Innovate UK boost for infrastructure systems
Innovate UK has launched the first opportunity through its new loans competition.
Some £10M will be available in loans to UK SMEs who are working on late-stage infrastructure systems project.
The funding will help businesses overcome barriers to scaling up innovation in infrastructure systems, by enabling them to demonstrate that their ideas work as expected in real-world applications with users. Solutions can then be taken to market.
Innovate UK is seeking solutions due to the urgent need to reduce carbon emissions, a growing, ageing population, and increased urbanisation calls for new and novel infrastructure solutions.
In order to balance out the risks associated with developing, testing and commercialising new ideas, the Innovate UK loans will help businesses demonstrate their solutions.
Companies could receive an innovation loan of up to £1M for a first of a kind deployment of infrastructure technologies.
To be compliant with funding criteria, demonstrator projects must be in one of Innovate UK’s priority areas:
- smart infrastructure: adding intelligence to improve physical infrastructure or the design process
- urban living: addressing the challenges people face in urban areas in order to improve user experience and lower costs.
- hard systems: energy, transport, waste, water and communication
- soft systems: security, law and justice (for example, public order and safety), health, wellbeing, social care and education
- environmental systems: green spaces and waterways
- energy supply and systems: specifically improving the value proposition, affordability, emissions and security of energy
- connected transport: looking at solutions that move people and goods more efficiently and sustainably, and make transport more secure, user-centric and accessible
This is the first time Innovate UK has run a loans competition.
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