Launchpad Cluster Management: Tees Valley and Liverpool

UK registered organisations can apply for up to £150,000 each for two separate projects to develop and manage the emergent innovation clusters in Tees Valley (Net Zero) and Liverpool (Advanced Manufacturing).

Opportunity Details


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Up to £150,000 for each project: this can cover up to 70% of costs depending on business size.


Innovate UK

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Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, will invest up to £150,000 in each of two innovation projects: one to develop and manage the emergent net zero innovation cluster, centred on Tees Valley, and another to develop and manage the emergent innovation cluster for advanced manufacturing centred on Liverpool City Region.

The funding is expected to support operational costs up to the end of March 2025, to become more impactful as part of Innovate UK’s Launchpad programme.

Beyond April 2025, after the grant support has ended, you are expected to use operational investment from your own means to continue developing the innovation cluster.

This Launchpad pilot competition supports the Government’s goals in the Levelling Up White Paper.

Your project must:

  • have total grant funding request up to £150,000
  • start by 1 May 2023
  • have a grant funded period that ends on 31 March 2025
  • carry out all of its project work in the UK, and have its impact in the cluster in question
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK

To lead a project or work alone your organisation must:

Your project must be impartial and develop a more mature innovation cluster that benefits related organisations locally and UK wide.

The winning project will complement and support the overall Launchpad programme that includes other grant aided innovation projects. You will be expected to share non-commercially sensitive results and good practice, to encourage further innovation activities and investment to benefit your innovation cluster. You will also be expected to enable project cohort meetings with organisations in both your cluster and the other regional innovation clusters.

Your project must demonstrate how it will develop:

  • activities that meet relevant industry needs and generate innovation led economic growth
  • an innovation cluster with greater innovation intensity, innovation maturity, and levels of collaboration, commercialisation, and investment
  • a locally led narrative that provides a clear external profile
  • an integrated community that sustains beyond the grant funded period

Your project must:

  • use expertise relevant to the cluster’s location, specialisms, assets, organisations, and maturity stage
  • gain the support of relevant organisations who will contribute to developing the innovation cluster

For the Tees Valley cluster, it must also build on previous investments into the net zero innovation cluster, including from Innovate UK’s Industrial Decarbonisation Challenge.

Your project can focus on one or more of the following within the innovation cluster:

  • knowledge transfer to encourage the development of innovation and to speed its spread throughout the cluster and supply chains
  • strengthening local institutions and aligning around priority innovation programmes
  • helping to secure private finance for businesses in the innovation cluster, including leverage for public investments
  • supply chain development, including the capacity to absorb knowledge and innovation, and equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI)
  • producing case studies and promotional campaigns
  • integrating the activities of other relevant organisations
  • attracting people, businesses and investment into the innovation cluster

An online applicant briefing will be held at 2pm on Friday 7th October.


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