ISCF Transforming Foundation Industries : Demonstrators EoI UK registered businesses can apply for a share of up to £14 million for demonstrations of innovative technology for UK foundation industries. We have allocated £180,000 for this expression of interest (EoI) stage. Eligibility This EoI competition is open to single applicants only. To lead a project your organisation must be a UK registered business of any size or Research and Technology Organisation (RTO) Open now Opened: 11 October 2021 Closes: 1 December 2021

Programme: Innovate Uk


Opens: 11 October 2021

Closes: 1 December 2021


Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, will invest up to £14 million from the Transforming Foundation Industries Programme to support projects that demonstrate innovation at an industrial scale.

The aim of the competition is to fund research and development projects that demonstrate future technologies, capable of addressing the resource or energy efficiency challenges of the UK’s Foundation Industries. These will be cross-sector, collaborative, demonstration projects. Your proposal must include significant industry investment.

This is stage 1 of a 2 stage competition:

  • ISCF Transforming Foundation Industries: Demonstrators Expression of interest (EoI) (this stage)
  • ISCF Transforming Foundation Industries: Demonstrators - Full stage: This will be by invitation only to applicants who are successful in the EoI stage.

Your EoI proposal must support a future demonstration of an innovation at an industrially relevant scale, which will develop either:

  • pipeline technologies to reduce deployment risk and accelerate take-up across industries, largely by reducing payback time
  • new technologies that, when deployed, would create a step-change in energy and resource efficiency

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


Project size

Successful applicants can claim grant funding of £15,000 at this EoI stage.

Who can apply

Your project

If you choose to claim funding, your project must:

  • have project costs and claim grant funding of £15,000
  • start on 1 February 2022
  • end by 31 March 2022
  • last between 1 to 2 months
  • carry out its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK

You can choose not to claim any grant funding for your costs which will not affect your assessment or invitation to the full stage.

If you are not claiming any funding, your EoI application must be submitted with a zero grant request.

You must complete your application with:

  • a start date of 1 February 2022
  • an end date of 31 March 2022

Lead organisation

To lead a project your organisation must be a UK registered business of any size, or research and technology organisation (RTO)

Academic institutions cannot lead a project.

The lead organisation for this EoI stage, does not have to lead the next full stage application. If your project is invited, another eligible member of the proposed consortium can lead.

Number of applications

A business, or RTO can lead up to two EoI applications, but can only lead on one full stage application.

Previous applications

You can use apreviously submitted application to apply for this competition.

We will not award you funding if you have:

Special Drawing Rights (and De minimis where applicable)

The UK-EU Trade Cooperation Agreement (TCA) has agreed on small funding allowances under the Special Drawing Rights (SDRs).

These are for awards up to SDR of 325,000 (approximately £335,000) given to a single beneficiary over a rolling 3 fiscal year period.

You must complete and provide Innovate UK with a declaration as part of your response in question 1.

The declaration asks you to tell us about any awards made under De minimis and SDR, (from any source of public funding) over a rolling 3 fiscal year period. If you have received an award under De minimis for the same period, this will be added to your total allowance under SDR. This means that the total award must not exceed approximately £335,000 (325,000 SDR) for any one organisation. You must declare this allowance to any other funding body who requests it.

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

Further information

Further information about the UK Subsidy Control requirements can be found within the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation agreement and the subsequent BEIS guidance. Or you can see our general guidance on Special Drawing Rights and EU de minimis awards.

If you are unsure about your obligations under the UK Subsidy Control regime or the De minimis rules, you should take independent legal advice. We cannot advise on individual eligibility or your legal obligations.

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.


Innovate UK has allocated £180,000 to this Expression of Interest (EoI) stage of the competition to fund data gathering projects, that will support a full stage application. We expect to take up to 12 projects to full stage.

You can apply for £15,000 grant at this EoI stage to complete background data gathering and relationship building necessary to create an application for the full stage competition.

If your application is not requesting funding, you must still complete the EoI stage application with the information requested.

Up to £13.6 million has been allocated to fund projects at the Full Stage of the competition.

For your full stage project, your total eligible project costs must be more than £5 million. There is no upper limit to your full stage total eligible project costs.

You must be eligible to claim grant funding of between £2.5 to £3.5 million against your total eligible project costs.

The total grant for the full stage project must be less than 50% of your total eligible project costs.

At the full stage, we may consider the purchase of capital equipment as an eligible project cost in large-scale commercial demonstration projects.

This capital purchase would be allowed only if they enable more energy efficient processing or more efficient recycling or re-use activities. You should get in touch with the Challenge team for clarity on the eligibility of your proposed capital costs.

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 European Commission De minimis.

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

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