Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, Wave 3 Challenges announced

Posted on: 26/07/2019

The government has announced a series of investments in the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund

The Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) is part of government’s Industrial Strategy, the long-term plan to raise productivity and earning power in the UK.  ISCF is a core pillar in the government’s commitment to increase funding in research and development by £4.7bn over four years to strengthen UK science and business.

The investments detailed below are all connected to some of the biggest industrial and societal challenges facing the UK today.  They will allow the UK’s the world-leading research base and highly-innovative businesses to help address wide-ranging problems in areas such as health, cyber-security and pollution.

Sue Dunkerton, Interim CEO, Knowledge Transfer Network said: “There is significant investment into the ISCF Challenges from government and industry. It represents a huge opportunity for UK businesses in a multitude of sectors to get involved and bid into the Challenges.

“KTN is working with UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) on the seven confirmed Challenges in Wave 3 and we are bringing our cross-sectoral expertise and industry contacts to bear to ensure as many UK organisations as possible are aware of the considerable opportunities afforded by ISCF.”


Details of the next wave of challenges confirmed are:

Manufacturing Made Smarter РUK manufacturers wanting to adopt the latest digital technologies will be able to bid for a new £30m R&D competition. KTN is running a briefing event and webinar  in London on 30 July and to find out more, click here.  Places are extremely popular so if you are unable to register for the event, there is the option to register for the webinar.


Driving the Electric Revolution – This is an £80m investment to help develop the next generation of electric vehicles, investment which could also help develop new hybrid aircraft.  It will help ensure the UK is able to supply products both in the UK and abroad, to help cut carbon emissions from a range of industries including transport, energy, agriculture and construction.  KTN is running a series of briefing event starting in London on 30 July.  To find out more, click here.


Commercialising Quantum Technologies РThe confirmation of the £153m funding boost through ISCF has helped reach an investment milestone of £1bn making the UK a frontrunner in quantum technologies. The ISCF funding has been more than matched by industry, with over £200m of investment expected from the private sector.  KTN is running a briefing event  in London on 2 September and to find out more, click here.


Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging РBusinesses are expected to jointly invest up to £149m, alongside a £60m government investment, to help fight the global battle against single use plastics.  Funding could be used to find ways to cut waste in the supply chain, develop new business models and create new sustainable recyclable materials.


Digital Security by Design РWith cyber threats constantly evolving, the best defence in the future is seen as developing innovative solutions that can work independently and protect against threats even during attacks. Up to £117m expected private industry investment will be combined with £70m government investment through ISCF to develop new technologies. These will range from a new and secure hardware prototype that can cope with cyber-attacks, to software protected from new vulnerabilities appearing online – each to ensure that every UK organisation and consumer online is as secure and resilient to cyber threats as possible.


Accelerating Detection of Disease РBusinesses and charities are expected to jointly invest up to £160m, alongside a £79m government investment, as part of the Accelerating Detection of Disease programme. The project will support research, early diagnosis, prevention and treatment for diseases including cancer, dementia and heart disease.


Industrial Decarbonisation Р£170m will be invested and will help work towards deploying technologies like carbon capture and hydrogen networks in industrial clusters to support our mission to establish the world’s first net zero industrial cluster by 2040.


Of the Challenges announced, several have live competitions and KTN briefing events will allow interested organisations to understand more about the scope, timescales and application processes.  Other Challenges will launch competitions over the coming months and the KTN website is an ideal place to get updates and the latest information.

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