Specialist R&D Tax & Grant Funding Advisors

Made Smarter Innovation: Sustainable Smart Factory

UK registered businesses and organisations can apply for a share of up to £20m for digital innovation projects that will improve the resource efficiency and energy efficiency of manufacturing processes in factories.

Barrie Dowsett

Chief Executive Officer

01/11/2021

5 minute read


Made Smarter Innovation: Sustainable Smart Factory

The aim of this competition is to develop digital innovations to improve the sustainability of manufacturing processes. This must result in either reduced material or reduced energy consumption.

Your proposal must deliver sustainable solutions through applying digital technology development to manufacturing processes within a production facility.

Your project must demonstrate the digital innovations that will deliver sustainability improvements.

This competition is split into 2 strands:

  • Strand 1 - Digital innovation with manufacturing data
  • Strand 2 - Digital innovation in manufacturing processes

Your project must apply to either Strand 1 or Strand 2.

Innovate UK have allocated up to £20 million to fund innovation projects in this competition.

For strand 1, the total grant funding for your project must not exceed 50% of your total eligible project costs.

For strand 2, the total grant funding for your project must not exceed 40% of your total eligible project costs.

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

The competition closes at 11am on 26 January 2022.  It typically takes around 40 to 60 hours to prepare an award winning application, and we recommend you do this over a 3 to 4 week period.

Please get in touch if you'd like to know whether your project would likely qualify for this grant or would like any assistance in preparing the application.

Your project must:

  • Have total eligible costs between £1 million and £8 million
  • Not exceed the maximum grant limit of 50% of your total eligible costs for strand 1
  • Not exceed the maximum grant limit of 40% of your total eligible costs for strand 2
  • Start by 1 September 2022
  • Last between 12 and 24 months
  • Involve a single factory or multiple factories
  • Include both manufacturing and digital technology capabilities in your consortium
  • Be applicable to at least 1 manufacturing sector
  • Carry out all of its project work in the UK
  • Intend to exploit the results from or in the UK

Who can apply?

To lead a project or work alone your organisation must be a UK registered micro, small or medium-sized enterprise SME.

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

Proposals:

This competition combines the feasibility and primer strands of the Biomedical Catalyst.

Your project must focus on developing digital solutions to:

  • Reduce the amount of waste or other in-process material losses through the manufacturing steps
  • Reduce the energy consumed by a manufacturing process
  • Better sequence or schedule the manufacturing operations to reduce material or energy consumption
  • Better separate waste materials to facilitate material reuse

Your project must be an innovative development or novel application of data or an industrial digital technology (IDT). This must result in either reduced material consumption or reduced energy consumption.

Your project must estimate the material or energy savings using the Resource Efficiency and Energy Efficiency (REEE) definitions. Savings must be from the manufacturing process, including any savings from reduction material purchases and associated embodied CO2e reduction.

  • Resource Efficiency (RE): a reduction in material wastage throughout the manufacturing processes, including bought in-materials and expressed as Tonnes of material saved and the equivalent embodied CO2e.
  • Energy Efficiency (EE): a reduction in electric, gas or equivalent power consumption expressed in kWh power saved and equivalent CO2e.

Industrial Digital Technologies (IDTs) can include, but are not limited to:

  • AI and machine learning
  • Industrial internet of things (IIoT) and connectivity
  • Robotics and automation
  • Augmented reality and virtual reality
  • Additive manufacturing
  • Digital twin

Your project must fit into one of the 2 strands for this competition.

Strand 1 - Digital innovation with manufacturing data:

  • Data capture
  • Data visualisation
  • Pattern identification
  • Autonomous decision & action

IDTs within strand 1 can include AI and Machine Learning.

Strand 2 - Digital innovation in manufacturing processes:

Projects can comprise of any other Industrial Digital Technology (IDT) where the activity meets the scope of the call.

This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Industrial internet of things (IIoT) and connectivity
  • Robotics and automation
  • Augmented reality and virtual reality
  • Additive manufacturing
  • Digital twin

Outputs

Your planned outputs must be:

  • a tested proposal for digital solutions to deliver more sustainable manufacturing processes
  • a deployment within a manufacturing facility or very near equivalent for example a comparable development facility
  • a case study outlining the digital solution, the results of the project, and qualitative and quantitative evidence of benefits identified

Innovate UK expect, where possible, for you to provide open access to the set-up of the project as a demonstrator of the digital solution.

Project dates:

  • 1 November 2021 - Competition opens
  • 26 January 2022 11:00am - Competition closes
  • 28 February 2022 - Invite to interview
  • 14 March 2022 - Interview panel
  • 4 April 2022 - Applicants notified

Interested in applying? Get in touch to learn how our proven grant bid writers can help:

  • Win Rate - Myriad Associates’ boast a near 70% success rate with Innovate UK grant applications.
  • Proven templates & tools for success - Our templates make it easy to collaborate & prepare a winning bid.
  • 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.
  • Highly rated UK & European bid writers - We have a highly experienced team of bid writers with proven UK & European success. We've secured over €80m in grant funding for our UK & EU clients.
  • Unlimited revisions - Our grant writers provide feedback on both successful and unsuccessful grant applications. We review this feedback with you to give you ongoing advice and guidance.
  • 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.

Where do I find more information?

For more information on this grant, please visit: https://apply-for-innovation-funding.service.gov.uk/competition/1028/overview#summary 

Alternatively, contact us if you'd like to know whether your project would likely qualify for this grant.


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