UK Canada Quantum Technology Programme CR&D competition

Key Features

UK businesses with Canadian partners can apply for a share of up to £2 million from Innovate UK for collaborative research and development projects.

Programme:     Innovate UK

Award:     Share of up to £2 million

Opens: 15th Jun 2020

Closes: 29th Jul 2020

! This scheme is now closed


NSERC, the National Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada, will work with Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, to invest up to £2 million in innovation projects. These will be to advance the development and application of quantum technologies.


The aim of this competition is to develop new knowledge and skills for developing new products, processes or services and bringing about a significant improvement in existing products, processes or services in the quantum technology sector in the UK and Canada.

Projects must advance the development and application of quantum technologies and build on existing strengths in quantum technology in the UK and Canada.

Your project must:

  • increase UK-Canada collaboration in quantum technology
  • increase the end-use potential of quantum technologies for both the Canadian and UK private, public or not-for-profit sector partners
  • generate economic benefits for the UK and Canada
  • enhance the innovative capacity of the participants
  • add value through the international collaboration
  • exploit second generation quantum techniques

Second generation quantum techniques are defined as the generation or coherent control and manipulation of quantum states, resulting in superposition and entanglement (single photon generation or detection and quantum computing are in scope).

The project must describe how project metrics will be collected. Such metrics must include:

  • investment in addition to the project partner matched funding
  • capital investment

The project must address at least one of the following:

  • quantum secure communications
  • quantum computing and simulation
  • quantum sensing and imaging

Innovate UK particularly encourage applications that:

  • build new, sustainable, collaborations in quantum technology between the UK and Canada or nurture existing collaborations
  • exploit existing research and industrial strength in quantum technology in the UK and Canada


To lead a project your organisation must:

  • be a UK registered business of any size
  • collaborate with other UK registered businesses, research organisations, public sector organisations or charities
  • involve a Canadian university research partner
  • carry out the majority of its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK

The majority of work undertaken by each partner should occur in their home country.

No one country and/or organisation can represent more than 75% of the total project cost.

If the lead organisation is an RTO it must collaborate with 2 businesses (one SME, and one business of any size).

UK academic institutions cannot lead or work alone.

To collaborate with the lead, a UK project organisation must:

  • be a UK registered business, academic institution, charity, not-for-profit, public sector organisation or research and technology organisation (RTO)
  • carry out the majority of its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK
  • be invited by the lead organisation

Funding Costs

Innovate UK have allocated up to £2 million for UK applicants to fund innovation projects in this competition. NSERC have allocated c$4 million for Canadian applicants.

If your organisation’s work on the project is mostly commercial or economic, your funding request must not exceed the limits below. These limits apply even if your organisation normally acts non-economically.

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

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

The research organisations undertaking non-economic activity as part of the project can share up to 50% 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.

Your project must:

  • start by 1 April 2021
  • end by 31 March 2024
  • last between 12 and 36 months
  • benefit the UK and Canada

If your project’s total eligible costs or duration falls outside of our eligibility criteria, or if a UK research and technology organisation (RTO) wishes to lead you must provide justification by email to at least 10 working days before the competition closes. Innovate UK will decide whether to approve your request.

Canadian project team members will be governed by NSERC’s rules. Canadian leads must submit a parallel application to NSERC on their online system by 8pm EST time on 29 July.