UK Research and Innovation – Strength in Places Fund: Wave 2 EoI

Submissions open: 03/06/2019
Final Bid Deadline: 09/10/2019
Funding body: UKRI

Consortia of UK businesses and publicly funded research organisations can apply for between £10 million and £50 million per full stage application.

Your application must build on your partners’ existing research and innovation capability and present a valid plan of new research and innovation activities. These must have a clear pathway to delivering a significant positive impact on economic growth within the defined economic geography.

All project partners should be based in the project’s geographical area and have the support of local civic leadership.

Projects must be led by either a UK based business or a UK publicly funded research organisation.This first competition stage is an expression of interest (EoI). Consortia will set out plans for large collaborative proposals. Following assessment, successful EoIs will be selected to receive up to £50,000 in ‘seed corn’ funding to develop a full stage proposal.

Applications for full phase projects are anticipated to open in July 2020 and close in December 2020. We will confirm the start date and duration for full phase applications closer to the time.

To lead a project your organisation must be:

  • a UK based publicly funded research organisation (university, research institute, public sector research establishment, research council institute, Catapult or other research and technology organisation (RTO))
  • or a UK based business of any size

Your project must be collaborative and include at least one business and at least one research organisation in the consortium. All collaboration partners must be invited on to the application.

The lead organisation must demonstrate ability and experience in running large-scale research and innovation grant awards.

Successful projects will be subject to additional SIPF terms and conditions for this competition. These will be available from July.

Project team

Consortium members’ costs will count towards the total project costs. They can provide co-investment to support the project but cannot lead the project, or receive direct support from UK Research and Innovation. All funding will be channelled through the lead organisation. Only research organisations and businesses are eligible to draw down funding from UK Research and Innovation.

We expect all partners to be located within the project’s geographical area, including those covering multiple local authority or devolved administration areas. If you have partners outside the defined area the lead applicant must email the Strength In Places delivery team at as soon as possible during the application period or risk being considered ineligible.

To be a member of a consortium you must be:

  • a UK business of any size
  • a UK research organisation
  • or a non-grant claiming partner representing local civic leadership such as local enterprise partnerships, combined authorities, enterprise bodies or similar economic agencies from across the 4 nations of the UK.

Projects must focus on any one technological area, sector or discipline. At full stage your proposal can draw on a mix of capital and revenue funding appropriate to the activities proposed.

Your project proposal should take a place-based approach to research and innovation funding. It must describe the business need that can be met by existing research strengths in your defined geographic area. Successful projects will undertake a range of research and innovation activities which must demonstrate a way to grow economic ‘clusters’ that support local economic growth.

You must outline the activities you will undertake within a full stage project proposal if successful. These can include, where appropriate:

  • scale
  • nature of partnerships
  • co-investment

The fund will support geographic areas within the UK. These range from city-scale to areas that cover multiple local authorities, as well as those crossing regional and/or country boundaries. The size and scope of the area must match the economic geography of the supply chain or local industry that the proposal focuses on. You must give evidence to justify the choice of area. This geographical area should also reflect the range and choice of partners involved in the collaboration.

We will only fund projects based on:

  • existing research excellence and high-quality innovation capability that focus on creating opportunities for economic growth, in line with the needs of local industry
  • activities that bring significant economic impact and regional growth, relative to the baseline economic activity for the defined or relevant geographic area

In scope activities for full proposals include:

  • providing the capacity to commercialize ideas (such as research outputs)
  • assessing the potential for demand for the new technology and the potential for scale up
  • drawing in overseas research and development or business
  • reviving underlying technologies
  • transferring technologies between industries

The final number and size or mix of projects supported will be determined through the assessment process. UKRI reserves the right to take a portfolio approach to achieve a balanced portfolio of investments that recognizes business needs.

More details on the official website