Overview

Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, is investing up to £6 million to support R&D projects to advance or develop solutions in service robotics for a more resilient future.

Scope

Your proposal must:

  • clearly identify the operational needs and the market segments and sizes that the proposed Robotics and Artificial Intelligence (RAI) technology or system will be addressing
  • identify the precise operational scenario or scenarios that the RAI system is expected to operate if successful
  • quantify the system’s performance objectives and targets and explain the technological maturity at the start and end of the project
  • be based around a service robotics sector
  • articulate what is innovative about the proposed project
  • clearly identify how proposed solutions will improve productivity or improve the resilience of the UK’s workforce to future disruptions to economic activity, supply chains and productivity.
  • demonstrate what market needs are being addressed
  • clearly demonstrate understanding of the market and provide a commercialisation plan for the solution developed

Your solution should be designed and developed to operate within the constraints of any relevant regulatory environment impacting robotic operations in your chosen sector.

Your project can focus on one or more of the following:

  • healthcare
  • logistics, warehousing and transportation
  • agriculture and food production
  • construction
  • ‘general-purpose’ remote working robotics
  • robotics that can contribute towards the UK’s net-zero greenhouse gas commitment.

Interested in applying for this competition?

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Our team are available to discuss your innovative business, your project ideas and how we can help you to write a successful application for this Grant Funding opportunity.

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Eligibility

Single applicants must:

  • be a UK registered SME
  • carry out its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK

Subcontractors are allowed in this competition and must be selected through a participant’s normal procurement process. Subcontractors can be from anywhere in the UK.

If an overseas subcontractor is selected, a case must be made as to why no UK-based subcontractor can be used including a detailed rationale, evidence of UK companies that have been approached and reasons why they were unable to do so.

Funding Costs

Up to £6 million has been allocated to fund innovation projects across the feasibility studies and R&D strands in the robotics for a more resilient future competition.

Your project must:

  • have total eligible costs between £25,000 and £100,000
  • start on or after 1 April 2021
  • end by 31 March 2022
  • last between 3 and 12 months

If your organisation’s work on the project is mostly commercial or economic, your funding request must not exceed the limits below. These limits apply even if your organisation normally acts non-economically.

For feasibility studies, 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

Exclusions

This competition is not funding projects that:

  • do not identify the commercial benefits arising from your innovation
  • do not demonstrate awareness of the addressable market
  • do not provide sufficient detail on the path to commercialisation
  • are based around the use of robotic systems in assembly-line manufacturing roles
  • are focused solely on ‘Robotic Process Automation’ or other forms of software automation of business IT processes: there must be a moving, physical (robotic) component of the system being proposed.

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