IUK Launches Sustainable Smart Factory Competition

UK registered businesses, collaborating with partner organisations, can apply for a share of up to £20 million for research and development projects for innovations in digital technologies to reduce environmental impact within manufacturing processes.

Through the Made Smarter Innovation programme, Innovate UK (IUK) is investing £147 million to accelerate the development of game changing digital manufacturing ideas.

The aims of the Sustainable Smart Factory competition are to deliver a resilient, flexible, more productive, and environmentally sustainable UK manufacturing sector, as well as to develop new technologies that can be exploited commercially across manufacturing worldwide. The competition is split into two strands:

  • Strand 1 – Digital innovation with manufacturing data.
  • Strand 2 – Digital innovation in manufacturing processes.

To lead a project or work alone the organisation must be a UK registered business of any size, collaborating with other UK registered organisations and involving at least one SME. Consortiums must:

  • Involve a single factory or multiple factories.
  • Include both manufacturing and digital technology capabilities.
  • Be applicable to at least one manufacturing sector.

Grant funding of up to £20 million is available to fund innovation projects in this competition.

A project’s total eligible costs must be between £1 million and £8 million.

  • For Strand 1, the total grant funding for the project must not exceed 50% of the total eligible project costs.
  • For Strand 2, the total grant funding for the project must not exceed 40% of the total eligible project costs.

Businesses could get funding for their eligible project costs of:

  • Up to 70% if they are a UK registered micro or small organisation.
  • Up to 60% if they are a UK registered medium-sized organisation.
  • Up to 50% if they are a UK registered large organisation.

Projects must start by 1 September 2022 and last between 12 and 24 months.

The deadline for applications is 26 January 2022 (11:00 GMT).

(This report was the subject of a GRANTfinder Newsflash.)