UK-Switzerland CR&D Round 2

Key Features

UK registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £4 million for innovative projects in all technologies. You must collaborate with at least one Swiss implementation partner applying under the equivalent Swiss Innosuisse programme.

Programme:     Innovate UK

Award:     Share of up to £4 million

Opens: 5th Feb 2024

Closes: 1st May 2024

Overview

Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation and Innosuisse, The Swiss Innovation Authority, will invest up to £4 million from Innovate UK and a minimum of 3 million CHF from Innosuisse in innovation projects.

Innovate UK encourage innovation in, but not limited to, the following technologies:

  • life sciences
  • AI
  • semiconductor applications
  • quantum

Scope

The aim of this competition is to enhance UK and Swiss collaborations and capabilities in technology. The result being, the developing and delivering of new innovations, and applications of the technologies across a broad range of other sectors.

This competition will support UK and Swiss business-led collaboration in innovation, with grant funding.

Innovate UK will support UK businesses to collaborate successfully with Swiss counterparts and build their global growth prospects.

Specific Themes

Your collaborative R&D proposal must demonstrate:

  • a clear game-changing or disruptive innovative idea leading to new products, processes or services
  • a strong and deliverable business proposal within your application that addresses and documents market potential and needs
  • sound, practical financial plans and timelines
  • good value for money and how you intend to deliver significant economic impact, return on investment (ROI) and growth through commercialisation within two to three years of project completion
  • clear potential to significantly benefit the UK economy or national productivity
  • the benefit of participants from the countries working together and how this adds value
  • a clear definition of where intellectual property (IP) can be used and shared between the participants and countries
  • a clear route to market within two to three years of project completion

Eligibility

Your UK project must:

  • have a maximum grant funding request of £450,000
  • start on 1 November 2024
  • end by 31 October 2027
  • last between 18 and 36 months
  • include at least one business entity from each country (UK and Switzerland) and one research institute from either the UK or Switzerland in your consortium

Note: If the Swiss applicant is an individual start-up (pre-market and less than 50 full time equivalent employees) the research institute requirement is waived.

UK project partners must carry out the majority of their project work in the UK and intend to exploit the results from or in the UK.

Your project must demonstrate a balanced technological contribution by the participants from both countries and must be equally significant to all participants.

Note: eligibility on the Swiss counterpart competition states that in a project with two cooperating partners, no partner may contribute more than 70% of the total person months to the project. Person months is the metric for the time in months devoted by staff to a project.

In a project with more than two cooperating partners, no partner may contribute more than 50% of total person months. All research organisations involved in the consortium may altogether not contribute more than 50% of the total person months.

Your application must be in line with the criteria of Innovate UK and Innosuisse.

Applications identified as not eligible by either Innovate UK or Innosuisse will not be sent for assessment.

Your project must always start on the first of the month and this must be stated within your application. Your project start date will be reflected in your grant offer letter if you are successful.

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 or Belarusian entity as lead, partner or subcontractor. This includes any goods or services originating from a Russian or Belarusian source.

Lead organisation

To be a UK lead your organisation must:

  • be a UK registered business of any size
  • be or involve at least one grant claiming UK registered micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME)
  • collaborate with at least one Swiss implementation partner applying to the Innosuisse programme, which must be a separate legal entity, not linked to the UK partners
  • collaborate with at least one research institute from either the UK or Switzerland

Project team

To collaborate with the lead and claim grant funding from Innovate UK, your organisation must be one of the following UK registered:

  • business of any size
  • academic institution
  • charity
  • not for profit
  • public sector organisation
  • research and technology organisation (RTO)

Each UK partner organisation must be invited into IFS by the lead to collaborate on a project. Once partners have accepted the invitation, they will be asked to login or to create an account in IFS. They are responsible for entering their own project costs and completing their Project Impact questions in the application.

Only UK registered partners must be listed in the Project Partner section of your application on the Innovation Funding Service (IFS). Your Swiss partner will not receive any of this UK competition funding. Swiss partners will be funded by the Innosuisse programme, following a successful parallel application.

Each organisation in your consortium will receive funding from its respective national funding body.

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

Subcontractors are allowed in this competition.

You can use subcontractors from the UK, Switzerland and other countries but must make the case in your application as to why you could not use suppliers from the countries providing grant funding for the project.

All subcontractors must be selected through your usual procurement process.

You must provide a detailed rationale and evidence of the potential UK or Swiss contractors you approached, with the reasons why they were unable to work with you. We will not accept a cheaper cost as a sufficient reason to use a subcontractor from a third country.

All subcontractor costs must be justified and appropriate for the project.

Number of applications

An eligible UK business can lead on one application and collaborate on two further applications.

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

Application guidance for Swiss organisations

For guidance for Swiss organisations, see Supporting Information.

Use of animals in research and innovation

Innovate UK expects and supports the provision and safeguarding of welfare standards for animals used in research and innovation, according to best practice and up to date guidance.

Applicants must ensure that all of the proposed work within projects, both that in the UK and internationally, will comply with the UKRI guidance on the use of animals in research and innovation.

Any projects selected for funding which involve animals will be asked to provide additional information on welfare and ethical considerations, as well as compliance with any relevant legislation as part of the project start-up process. This information will be reviewed before an award is made.

You can use a previously submitted application to apply for this competition.

Exclusions

Innovate UK are not funding projects that:

  • do not have a genuine collaboration with a Swiss implementation partner who has been successful in the corresponding Innosuisse programme
  • do not meet Innovate UK’s eligibility criteria

Innovate UK will not fund quantum-focussed projects that are:

  • not covered by any of the four specific themes
  • not ‘second generation’ quantum technologies, defined as those involving the generation and coherent control of quantum states, resulting in phenomena such as superposition or entanglement
  • feasibility studies or projects that are low maturity in their development
  • market research, road mapping or landscape studies

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

Up to £4 million from Innovate UK and a minimum of 3 million CHF from Innosuisse has been allocated to fund innovation projects in this competition. Funding will be in the form of a grant.

Each country will fund its eligible participants according to their national procedure and funding rules. Funding conditions and eligibility criteria may vary between UK and Switzerland. The bilateral joint cooperation between the partners and its added value is an important aspect to be considered within the evaluation.

UK Partners

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 feasibility studies and 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 for UK organisations

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.