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Circular Economy for SMEs - innovating with NICER, round 2 UK registered businesses can apply for a share of up to £1.5 million to research, test and develop step-change circular economy approaches. Eligibility This competition is open to single applicants and collaborations. To lead a project your organisation must: be a UK registered micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME). carry out all your research and development (R&D) project activity in the UK intend to commercially exploit the project results from the UK. Opening soon Opens: 10 October 2022 Closes: 7 December 2022

Programme: Innovate Uk

Award:

Opens: 10 October 2022

Closes: 7 December 2022

Description

Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, will invest up to £1.5 million in circular economy innovation projects.

This funding forms part of the UKRI National Interdisciplinary Circular Economy Research programme (NICER). It enables SMEs to engage with and benefit from access to expertise at five research centres and hub via collaborative research and development (CR&D) activities.

The aim of this competition is to support feasibility studies, industrial research and experimental development projects that address the challenges of transitioning to a circular economy.

Your proposal must demonstrate how you will create a step-change in the adoption of circular economy approaches.

In applying to this competition, you are entering into a competitive process. This competition closes at 11am UK time on the deadline stated.

Funding type

Grant

Project size

Your project’s total costs must be between £100,000 and £150,000.

Who can apply

Your project

Your project must:

  • have total costs between £100,000 and £150,000
  • start no earlier than 1 May 2023
  • end by 31 October 2024
  • last between 12 and 18 months
  • carry out all of its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK

Your application must include a letter of support from at least one of the UKRI Interdisciplinary Circular Economy Centres or the NICER CE-hub. The letter must demonstrate alignment of your proposed activities to one or more Centres’ aims and objectives. Collaboration directly with the centres or the hub as a project partner is encouraged but not essential.

To allow sufficient time for the centres to consider your proposal for support, you should contact them prior to 16th November 2022, or earlier if you are looking to involve them as project partners.

You must only include eligible project costs in your application.

Under current restrictions, this competition will not fund any procurement, commercial, business development or supply chain activity with any Russian entity as lead, partner or subcontractor. This includes any goods or services originating from a Russian source.

If your total project’s costs or duration falls outside of our eligibility criteria, you must provide justification by email to support@iuk.ukri.org at least 10 working days before the competition closes. We will decide whether to approve your request. If you have not requested approval or your application has not been approved by us, you will be made ineligible. Your application will then not be sent for assessment.

Lead organisation

To lead a project or work alone your organisation must be a UK registered micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME)

Academic institutions cannot lead or work alone.

Funding

Up to £1.5 million has been allocated to fund innovation projects in this competition. Funding will be in the form of a grant.

If the majority of your organisation’s work on the project is 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 and industrial research projects, 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

For experimental development projects which are nearer to market, you could get funding for your eligible project costs of:

  • up to 45% if you are a micro or small organisation
  • up to 35% if you are a medium sized organisation
  • up to 25% if you are a large organisation

NICER Centre and Hub academic partners can apply for funding for activities or additional resources and materials that are essential to the project achieving its full potential.

These costs must be eligible project costs, which have not been supported by UKRI funds already awarded.

For more information on company sizes, please refer to the company accounts guidance. This is a change from the EU definition unless you are applying under State aid.

If you are applying for an award funded under State aid Regulations, the definitions are set out in the European Commission Recommendation of 6 May 2003.

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