At the forefront of innovation and driving transformative change, the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) is a flagship initiative by the UK government. Designed to tackle the major societal and industrial challenges, the ISCF fuels ground-breaking projects that push the boundaries of innovation.
This funding stands as a central commitment within the government’s plan to increase research and development funding by £4.7 billion over four years, strategically enhancing the domains of science and commerce within the UK.
Delivered by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) adopts a Challenge-led methodology, breaking the fund down into individual ‘Challenges’. Each is focused on fostering collaborative, cross-sector R&I initiatives within a specific industry or thematic area.
The fund calls upon businesses, universities, and various entities to submit ideas aligned with the four grand challenges. If approved, they are invited to submit bids for funding projects. The fund actively promotes collaborative efforts between businesses and academia, intending to strengthen connections between these sectors and stimulate innovation. With a dedicated budget, spanning from 2017-18 to 2024-25, the ICSF stands ready to support and finance innovative projects addressing these ‘Grand Challenges’.
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The AI and Data Economy challenge within the ISCF aims to harness the potential of artificial intelligence (AI) and data-driven innovations to revolutionise industries and drive economic growth. It encompasses initiatives that aim to develop cutting-edge AI technologies, algorithms, and data-driven systems. Ultimately, the AI and Data Economy challenge seeks to position the UK as a global leader in AI innovation, fostering economic growth and societal benefits through the responsible and innovative use of AI and data technologies.
The challenge of Clean Growth within the ISCF focuses on driving advancements and innovations that contribute to economic growth while reducing carbon emissions and promoting sustainability. It encompasses initiatives and projects that aim to develop and implement low-carbon technologies, systems, and services across various sectors to create a more environmentally friendly and sustainable economy. This involves transitioning to cleaner energy sources, enhancing energy efficiency, and building sustainable infrastructure.
The Future of Mobility challenge within ISCF focuses on transforming transportation systems and revolutionising the way people and goods move. It encompasses initiatives aimed at developing innovative technologies, services, and infrastructure to create more efficient, sustainable, and accessible modes of transportation. This addresses various aspects of future mobility, including autonomous vehicles, electric vehicles, shared mobility services, smart infrastructure, and sustainable transportation solutions.
The Ageing Society challenge within the ISCF focuses on addressing the opportunities and challenges presented by an ageing population. It aims to develop innovative products, services, and technologies to support longer, healthier, more active, and independent lifestyles for older individuals. This involves initiatives that aim to improve healthcare, social care, and assistive technologies tailored to the needs of an ageing population. It also includes R&D projects focused on advancing personalised medicine, disease prevention, remote monitoring, and improving overall quality of life for older adults.
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