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Global Centre of Rail Excellence: railway construction innovation UK registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £575,000 for feasibility studies with projects to propose, deliver and demonstrate Innovation in Railway Construction. Funding is from the Department of Business Energy and Industrial Strategy. Eligibility This competition is open to single applicants and collaborations To lead a project your organisation must be a UK registered: business of any size academic institution research and technology organisation (RTO) charity not for profit public sector organisation.

Programme: Innovate Uk

Award:

Opens: 21 October 2022

Closes: 14 December 2022

Description

Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, will work with the Global Centre of Rail Excellence (GCRE) and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to invest up to £7.44 million in innovation projects. These will be to propose, deliver and demonstrate innovation in Railway Construction.

The aim of this competition is to support initial feasibility studies outlining how you would deliver a demonstration of innovation in railway construction to the GCRE site.

Your feasibility study must develop your plan to work with the construction teams at GCRE to deliver and demonstrate your innovation.

This is phase 1 of a potential 2-phase competition.

  • Phase 1 Feasibility studies (this phase)
  • Phase 2 Demonstration: potential invite only competition for successful phase 1 projects to develop and demonstrate their innovations

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 grant funding request for your feasibility study must be up to £25,000.

Who can apply

Your project

Your project must:

  • have a total grant funding request of up to £25,000
  • have total project costs of up to £40,000
  • start by 1 May 2023
  • end by 31 July 2023
  • last up to 3 months
  • carry out all of its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK

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 and Belarusian entity as lead, partner or subcontractor. This includes any goods or services originating from a Russian and Belarusian source.

Lead organisation

To lead a project or work alone your organisation must:

  • be a UK registered business of any size, academic institution, a research and technology organisation (RTO), charity, not for profit or public sector organisation
  • plan to work with other organisations that are leading the construction of the Global Centre of Rail Excellence (GCRE)

If the lead organisation is categorised as a research organisation or an RTO it must collaborate with at least 1 eligible grant claiming business of any size.

More information on the different types of organisation can be found in our Funding rules.

Project team

To collaborate with the lead, your organisation must be one of the following UK registered:

  • business of any size
  • academic institution
  • charity
  • not for profit
  • public sector organisation
  • research and technology organisation (RTO)

Each partner organisation must be invited into the Innovation Funding Service by the lead to collaborate on a project. Once accepted, partners will be asked to login or to create an account and enter their own project costs into the Innovation Funding Service.

To be an eligible collaboration, the lead and at least one other organisation must claim funding when entering their costs during the application.

Non-funded partners

Your project can include partners that do not receive any of this competition’s funding, for example non-UK businesses. Their costs will count towards the total project costs.

Subcontractors

Subcontractors are allowed in this competition.

Subcontractors can be from anywhere in the UK and you must select them through your usual procurement process.

You can use subcontractors from overseas but must make the case in your application as to why you could not use suppliers from the UK.

You must provide a detailed rationale, evidence of the potential UK contractors you approached and the reasons why they were unable to work with you. We will not accept a cheaper cost as a sufficient reason to use an overseas subcontractor.

All subcontractor costs must be justified and appropriate to the total project costs.

Number of applications

An eligible organisation can lead on and can be included as a collaborator in any number of applications.

Previous applications

You can use a previously submitted application to apply for this competition.

We will not award you funding if you have:

Subsidy control (and State aid where applicable)

This competition provides funding in line with the UK's obligations and commitments to Subsidy Control. Further information about the UK Subsidy Control requirements can be found within the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation agreement and the subsequent guidance from the department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

Innovate UK is unable to award organisations that are considered to be in financial difficulty. We will conduct financial viability and eligibility tests to confirm this is not the case following the application stage.

EU State aid rules now only apply in limited circumstances. Please see our general guidance to check if these rules apply to your organisation.

Further Information

If you are unsure about your obligations under the UK Subsidy Control regime or the State aid rules, you should take independent legal advice. We are unable to advise on individual eligibility or legal obligations.

You must at all times make sure that the funding awarded to you is compliant with all current Subsidy Control legislation applicable in the United Kingdom.
This aims to regulate any advantage granted by a public sector body which threatens to, or actually distorts competition in the United Kingdom or any other country or countries.

If there are any changes to the above requirements that mean we need to change the terms of this competition, we will tell you as soon as possible.

Funding

Up to £575,000 has been allocated to fund innovation projects in this phase 1 competition. Funding will be in the form of a grant.

The potential phase 2 competition has up to £6.865 million allocated to deliver and demonstrate the best innovations from the phase 1 feasibility studies. Phase 2 will fund up to 12 projects to deliver demonstrations, with a total grant funding request of up to £570,000 , for up to 12 months in duration.

If 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 but for the purpose of this project will be undertaking commercial or economic activity.

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

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.

Research participation

The research organisations undertaking non-economic activity as part of the project can share up to 30% of the projects total grant funding requested. If your consortium contains more than one research organisation undertaking non-economic activity, this maximum is shared between them.

Of that 30% you could get funding for your eligible project costs of up to:

1.80% of full economic costs (FEC) if you are a Je-S registered institution such as an academic

2.100% of your project costs if you are an RTO, charity, not for profit organisation, public sector organisation or research organisation

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