Urban innovation in Brazil

Key Features

UK businesses can apply for a share of £2.4 million to work with Brazilian partners on innovative urban development solutions in Brazil

Programme:     Innovate UK

Award:     Up to £350,000.

Opens: 7th Nov 2016

Closes: 3rd May 2017

! This scheme is now closed

The aim of this competition is to fund collaborative technological solutions that address one or more of the challenges listed below.

Projects and their outcomes must fit with the official development assistance (ODA) criteria. This aims to boost economic development, and have a positive social or environmental effect on the wider Brazilian society.

Challenge 1: Integration and governance of city systems

Brazilian cities face the challenge of improving the collection of information that can inform policy-making, reduce cost and increase the quality of public services. Cities also benefit from being more transparent and accountable to their citizens. These goals can be achieved by developing solutions based on information and communication technology.

Consortia are encouraged to bring together eligible UK and Brazilian partners to put forward solutions for system development and platform integration tailored for the Brazilian urban context. For example:

  • improving public service planning (location addresses, street scenes, transportation services, facilities and so on)
  • public warnings and emergency alerts
  • detection of natural disasters
  • anticipating disruption to essential public services, including interruption, maintenance and other events

Challenge 2: Urban infrastructure and affordable, smart mobility

Following decades of intense growth, Brazilian cities need to improve outdated infrastructure. There is also a need to solve the problem of ever-increasing traffic. New technologies provide the opportunity to address those issues in innovative, efficient and cheaper ways. This would also provide value to citizens and municipalities.

Consortia are invited to propose solutions that help Brazilian cities update their infrastructure. For example:

  • software solutions for smart grids
  • water and sewage distribution management and maintenance
  • technologies to provide universal access to urban transport

Challenge 3: Sustainable urban environments

The reality of climate change and dwindling natural resources means that we need to find more efficient and environmentally-friendly ways to use water, generate and store energy, and dispose of waste.


Eligible consortia are invited to develop innovative solutions that would allow Brazilian cities to use their resources in a more efficient and sustainable way. For example:

  • building automation (energy and water management)
  • wind turbines micro-generation (up to 100 kW) and mini-generation (between 100 kW and 1 MW)
  • echnologies for buses with reduced carbon emissions


To apply for a Newton Fund award you must:

  • be a UK-based company acting as lead applicant
  • have at least one UK-based company and one eligible Brazilian participant working together on the project
  • show that Brazil is the principal market for the project
  • show how your project fits within ODA criteria

In the UK, Innovate UK have allocated up to £2.4 million to fund innovation projects in this competition. Innovate UK will fund the UK project partners and the Brazilian government will fund project partners from Brazil.

All projects must involve at least one UK business and one Brazilian partner. The project lead must be a business on the UK side.


Projects must focus on industrial research. Work packages that include elements of experimental development will be considered within projects that predominantly target industrial research. Those work packages that are primarily experimental development will receive the appropriate grant percentage.

For industrial research, you could get:

  • up to 70% of your eligible project costs if you are a small business

For experimental development work packages, you could get:

  • up to 45% of your eligible project costs if you are a small business

Projects are expected to last from 12 to 24 months with expected total UK project costs of between £200,000 to £500,000, giving rise to total UK grant of approximately £350,000.