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    Funding News: TSB launches a technology-inspired innovation competition for fast-track and collaborative R&D funding

    The TSB has launched a £10m competition to support collaborative R&D projects across key enabling technology areas. They are looking to fund projects that contain a significant and identifiable element of technology innovation and risk

    Projects must be collaborative and business-led but there may be an opportunity to include high quality academic research for additional funding from the likes of the EPSRC (project dependent). In addition, the TSB is very keen to support projects with applications in multiple markets or that migrate existing technology to new areas.

    The scope of the competition will support projects in the following areas:

    • Advanced materials including;
    • Biosciences
    • Electronics, sensors and photonics
    • ICT

    Whilst some of the above may not be directly relevant to automotive interests, the brief makes explicit mention of several pertinent areas of interest, including:

    • Lightweight materials applied to vehicles, structures and devices to reduce energy consumption and emissions and increase efficiency
    • Materials for cheaper and more efficient energy storage and management (including electrochemical, electrical and mechanical materials)
    • Materials for increasing the sustainability of other global resources, for example bio-based and natural materials and composites
    • Sensor systems with intelligence and optimised control including wireless sensing, networks or sensors and imaging

    The competition is broken down into two streams. The first is a fast-track stream for SME-led projects with projected project sizes expected to be up to £150k. The second is a two stage competition with expected project costs of £250k-£500k. These will need to be submitted by consortia with at least one SME.

    All applications will be assessed on individual merit in accordance with the normal Technology Strategy Board process. However, in order to ensure coverage of the full range of technology, the TSB reserves the right to apply a ‘portfolio’ approach across the four technology areas, subject to applications reaching the required quality threshold.

    3 December – Competition opens
    11 December – Briefing event to be held in London
    23 January – Registration deadline
    30 January – Expressions of interest deadline

    For more information contact Carol.

    European Regional Development Fund Northern Powerhouse
    Partners Department for Business Innovation and Skills Finance Birmingham