.

Programme:     Innovate UK

Award:     Share of up to £2 million

Opens: 2nd Jan 2019

Closes: 13th Mar 2019

! This scheme is now closed


This is an investment accelerator competition providing simultaneous grant funding and private investment from Sky Ocean Ventures for early stage projects led by UK companies.


The aim of this competition is to support new scientific or technological innovation to reduce plastics waste and deliver a more circular economy approach to plastic use (including for polymer-based textiles and elastomers). For example, this could include:

  • scalable innovations along the entire plastics value chain, from material to end of life
  • technology-enhanced business models that foster responsible consumption and drive the circular economy model
  • step-change efficiency improvements in the recycling, clean-up and treatment of waste plastics

Also in scope are:

  • alternative business models which encourage positive consumer behaviour
  • business actions at scale to reduce consumption and waste of single use plastic

Your project can focus on one or more of the following, non-exhaustively:

  • developing new sustainable polymer materials
  • sustainable plastic alternatives
  • alternative business models and supply chains that use less plastic
  • resource usage and design for circularity
  • new product designs
  • technology-enabled models that change consumer behaviours
  • new recycling processes, including collecting, sorting and processing of waste plastics
  • increasing the value of recycled polymers through conversion to new input materials
  • scalable, technology-enabled remedial solutions


To be eligible for funding you must:

  • be a UK based small or micro company, or have registered as a UK business before the grant is awarded
  • carry out your project in the UK
  • work alone

Research and technology organisations and universities cannot apply, but spin-out UK companies can apply.

Funding Costs

Your project’s total costs should be between £100,000 and £200,000.

Projects must start by 1 September 2019 and last up to 12 months.

For projects defined as feasibility studies or industrial research projects, Innovate UK will fund 50% of project costs and Sky Ocean Ventures will provide the remaining 50%.

This funding will support the pre-commercial development and de-risking of new technologies and business models.

For experimental development projects which are closer to market, Innovate UK will fund 45% of project costs. Sky Ocean Ventures will cover the remaining eligible project costs.

Experimental development funding can support commercially usable prototypes for demonstration and validation trials, including experimental production processes and supply chain development.


Innovate UK will not fund projects that cover energy generation from incineration of plastic waste.

Please Note:

If you are successful in being offered grant funding by Innovate UK, you must also secure investment heads of terms with Sky Ocean Ventures before a grant can be awarded. Before submitting your application therefore, it is hightly recommended that you contact Sky Ocean Ventures to discuss your project and/or business at oceanventures@sky.uk