It’s been four months since the Spring Budget announcement and the first 250 projects funded by Innovate UK, through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF), are starting work through the summer.
Making an immediate impact
Together with our colleagues from the Research Councils, we saw an opportunity to fund a wide range of smaller projects that were ready to go now while we work on the bigger challenges.
Using the past to accelerate the future
Selection was through proposals that were submitted to us in past competitions but we were not in position to fund. The 250 projects, are receiving grants totalling £100 million over the next few years. Probably our most diverse portfolio of this size ever.
So what are some of these ISCF challenges and projects?
I just wanted to introduce you to a few of the projects we are supporting.
Healthcare and medicine
The more we can accelerate new medicines to production and advance diagnostic techniques, the more we can improve our healthcare. In this area InhibOx will be developing Dual-target Enzyme Inhibitors to Combat Antibacterial Resistance.
Developing new innovative technologies for patients and healthcare professionals is another area under ISCF and, for example, Ampetronic Limited will be developing a Next-Generation Hearing Assistance System.
Robotics and Artificial intelligence
The purpose of Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithms in our portfolio is to solve big challenges in our everyday life. How can we enable healthcare professionals to make better and quicker decisions? An example there is applying autonomous AI to organ donor work flow which can improve patient care or save lives.
Also, how can we improve car maintenance via AI or even web search, something that most of us do so many times a day? The applications are literally endless.
Manufacturing processes and materials
This is our biggest portfolio and many projects involve developing new coatings and new manufacturing processes to cut costs and increase productivity. End products include anything from light weight children's bikes, orthopaedic implants to satellites and buses.
Clean and flexible energy
Again, great innovations towards cutting the costs of energy for homes and industries. For example, Eight19 Limited will be looking at improved photovoltaic efficiency with their PINSTRIPE project.
I couldn’t have imagined that there is the potential to produce renewable energy from fish lipid oil waste! But that is yet another project we are funding in the clean energy area lead by Green Fuels Research.
I hope I have given you a flavour of what's to come in the market through the innovations we are already funding under ISCF. Stay tuned for more information on joining the journey we have only just started.
To see the full list of ISCF funded projects so far, type “ISCF” into the text filter on the "Programme Title" column of the spreadsheet containing our transparency data or Innovate UK funded projects since 2004 or list of funded projects.
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