Sustainable Innovation Fund Round 2: an early insight into what to expect

Posted on: 23/07/2020

KTN has asked Innovate UK’s Jonny Voon about the next round of the Sustainable Innovation Fund.


With the Sustainable Innovation Fund Round 1 Temporary Framework competition closing on 29th July and the expected launch of Round 2 de minimis on the 27th July, this doesn’t leave a lot of time for organisations to determine whether to apply for this latest round or to hold on for upcoming Innovate UK competitions.


We ask Jonny Voon, Innovation Lead for Next Generation Services at Innovate UK, what can we expect…


Can any organisation apply for Round 2 of the Sustainable Innovation Fund?

For Round 2 we are only allowing single applications from businesses. That means no more than one partner receiving grant funding on the application, although subcontractors are allowed.

We’ve done this to help simplify eligibility and focus the competition on shorter (3-6 month) projects.


Will there be a difference in the scope of the competition?

No, there won’t be a difference in scope from Round 1. The focus is still economic recovery, growth and opportunity for businesses affected by Covid-19, while understanding the impact of the opportunities on climate change and environmental sustainability.


What will be the maximum amount of funding available per business?

£100,000 is the most that can be claimed per business/application, with the total project size also £100,000.


Will the project be fully funded by Innovate UK?

Yes. De minimis aid provides public funding up to 100% of eligible costs.


Round 1 was under Temporary Framework and Round 2 is under de minimis. What is the difference?

The temporary framework has a higher (€800,000) limit that an organisation can receive public aid against, compared to €100,000 for de minimis. In addition, the de minimis limit is over a 3 financial-year period, while the temporary framework limit expires on the 31st December 2020.

The Undertakings In Difficulty (UID) tests that may have been required with temporary framework are no longer applicable under de minimis aid.


If successful in Round 2, when would I expect to receive the funding?

We would like Round 2 projects to be ready to start by the 1st of November 2020, and we aim to get the first £50,000 advance-on-grant payments out shortly after that.


Is this follow-on funding for the fast start competition held in March?

Not specifically, but those that have received for their fast start projects and wish to take their idea further are encouraged to read the competition brief and apply if suitable.


Do I need to be successful in Round 1 to take part in Round 2?

No, all the rounds are independent of each other (and other Innovate UK competitions).


Details of Round 2 will be posted on the KTN site soon.


Answers to FAQs around Round 1 are available here.

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