Below James Hughes (Innovation Consultant and Grants Compliance Manager) summarises the recent UKRI budget allocation and Innovate UK support for UK based businesses.
Last week, the government confirmed the budget allocations for UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and set out plans for how the £25bn funding pot will be invested in research and innovation over the next 3 financial years to 2025, to deliver economic, social, environmental and cultural benefits for communities across the UK.
UKRI’s overall budget was originally set as part of the 2021 Spending Review and rises from £7,904m in 2022-23, to £8,874m in 2024-25. This includes funding of nearly £2.5bn for the core budget of Innovate UK, the UK’s national innovation agency that supports business-led innovation in all sectors, technologies and UK regions.
As noted by UKRI’s Chief Executive, Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser, research and innovation are “key in tackling the many challenges we face, from achieving sustainable and affordable energy to improving life-long health and wellbeing” (UKRI press release). Professor Leyser also noted how the budget supports UKRI’s 5-year strategy (which runs from 2022 to 2027).
The total budget includes a £3bn investment in infrastructure funding, including £48m for the Carbon Zero Fund, £129m for the Digital Research Infrastructure Programme and £482m for the Infrastructure Fund. It also includes £2.5bn for existing cross-UKRI strategic programmes previously funded through the National Productivity Investment Fund, including £805m for the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, £430m for the Strategic Priorities Fund and £210m for the Strength in Places Fund. Full details are contained in UKRI’s official budget allocation document.
Confirmation of this budget allocation is one of the final steps in the process. Strategic delivery plans from UKRI’s councils, which includes bodies such as Innovate UK and the various research councils, will be launched this autumn and will be accompanied by a new UKRI corporate plan.
This is an enticing prospect in terms of grant funding for organisations that are actively involved in undertaking research and delivering innovation, who can expect to see many funding competitions – open and thematic – covering a wide variety of sectors and technologies over the next 3 financial years. To find out about the currently available programmes you can check out our website’s UK funding page and contact us to discuss how we can support you in the application process.