15 July 2021. The aim of the Innovate UK Transforming Foundation Industries (TFI) Challenge is to make the sector more competitive by improving the resource and energy efficiency of the metals, ceramics, glass, chemicals, cement sectors and (of course) paper.

PITA / CPI have scheduled a joint one hour webinar with our colleagues at UKRI to introduce the new Small Scale R&D Competition and explain how Paper Industry companies can bid for funding to undertake projects that contribute to improved efficiency. It will introduce the two streams of funding available and explain the simple application process ahead of the scheme’s official launch next month.

The TFI Small Scale R&D Competition will open on 16th August. Eligible projects must focus on resource or energy efficiency in the foundation industries, and applicants can be from the foundation industries or their immediate supply chains.

The funding is worth up to £1.5m, and can fund projects with total eligible costs of £25 – £250k. This competition aims to encourage companies wishing to undertake smaller projects to apply for Innovate grant funding, perhaps for the first time. There are two competition streams:

Stream 1 (£25k – £75k) | Must be led by a SME, does not have to be collaborative

Stream 2 (£75k – £250k) | Can be led by any sized company, as long as there is a SME partner. It does have to be collaborative

The low minimum size of grant funding for Stream 1 is being offered to attract first-time applicants from smaller companies, and the application process for these funds has been simplified.

Projects do not need to be cross-sector, but should be able to demonstrate that the findings could be adapted to other sectors in the future. Universities and Research & Technology Organisations (RTO) can act as a collaborator and claim up to 30% of the costs, but cannot lead a project.

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