Global Business Innovation Programme in India - Urban Systems

Innovate UK seeks ambitious companies in the Urban Systems sector with net zero solutions to join our innovation programme, which includes a market visit to India.

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Innovate UK will fund and organise flights, accommodation, and any conference fees for successful applicants. Innovate UK will also pay for any reasonable adjustments throughout the initiative. One representative from each company will be funded.


Innovate UK

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

The Global Business Innovation Programme – Urban Systems is organised by Innovate UK.

This competitive programme consists of three phases. These include a Get ready workshop, a one-week innovation visit to India, and an Exploitation workshop to help maximise the benefits of the programme. Support from our Innovate UK innovation and growth specialists is provided throughout the programme.

The benefits of being involved with this programme include a better understanding of the innovation opportunities in India and a chance to meet potential collaborators and partners.

Find out how our GBIP in India 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:

    • Be a UK-based innovation- led company with ambitions to grow and internationalise
    • Be a company with fewer than 250 employees
    • Be able to attend and complete all activities
  • India is booming, with a vibrant innovation ecosystem, an ambitious vision, and a need to meet the rapidly growing demands of the population. There is an impressive wealth of home-grown talent who see the scale of the opportunity as a catalyst for disruptive new innovations. In addition, the ongoing need to develop core infrastructure – such as good water and electricity supplies, sanitation, and affordable housing – provides opportunities to tackle issues differently, and to develop solutions that also have widespread social value at their heart, tapping into vast emerging markets.

    There are 28 states in India, each distinct in language, culture, and local governance. To help understand the differences and opportunities better, this programme will include a market visit to cities in two different states – one in the east, and one in the south. Kolkata and Chennai are both metropolitan cities – which bring some similar sustainability and resilience challenges.

    Both are also part of the Government of India’s ‘100 Smart Cities’ mission, which has been established to tackle the challenges and opportunities expected over the next 30 years as some 400 million people move into urban environments across India. The Smart Cities Mission funds cities like Chennai and Kolkata to support and implement innovative projects.

    India is an important market for Innovate UK, with regular ongoing bilateral R&D, incubator, and innovation activities, all part of building a long-term relationship enabling UK businesses to connect with partners and collaborators to help them grow and scale.

  • This initiative is particularly relevant for businesses that focus on delivering Net Zero, including (but not limited to) solutions that address the following types of challenges:

    • Heating and cooling
    • Mobility
    • Energy
    • The circular economy
    • Resource measurement and management (e.g. water, waste, air)
    • Citizen engagement and sustainable behaviour change
    • Resilience to natural shocks
  • Successful applicants can expect to:

    • Explore Urban Systems opportunities in India.
    • Gain a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities when conducting business in India.
    • Identify potential innovation collaborators and partners to develop your network in the UK and globally.
    • Improve your company’s value proposition to international partners and investors.

    Innovate UK will fund and organise flights, accommodation, and any conference fees for successful applicants.
    Innovate UK will also pay for any reasonable adjustments throughout the initiative. Only one representative from each company will be funded. On acceptance, a commitment fee of £1000 (excluding VAT) will be obtained from each delegate, which will be refunded on completion of the full activities and agreed action plan. Non-completion after formal acceptance may result in forfeiting some or all of the commitment fees.

  • Closing date for applications: 17th May 2024
    Get ready workshop: 18th – 19th June 2024
    Innovation visit: 22nd – 26th July 2024
    Exploitation workshop: 8th October 2024


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