The UK government has launched a £200m Sustainable Innovation Fund in an effort to support new projects focusing on sustainable economic recovery from COVID-19. Round one funding is already open.

The Fund will support a wide range of innovations while helping the UK to meet its target to cut carbon emissions to net-zero by 2050.

The first of three funding stages has opened and is run under the auspices of Innovate UK and as part of UK Research and Innovation. An initial £55 million in funds is available for single and collaborative research and development projects. The Fund is accessed through three competition rounds:

  • Round one: opened June 29, ends July 29 2020.
  • Round two: opening end of July 2020
  • Round three: opening September 2020.

The criteria announced for this round include:

  • All projects must be led by a business and include at least one small to medium-sized enterprise (SME).
  • Proposals can either be from a single business or a collaboration.
  • The project’s total eligible costs must be between £100,000 and £500,000.
  • Each organisation working alone or in a collaboration can claim a maximum of £175,000.

According to the government, “COVID-19 has affected R&D across all sectors and our aim of this competition is to help all sectors of the UK recover, grow and create new opportunities from the aftermath of the global health pandemic".

Proposals must show evidence of key challenges as a direct consequence of COVID-19 and how the submitted project can help solve them. 

Funding will be delivered through Innovate UK and applications can be made via its website. The Sustainable Innovation Fund is running alongside the £500 million Future Fund, which provides match-funding to private investors, and has already received over 500 applications since its launch on 20 May.


COVID-19: Future Fund convertible loan scheme
he Future Fund convertible loan scheme offers convertible loans to high growth innovative companies who are facing financial difficulties due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Research & Development: At glance
What's Research and Development (R&D) relief? How to claim R&D relief? Small company R&D relief explained? Can individuals claim R&D relief?

R&D Zone
Come and take a tour!  R&D Zone aims to provides you with practical know-how and support in putting together an R&D claim

External links

The Sustainable Innovation Fund: Round 1

Innovate UK

Guidance for organisations applying for Innovate UK's funding opportunities