UK – Singapore Collaborative R&D Call Sustainability and Net Zero

Key Features

UK registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £5 million as part of a collaboration with a Singapore partner for industrial research projects that develop sustainable technologies helping reduce emissions and achieve a net-zero future.

Programme:     Innovate UK

Award:     Share of up to £5 million

Opens: 14th Aug 2023

Closes: 6th Dec 2023

! This scheme is now closed


Innovate UK part of UK Research and Innovation, will partner with Enterprise Singapore (“EnterpriseSG”) to invest up to £5 million in innovation projects.


The aim of this competition is to fund business led, collaborative research and development (CR&D) net zero and sustainability projects focused on industrial research, for innovative proposals developed between the UK and Singapore.

Your project must demonstrate:

  • a clear game-changing or disruptive innovative idea leading to new products, processes or services
  • a strong and deliverable business plan that addresses and documents, market potential and needs
  • sound, practical financial plans and timelines
  • good value for money which will always be a consideration in Innovate UK funding decisions
  • a clear, evidence-based plan to deliver significant economic impact, return on investment (ROI) and growth through commercialisation, as soon as possible after project completion
  • considerable potential to significantly benefit the UK economy or national productivity
  • the benefits 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 2 to 3 years of project completion

Your project must directly address Sustainability and Net Zero challenges. This can include but is not limited to the following key technological areas:

  • Agrifood
  • Clean Energy and Renewables
  • Green Buildings
  • Sustainable Manufacturing
  • Urban Mobility
  • Water & Management
  • Waste Management
  • Carbon

We want to fund a variety of projects across different technologies and UK geographical locations. We call this a portfolio approach.

Specific Themes

Your project must directly address Sustainability and Net Zero challenges. This can include but is not limited to the following key technological areas:


  • Solutions that maximise food production efficiency, minimise resource requirements or waste outputs

Clean Energy and Renewables

  • Solutions involving new ways to improve yields and handle intermittency of renewables
  • Solutions that push boundaries of what can be achieved via energy storage technologies
  • Solutions contributing to net zero in energy production such as green hydrogen
  • Solutions that can capture and store carbon at scale

Green Buildings

  • Solutions that can further drive renewables adoption for built environments in dense, high rise urban city environments such as Singapore
  • Solutions that reduce the embodied carbon in new construction or asset enhancement of existing buildings

Sustainable Manufacturing

  • Solutions that support materials and manufacturing organisations to become significantly more resource efficient
  • Solutions that enable technologies like digital twins, sensors and controls in manufacturing processes including transformative low-temperature processes, planning optimisation, waste heat capture and recovery systems

Urban Mobility

  • Solutions that enable autonomous net zero maritime, electric vehicles or batteries
  • Solutions that reduce carbon emissions in transportation

Water and Environment

  • Solutions on high-performance, low-emissions waste water treatment

Waste Management

  • Solutions that better manage waste and contribute to a circular economy including sustainable packaging, solid waste and recycling


  • Solutions that improve the tracking and management of carbon


Your project must:

  • have a maximum grant funding request of no more than £750,000
  • start by 1 June 2024
  • end by 31 May 2027
  • last between 24 and 36 months

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.

The consortium must include at least one business registered in Singapore.

All businesses in a consortium must be separate legal and non-linked entities. This is to ensure that projects encourage genuine international collaboration, not internal company research. Linked companies are considered a single entity under the parent company.

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

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

Your project must have a balanced contribution of the total eligible project costs among the partners from the participating partner countries. No more than 70% of the total project costs can be claimed by any single partner or by all partners from a single participating country.

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

To lead a project your organisation must:

  • be a UK registered business of any size
  • partner with a Singapore registered business, which must be a separate non-linked entity to the UK project partners

More information on the different types of UK organisations can be found in our Funding rules.

Academic institutions and research and technology organisations (RTO) cannot lead.

UK partners

As a UK partner, to collaborate with the lead your organisation must be a UK registered:

  • business of any size
  • academic institution
  • research and technology organisation (RTO)

Each UK 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.

In collaborative projects, the lead and at least one other UK registered organisation must apply for funding when entering their costs into the application.

Singapore partners

Singapore partners must not be invited into Innovate UK’s application on the Innovation Funding Service.

Singapore partners will be funded by EnterpriseSG following a parallel application.


Subcontractors are allowed in this competition, but they are limited to no more than 20% of the total eligible costs of the UK participation.

You can use subcontractors from the UK, Singapore and other countries but you must make the case in your application as to why, if you could not use suppliers from the UK. All subcontractors must be selected through your usual procurement process.

You must provide a detailed rationale and evidence of the potential UK or other 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

A UK registered business can lead on one application but can be included as a collaborator in a further 2 applications.

If a UK registered business is not leading any application, it can collaborate in up to 3 applications.

A UK registered academic institution or RTO can collaborate on any number of applications.

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


Innovate UK are not funding projects that:

  • are military applications
  • do not meet Innovate UK’s eligibility criteria
  • do not submit all mandatory documentation
  • have a total grant request of more than £750,000
  • do not meet the project theme requirements
  • do not have an eligible Singapore partner

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 £5 million has been allocated to fund innovation projects in this competition. Funding will be in the form of a grant.

If the majority of 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.

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

Singapore partners must request any funding support from Enterprise Singapore.

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

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.