Specialist R&D Tax & Grant Funding Advisors

Innovate UK Advanced Therapy Fund

Marc Greatrex

Director - Grants Division


Innovate UK, as part of UK Research and Innovation, will invest up to £3.7 million in innovation projects. These will be to allow robust process design for the manufacture of advanced therapies.

The aim of this competition is to encourage inventors of advanced therapies to introduce affordable technology during early innovation stages. This technology will enable them to reproduce the manufacture of their product at a commercial scale.

Your proposal should describe how new tools will make the manufacture of the product less dependent on human operators. Industry co-funding must be contributed at a rate of no less than 50% of total project costs.

Your proposal:

Your proposal must describe how you will demonstrate the following ‘Success Factors’ during execution. The international guidance will give further information on the bulleted list below.

Your project must:

  • identify the variables that affect the production process and have the most impact on the product’s properties
  • provide statistical evidence to justify your choice of process variables
  • provide a control strategy that identifies the limits within which the process variables can change, either alone or together, without adversely affecting process capability
  • give evidence of process improvement to show that when the control strategy is applied, the rate of process failure is reduced significantly and to below 5%
  • give evidence that the rate of failure is not significantly influenced by changes in trained manufacturing personnel
  • have a prototype mechanisation device and a specification that expresses its important features

You must show how your project will increase the productivity, competitiveness, capability or growth of at least one UK business involved in the project.

Projects should aim to work with bodies that generate standards, such as the National Physical Laboratory, the LGC Group (formerly Laboratory of the Government Chemist), BSI (British Standards Institute) or the National Institute for Biological Standards and Control.

Specific Themes:

Your project must focus one or more of the following:
  • gene therapy
  • engineered tissue
  • cell therapy

Who can apply:

State aid

Any UK business claiming funding must be eligible to receive state aid at the time Innovate UK confirm you will be awarded funding. It is not possible to award grant funding to organisations meeting the condition known as Undertakings in Difficulty. If you are unsure please take legal advice. For further information see our general guidance.

Your project

Your project’s total eligible costs must be between £1 million and £2 million.

Projects must start by 1 February 2020 and end by 31 March 2021. They can last between 12 and 14 months.

If your project’s total eligible costs or duration fall outside of our eligibility criteria, you must provide justification by email to support@innovateuk.ukri.org at least 10 days before the competition closes. Innovate UK will decide whether to approve your request.

Lead organisation

To lead a project your organisation must:

Academic institutions cannot lead.

Your project can include partners that do not receive any of this competition’s funding, for example non-UK businesses. Their costs will count towards the total eligible project costs.


12 August 2019 - Publication date

27 August 2019 - Competition opens

3 September 2019 - Online briefing event

25 September 2019 12:00pm - Competition closes

1 November 2019 - Applicants notified

Interested in applying? Speak to one of our experts

  • Win Rate We boast a 70% success rate with Innovate UK applications. In fact, we recently secured an Innovate Smart Award scoring 91% with a project value of £500,000
  • Winning Application - We also recently secured an Innovate UK Agritech Catalyst with a project value of £1.2m and earlier this year we helped 4 medical Irish companies win a total of €14.9m in the Irish DTIF Grant Funding competition.
  • Honest & Trustworthy – We will not waste your time or money. If we feel your application won't succeed, we will tell you before we undertake the application process.
  • Maximised Application - Benefiting from our expert grant writers will ensure your claim is in the best position to win funding.
  • Risk-free Eligibility Call – Call us for a free eligibility call to see if you have an application worth applying for.

Click here to discuss your application with one of our expert grant bid writers or visit Innovate UK to find out more.

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