Global Business Innovation Programme: Germany - Sustainable Material for Construction

This GBIP will help develop collaborations between UK businesses and German partners to take advantage of upcoming R&D funding opportunities.

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Briefings from sector and market experts, help to find business partners, advice on best practice, market visit with pre-arranged meetings and activities, bespoke one-to-one support from an Innovate UK EDGE innovation and growth specialist.


Innovate UK

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Note: This opportunity is fully funded support and not monetary funding.

Up to 15 high-growth innovative businesses take part in each Innovate UK Global Business Innovation Programme (GBIP). They are supported intensively by an innovation and growth specialist whilst exploring and exploiting the collaboration, growth and innovation opportunities that exist in a specific business market around a specific theme, from Agritech to AI. The GBIP provides detailed market knowledge, introductions and cultural insight that SMEs would find difficult to obtain themselves.

Find out how Innovate UK’s GBIP in Sustainable Materials for Construction in Germany can help your business grow.

  • A GBIP has three stages:

    Prepare for the market

    Preparing for the market includes the cohort being briefed by sector and market experts on, for example, cultural aspects of conducting business in that country. Delegates receive help to find business partners and arrange meetings and are advised on best practice including the management and protection of their intellectual property.

    Visiting the market

    Visiting the market provides opportunities to attend pre-arranged meetings and activities in order to better understand and maximise the opportunities that the visit presents.

    Exploiting the opportunity

    Exploiting the opportunity is arguably the most important aspect of the programme. To maximise the opportunity, participating companies are given bespoke one-to-one support from an Innovate UK EDGE innovation and growth specialist to help develop and implement an action plan.

    The Global Business Innovation Programme operates on a competitive basis and businesses selected are required to participate in all three stages (some or all of which may be online).

  • To apply, you must bee a UK registered and trading company with less than 500 employees (in Northern Ireland less than 250 employees, a turnover of less than €50 million or a balance sheet total of less than €43 million).

    To qualify an enterprise cannot have received more than £344,600 (in Northern Ireland €200,000) of subsidy within any three-year period (UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement Article 3.2).

    You must be a going concern and have filed your accounts on time, have no more than 2 County Court Judgements over £10,000, and have no disqualified directors.

  • Why Germany? Germany is ranked consistently in the top 10 most innovative countries in the world, according to the Global Innovation Index, and surpasses EU targets on country R&D spend. It homes a high number of science and technology clusters (three in the top 25 globally), and some of the most innovative regions in Europe. Germany’s High-Tech Strategy and strategies for sustainability, climate change, and energy map well onto the UK’s industrial strategy, particularly in developing a sustainable economy and supporting the energy transition.

    Germany has the largest construction industry in Europe presenting opportunities for innovators with sustainable solutions to test and bring to market. Following recent scoping exercises, there has been found to be significant overlap in activity in this sector from the UK and German markets, with potential for future collaboration to reach sustainable solutions.

    This GBIP will help develop collaborations between UK businesses and German partners to take advantage of upcoming funding opportunities in research and development, as well as other joint initiatives.

    Cologne is also home to The Greener Manufacturing Show Europe which attracts 4,000+ attendees and 130+ speakers. The Innovation Visit will include participation in this important event allowing opportunity to showcase your innovations and meet potential partners.

  • We invite applications from SMEs that focus on delivering solutions for sustainability in construction materials including:

    • Green products for the construction industry including cement & concrete, glass, reinforcement materials and advanced binders and chemicals
    • Sustainable manufacturing methods for the construction industry including design for end of life & disassembly, modular design, design for circular economy
    • Advanced enabling technologies including digital techniques specifically targeted to innovations in construction materials processing
  • View the recording of the applicant briefing event on 27th June 2023 here.

    Closing date for application: 17th July 2023
    Pre-visit briefing workshop: 28th – 29th September 2023
    Market visit:  5th – 10th November 2023
    Post-visit exploitation workshop: 12th January 2024

    Innovate UK have run approximately 40 GBIPs to date in areas such as Agritech (Canada), offshore wind (China), future cities (India), cybersecurity (Israel), advanced materials (South Korea), and AI (USA).

    You can view client success stories here (from the Canada Agri-Tech GBIP) and here (from the Australia Agri-Tech GBIP).

    For more information, please contact Bita Najafi, Innovation & Growth Specialist, Innovate UK EDGE: or 07729 116379.


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