Circular Critical Materials Supply Chains (CLIMATES) - Investment Readiness Programme 2024

Apply now to be part of the CLIMATES Investment Readiness Programme for 2024. Innovate UK Business Connect are delighted to open our 2024 programme for up to 15 SMEs in the Critical Materials space who are seeking to accelerate their investment raise!

Event Details


09.00 - 17.00 GMT


Online and in-person

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A wide range of critical minerals are required for the technologies and innovation needed to decarbonise the transport, energy and industrial sectors and achieve the UK’s Net Zero ambitions. For example, high performance magnets made from rare earth elements are key for electric vehicle motors and offshore wind turbines. These minerals and others have been identified as having high criticality for the UK in the recent UK Government report Resilience for the Future: The United Kingdom’s Critical Minerals Strategy report.

Rare earth elements underpin so much of what makes everyday life and work possible, from the cars we drive to the phones we use. It is essential that, in a rapidly changing world, we do all we can to ensure resilient supplies of these and other critical minerals.

Nusrat Ghani, Minister of State at the Department for Business and Trade

The programme will support you to hone your pitch to investors, get a better understanding of the funding landscape, prepare your investment materials and be more confident in delivering a compelling commercial story. The programme will be led by Innovate UK Business Connect with support from the Innovate UK CLIMATES team as well as expert coaching delivered by Mountside Ventures and Stronger Stories. The programme will provide regular touch points with investors to help you navigate the fundraising process, make new connections and kick start your investment journey.

We focus on developing and championing diversity of talent which we know will create a more resilient supply chain for the UK. We strongly encourage applications from under-represented groups and female applicants.

Selected SMEs will join a 12-week programme of workshops led by Innovate UK Business Connect and supported by experts and investors including one to one mentoring sessions. At the end of the programme, you’ll have developed an investor pitch, finished your proposition and you’ll have a defendable understanding of your IP, finances and future plans. The programme will culminate in a live showcase event where the cohort will pitch to an audience of investors interested in the critical materials sector.


  • UK based SMEs.
  • Organisations active in rare earth metals for transport and energy. (Including materials development and provenance solutions, mid- and down-stream processing, magnet manufacturing, design for recycling, automated disassembly technologies and other enabling technologies.
  • Organisations active in other value chains highlighted in the UK critical materials strategy.
  • The programme is open to new participants only. If you have participated in any previous Innovate UK Investment Readiness Programme then you will not be eligible to re-apply.

Proposed timetable

  • Deadline for applications: 5pm, 22nd August 2024
  • Applicants notified: 6th September 2024
  • Cohort “get to know you”: 17th September 2024 (virtual)
  • Workshop on narrative and storytelling: 19th September 2024
  • 3 x Fundraising Workshop 1: Sept – Nov 2024
    (These dates are subject to change and will be confirmed to successful applications.)
  • Pitch practice session: 5th November 2024 (in-person)
  • Panel to select companies to pitch at Showcase: 21st November 2024 (virtual)
  • Showcase of selected companies to UK investors: 10th December 2024 (in-person, London)

Mentoring support will be available throughout the programme.

Please review a copy of the T&Cs here. Successful applications will be required to sign and adhere to these.

Related programme

Circular Critical Materials Supply Chains

Circular Critical Materials Supply Chains

This £15 million programme will support the development of resilient UK based supply chains for rare earth elements, with a focus on primary (mine to magnet) and secondary (End of Life to magnet) supply chains.


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