£20m Innovate UK Transformative Technologies fund now open

Posted on: 20/02/2023

The new Innovate UK Transformative Technologies competition opened on 20th February and will be welcoming applications until 29th March. 

There is up to £20m of rapid funding specifically targeted at small and micro businesses in the UK that have never been funded by Innovate UK. The focus is technologies that are transforming the future of our society and economy and much of the funding will be awarded in advance of projects starting.

Key headlines

  • This is for businesses never funded by Innovate UK before
  • Awards are £25-50k
  • Rapid 100% funding – 70% will be awarded up front
  • Six technology sectors are in scope – details below


Working with business, Innovate UK has identified huge opportunities for companies in Semiconductors, Future Telecoms, Artificial Intelligence, Engineering Biology, Quantum and Sustainable Manufacturing to lead the charge in UK becoming an Innovation Nation.

This new Innovate UK transformative technologies competition will mean that small and micro companies throughout the UK can accelerate the development of the products, services and systems that will underpin our future economy. It is ambitious, rapid support with funding awarded in advance of projects starting.

– Mike Biddle, Executive Director, Net Zero, Innovate UK

The scope for each identified industry sector is outlined below.


  • Improvement and scale up for semiconductor manufacture within the UK.
  • Proposals must identify or deliver a clear, game-changing intervention and address an identified industrial requirement or improvement. This must realistically and significantly meet and provide a long-term commitment to supporting the UK semiconductor industry.

Future Telecoms

  • Projects must apply innovation from at least one technology area utilising distributed computing, multi agent systems or the application of AI into networking technologies. Funding in the competition will support new business models and innovation within both wired and wireless communications. Application areas include but are not limited to: neutral host networks, citizen WI-FI, mesh networks, energy efficient networks and Satellite and Non terrestrial networking solutions. We encourage projects to build on or contribute to open standards development and / or the extension of OpenRAN.

Artificial Intelligence Assurance

  • Development of novel solutions and processes to advance trust in the compliance and risk of AI systems. Proposals must deliver a clear, game-changing intervention and focus on one or more of the following: Auditing; Impact assessment or evaluation; Reliability and robustness testing.

Engineering Biology

  • Innovation that harnesses advances in biology, and the engineering of biological systems and organisms, to address challenges and improve productivity in
    • human and animal health, from discovery to manufacture
    • environmental solutions, sustainability and cleaner manufacturing processes
    • food security or biosecurity
  • Develops new tools, products, services or processes that exploit engineering biology techniques
  • Supports skills development in the broader engineering biology ecosystem, in areas such as in precision fermentation and scale-up


  • Quantum technologies including quantum computing (hardware and software) and single photon detection/generation.

Sustainable Materials & Manufacturing

  • To accelerate the development and adoption of resource efficient solutions, with simultaneous demonstration of resilience or technological advancement encouraged. Proposals must focus on two or more of: materials for the future economy; smart design; resilient supply chains; world class production; longer in use and reuse.

Share this article

Related Opportunities

Innovate UK Transformative Technologies

Opens: 20/02/2023 Closes: 29/03/2023

UK registered small and micro businesses who have not been funded by Innovate UK in the past can apply for a share of up to £20 million for affordable, adoptable and investable innovations in transformative technologies.

More Information

Connect with Innovate UK Business Connect

Join Innovate UK Business Connect's mailing list to receive updates on funding opportunities, events and to access Innovate UK Business Connect's deep expertise. Please check your email to confirm your subscription and select your area(s) of interest.