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Could you help solve the innovation challenges of the UK’s public sector organisations? 100% of your R&D costs covered if you can.

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  • We're working in partnership with Innovate UK and a range of public sector organisations to fund and promote a series of innovation challenges currently faced by the UK's public sector.

Through this programme, we can help you access funding of up to £100,000 to test an idea, and up to £2 million or more to develop or demonstrate solutions in the field.

This offers you the chance to apply for a series of innovation challenges that provide 100% funding, through competitive R&D contract opportunities.

Pair your talents

We’re searching for fresh, original ideas to help us pair the talents of smaller companies with the business issues of public sector organisations.

Whether you’re re-purposing existing technology from another field or creating innovative solutions from scratch, we'll connect you with organisations that need your skills.

The innovation challenges cover a range of industry sectors, including:

  • Emerging and enabling technologies
  • Digital economy
  • Health and life sciences
  • Manufacturing and materials

And with our dedicated innovation support services, we’re able to support you all the way through the innovation journey.

Why should you get involved?

You'll have access to current and specific demands for new products and services. 

If successful, the funding will take you all the way to the crucial first customer trial and reference site, and offer you the opportunity to break into a large public sector market.

You retain the right to exploit your intellectual property and, potentially, use the initial public sector customer as a stepping stone into even larger private sector markets. 


Challenge competition

CRACK-IT challenges 2017

The National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs) is an independent scientific organisation that supports the UK science base through the application of the 3Rs.  

NC3Rs have launched their 2017 CRACK IT Challenges, designed to:


  • Fund collaborations between industry, academics and SMEs
  • Minimise the use of animals in research
  • Support the development of marketable products and/or improved business processes

The 2017 Two Phase Challenges each have phase one funding of £100,000 - plus up to £1 million for phase two:


The 2017 Single Phase Challenge is Challenge 28: “RespiraTox”In silico model for predicting human respiratory irritation. (Sponsored by Shell). Phase 1 funding of up to £100k is available.

For more information on these Challenges and to apply, please visit the CRACK IT website. The competition will be launched at an event in central London on 7 September 2017. 

The deadlines for applications are 12pm on:


  • 8 November 2017 (Two Phase Challenges - phase one)
  • 15 November 2017 (Single Phase Challenge)

Register now

Cancer Innovation Challenge

Organisations can apply for a share of £425,000 (including VAT) for innovative data science solutions to improve cancer care and outcomes in Scotland through a two phase funding competition.

The competition opens at midday 8 September 2017.

You must register to apply before midnight 27 October 2017.

You must submit your full application by midnight 10 November 2017

You should register online to attend the Information Session and Collider Event for Interested Applicants on 12 October 2017 by 29 September 2017. Please note this event will be live-streamed for those unable to attend in person.

The Cancer Innovation Challenge is an opportunity for you to make a real difference to the lives of cancer patients in Scotland and beyond.

Register to apply now

Detecting security threats and contraband in prisons

The Ministry of Justice are to invest up to £950,000 over phases one and two of this new SBRI competition to develop novel solutions to the problems that drones, drugs, mobile phones and other contraband pose within a prison environment.  These problems have been widely covered by the media.

The aim of this competition is to develop novel detection techniques to identify and reduce the threat that these items pose. Proposals for Phase 1 funding should set out new concepts addressing at least one of the following:

  • The detection, identification and location of mobile phones and SIM cards, including phones with very low metal content 
  • The detection and location of illegal substances, particularly in very small quantities
  • The detection, identification and location of other contraband, including tobacco, alcohol, weapons and explosives
  • The detection and identification of drones.

This competition opens on 18 September, 2017 and closes on 1 November, 2017.

Apply for this challenge


How we can support you

From product design to proof of concept, through prototype testing and market launch,  our experienced team of innovation advisers are on-hand to help.

We can support your innovations in a number of ways.

If you're looking for funding to research your ideas, improve existing products or develop new ones, then our advisers can provide the steer you need to get ahead.

Find out more about innovation support


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