ISCF TFI: Large collaborative R&D projects

UK registered businesses can apply for a share of up to £8Mn for research and development projects to improve the productivity and competitiveness of UK foundation industries (cement/paper/glass/ceramics/metals/chemicals). Interested? Feel free to contact us.


Competition closes: 10 March 2021, 11am

Applicants notified: 03 May 2021

Project start date & duration: 01 September 2021, 12 to 24 months


This competition aims to bring foundation industry sector businesses together with their immediate supply chain and equipment providers. Together they will work on common resource and energy efficiency challenges.

It will fund cross-sector and collaborative research and development projects which:

  • further develop technologies to reduce deployment risk and accelerate take-up across industries
  • develop new technologies that, when deployed, would create a step-change in resource or energy efficiency in these industries

Specific Themes

Your project must address one or more of these themes:

  • heat recovery and utilisation
  • sensors, controls and digitalisation
  • waste utilisation and symbiosis
  • other energy or resource efficiency improvements (business model, process, product or supply chain)

Projects that will not be funded

  • do not focus on foundation industries and their immediate supply chains
  • are undertaking feasibility studies or experimental development
  • focus on fuel switching or greenhouse gas capture technology
  • focus solely on skills
  • are capital or infrastructure projects


  • Subsidy Control funding rules apply.
  • Consortia must include 2 businesses of any size from at least 2 foundation industry sectors.
  • R&D work must be carried out in the UK and project results exploited from UK.
  • Subcontractors preferably UK based, with costs justified and appropriate to the eligible project costs. For overseas subcontractors, a case must be made as to why no UK-based subcontractor can be used.

Funding Rates

Total eligible project costs must be between £1Mn and £2Mn (£8M pot).

For Industrial Research (TRL3-5) projects funding is dependent on company size:

  • Micro/small business <70%
  • Medium sized business <60%
  • Large business <50%

Research organisations in your consortium can share up to 30% of the UK total eligible project costs.

Need help?

Please contact us for further information on the funding scheme, to discuss a project or how we can support you with an application.

More details and other funding opportunities from Innovate UK can be viewed here.