UK & Canada: Enhancing Industrial Productivity

Key Features

UK businesses can apply for a share of up to £5 million to develop innovative technologies targeting global markets with Canadian partners.

Programme:     Innovate UK

Award:     Share of up to £5 million

Opens: 11th Feb 2019

Closes: 9th May 2019

! This scheme is now closed


The UK and Canada are running a joint grant funding competition under the EUREKA framework. This will support collaborative research and development (CR&D) projects, which should result in a new product, industrial process or service. Projects must be innovative, involve a technological risk and target large global markets.


This competition provides innovation research and development (R&D) grant funding for projects aimed at enhancing industrial productivity. You must focus on one of these 2 themes:

  1. Enabling technologies.
  2. Enhanced productivity.

Your proposal must demonstrate:

  • a clear game-changing and/or disruptive innovative idea leading to new products, processes or services
  • a strong and deliverable business plan that addresses market potential and needs
  • a team, business arrangement or working structure with the necessary skills and experience to run the project successfully and complete on time
  • awareness of the main risks the project will face (including contractor or equipment failure) with realistic management, mitigation and impact minimisation plans for each
  • sound, practical financial plans and timelines
  • good value for money
  • a clear, evidence based plan to deliver economic impact, return on investment (ROI) and growth through commercialisation, as soon as possible after project completion
  • considerable potential to positively impact both the UK and the Canadian economy
  • the benefit to participants from the 2 countries working together

Theme 1: Enabling Technologies

These are collaborative R&D projects to demonstrate artificial intelligence for design as applied to advanced manufacturing or food production. These projects must use AI to accelerate the design of materials, devices or processes.

Your project can cover:

  • AI for design
  • AI for supply chains
  • applying AI and vision systems

Theme 2: Enhancing Productivity

These are collaborative R&D projects addressing global competitiveness by improving or adding to products service or process delivery. This can include enabling technologies such as Internet of Things, blockchain and cybersecurity.

Enhanced productivity projects de-risk and integrate technologies into operationally ready pre-commercial solutions. These must address an identified business need in the area of advanced manufacturing and/or food production. While solutions that include AI or machine learning are welcome under this theme, this is not mandatory.


To lead a project in theme 1, enabling technologies, you must be one of the following, and involve the other 3 as collaborators:

  • a UK micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME) with fewer than 250 employees
  • a UK research and technology organization (RTO)
  • a researcher from the National Research Council of Canada
  • a Canadian business with fewer than 500 employees, RTO or academic research organisation

To lead a project in theme 2, enhanced productivity, you must be one of the following, and involve the other as a collaborator:

  • a UK SME with fewer than 250 employees
  • a Canadian SME with fewer than 500 employees

Collaborations under both themes can also include additional UK registered businesses of any size or UK universities.

Your organisation cannot work alone.

Proposals are welcomed from advanced manufacturing businesses, food and drink processors, and automation and artificial intelligence (AI) innovators, including those applying ‘AI for design’ techniques.

Funding Costs

UK-led projects can have total eligible project costs of up to £1 million with a maximum grant of £200,000 to be shared between the UK applicants and a maximum grant of up to $300,000 CAD to be shared between the Canadian applicants.

For industrial research projects, you could get funding for your eligible project costs of:

  • up to 70% if you are a micro or small UK business
  • up to 60% if you are a medium-sized UK business
  • up to 50% if you are a large UK business

For experimental development projects, you could get funding for your eligible project costs of:

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

Your project must start by 1 October 2019 and can last up to 2 years.


Projects will not be funded if they:

  • have entirely non-civilian applications
  • do not include partners from both UK and Canada
  • seek to develop solutions that cannot be deployed in high value manufacturing settings, including in food production environments