Net Zero Catalyst Fund

Innovation Exchange are looking for SMEs with Net Zero technical innovation challenges, and offering up to £25k funding per challenge partnership.

Opportunity Details


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Opportunity to be a Challenge Holder and host your challenge on the iX platform, with up to £25000 available to fund a project along with your successful challenge applicant.


Innovate UK

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As a key component of the Adopt & Accelerate programme, we are pleased to offer grant funding designed to support the adoption of Net Zero innovations.

The Net Zero Catalyst Fund is an Innovate UK Innovation Exchange (iX) competition which makes available grant funding for a series of Net Zero iX challenges (up to £25,000 per challenge partnership). Please note that, in accordance with the iX process, all funding will be directed to solution providers.

Aim: Create collaborative SME partnerships (challenge owner & solution provider) to accelerate the adoption of net zero innovations within and across sectors.

Opportunity: To be a Challenge Holder and host your challenge on the iX platform.

Specifically, we are looking for SME companies with Net Zero technical innovation challenges. Challenge Holders must be willing to work with new technologies and solution providers from other sectors, to solve their challenge.

As a Challenge Holder, you would host your challenge on the iX portal and allow Innovate UK Business Connect to find potential solutions. Once you have found your chosen solution, you would scope a project with them to test the viability of it. We are offering up to £25,000 in grant funding to a successful consortium.

If you have a challenge you would like to solve, the first step is to get in touch with the Innovate UK Business Connect team at A team member will reach out to requesting additional details about your challenge through our Challenge Holder form.

You will be able to submit your challenge information via our short form by 1pm on the 20th March 2024. The short form consists of five brief questions against the following aspects:

  • Eligibility check: All applicants must be UK based SMEs, project will be administered within Minimum Financial Assistance (MFA) / De minimis rules
  • Title of challenge
  • Details of the challenge: e.g. We need a way of reducing waste water from our production process.
  • What you would do in a project if awarded
  • How it would impact your business

All submitted challenges will then be reviewed. If you meet the key criteria and a good fit with the programme, we will be in touch to discuss further.

Assessment process

Once a Challenge Holder form is submitted, you will enter the iX process. You can find more information on the Challenge applications below:

  • Only applications received in full by 20 March 2024 at 1pm will be considered.
  • All applications will be checked against the eligibility criteria terms and conditions listed above and only eligible applications will be assessed.
  • Assessment of the awards will be completed by a group of staff from Innovate UK Business Connect with experience in Net Zero and relevant sectors.
  • A portfolio-based approach will be taken to determine challenge projects to fund across a range of scope areas/themes, technologies, categories of R&D and market sectors.

Applicants are unable to question or appeal decisions made regarding the challenge selection or funding of individual projects and Innovate UK Business Connect will be unable to give feedback on unsuccessful challenge applications.

Related programmes

Net Zero Adopt and Accelerate

Net Zero Adopt and Accelerate

Innovation is our key to a sustainable future. Fundamental to the UK’s Net Zero ambitions is accelerating the adoption and diffusion of Net Zero innovations in sectors and regions across the UK.

Innovation Exchange

Innovation Exchange

Innovate UK Innovation Exchange is a cross-sector programme supporting innovation transfer by matching industry challenges to innovative companies from other sectors. It does this by putting large businesses with technical needs in contact with companies who have the right innovative solutions, for faster development of novel solutions.


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