New Innovators in Communication Networks 2024

UK registered micro & small businesses can apply for a share of up to £500k to develop innovations within communication networks.

Opportunity Details

When

Registration Opens

01/05/2024

Registration Closes

12/06/2024

Award

Your project’s total costs and grant funding request must be between £25,000 and £50,000. Your total project costs will be 100% funded.

Organisation

Innovate UK

Share this opportunity

Find out more and apply

Innovate UK is offering UK registered micro and small businesses a share of up to £500,000 in grants. In addition to the grant support, you will be offered tailored business support delivered by Innovate UK Business Growth.

The aim of this competition is to provide a package of targeted support to enable ambitious UK registered micro and small businesses to develop affordable, adoptable and investable innovations in the domain of communication networks.

Your innovation must lead to new products, processes or services that are significantly ahead of others currently available, or propose an innovative use of existing products, processes or services. It can also involve a new or innovative business model.

To be eligible as a small/micro company, you must meet at least 2 of the following conditions:

  • annual turnover must be not more than £10.2 million (£632k for micro companies)
  • the balance sheet total must be not more than £5.1 million (£316k for micro)
  • the average number of employees must be not more than 50 (10 for micro)
  • To lead a project your organisation must be a UK registered micro or small business.

    If your business has been funded directly by Innovate UK previously, you are not eligible to apply for this competition. If however you have received funding directly from Innovate UK Business Growth (previously Innovate UK EDGE) or a Catapult scheme, you are still eligible to apply for this competition.

    Businesses with directors who have previously received a grant or Innovation Loan from Innovate UK as part of a different company, are eligible to apply but will be considered on a case by case basis.

    A business with a previous award to a parent or subsidiary would also be eligible to apply, but the parent company must be classified as a micro or small business. Applications will be considered on a case by case basis.

    If you are unsure, contact our customer support team by email at least 10 working days before the submission deadline.

  • Whether a business counts as a micro or small business is determined by turnover, assets and headcount.

    A micro-entity must meet at least 2 of the following conditions:

    • turnover must be not more than £632,000
    • the balance sheet total must be not more than £316,000
    • the average number of employees must be not more than 10

    A small company must meet at least 2 of the following conditions:

    • annual turnover must be not more than £10.2 million
    • the balance sheet total must be not more than £5.1 million
    • the average number of employees must be not more than 50

    Further limits on company type can be found in the government definitions: please check your eligibility before applying.

  • Your project must:

    • have total project costs and grant funding request of between £25,000 and £50,000
    • have total project costs that equal your grant funding request
    • start by 1 October 2024
    • end by 31 March 2025
    • last between three and six months in duration
    • carry out its project work in the UK
    • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK
  • The aim of this competition is to provide a package of targeted support to enable ambitious UK registered micro and small businesses to develop affordable, adoptable and investable innovations in the domain of communication networks.

     

    Your project must provide innovation in how digital communications are facilitated or optimised toward a specific challenge.

     

    In your application, you must demonstrate that you:

     

     

    • have a great idea
    • need public funding
    • have the capability to deliver the project
    • will deliver the project

     

     

    We are particularly interested in how your proposal will help you:

     

     

    • develop both your ambitious idea and your business
    • create a new revenue stream, for example, new products, services or intellectual property (IP)
    • evidence and enable your market, funding and commercialisation plans
    • show what is feasible, in helping you decide whether to pursue your idea further
    • catalyse further innovation on your path to commercial success
    • respond to changing market conditions
  • Your project must focus on one or more of the following:

    • optimisation of networks utilising technology such as artificial intelligence (AI) or data analytics to improve performance, reduce energy
    • software defined networks, for example, moving network functionality to platforms such as the Cloud
    • deployment and use of Open Standards within networks to advance defined use cases.
    • non-terrestrial networking technologies
    • neutral host and or mesh networking technologies
  • A pre-recorded briefing event is available: watch the recording. Briefing slides are available to download from supporting information.

    Your submitted application will be assessed against these criteria: New Innovators in Communications Telecoms – Assessor guidance for applicants.pdf (opens in a new window)

    Innovate UK Business Connect’s Digital team may be able to provide additional advice.

Close

Connect with Innovate UK Business Connect

Join Innovate UK Business Connect's mailing list to receive updates on funding opportunities, events and to access Innovate UK Business Connect's deep expertise. Please check your email to confirm your subscription and select your area(s) of interest.