Unlocking nature-positive private investment

UK businesses can apply for a share of up to £2m to develop solutions that enable private investors to invest in nature positive projects.

Opportunity Details

When

Registration Opens

12/02/2024

Registration Closes

10/04/2024

Award

Your project’s total grant funding request must be between £250,000 and £500,000. This can cover up to 70% of costs, depending on business size and project type.

Organisation

Innovate UK

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Find out more and apply

Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), will invest up to £2 million in supporting innovation projects. These innovation projects will develop solutions that enable private investors to invest in nature positive projects.

This funding is from Innovate UK and is part of a £7 million Integrating Finance and Biodiversity for a Nature Positive Future (IFB) programme led by Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).

The aim of this competition is to mobilise significant private investment to scale nature positive solutions. The competition will enable the development, acceleration and commercialisation of innovative solutions. These solutions must enable private investors to confidently invest in nature positive projects.

Your project must focus on one or more of the following themes:

  • data, tools, models and metrics, including decision making tools
  • environmental monitoring and verification of investments, over time, cost effectively
  • insurance or insurability of projects
  • solutions that help aggregate projects to attract finance

Your project must address and overcome, previously identified barriers to private investment in nature, including but not limited to:

  • limited sources of revenue from nature to fund investment
  • high-transaction costs and significant disincentives for investment in nature based projects
  • insufficient certainty to price long term risk, due to a lack of standards and accreditation
  • limited project pipeline and scale and an under-developed supply chain
  • To lead a project or work alone your organisation:

    To collaborate with the lead, your organisation must be one of the following UK registered:

    • business of any size
    • academic institution
    • charity
    • not for profit
    • public sector organisation
    • research and technology organisation (RTO)

    All project teams must have as a lead or grant claiming partner, at least one grant claiming micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME).

    A business can only lead on one application but can be included as a collaborator in two further applications.

    If a business or other organisation is not leading any application, it can collaborate in any number of applications.

  • Your project must:

     

    • have a grant funding request of between £250,000 and £500,000
    • last up to 9 months
    • carry out all of its project work in the UK
    • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK
    • start on 1 September 2024
    • end by 30 May 2025
  • The aim of the Integrating Finance and Biodiversity for a Nature Positive Future (IFB) programme, is to understand the complex links between biodiversity, finance and society.

    The IFB programme will explore the gaps and integration between the financial system and biodiversity, with the aim of improving the integration of biodiversity into financial decision-making, frameworks, reporting and planning.

    The aim of this competition is to mobilise significant private investment to scale nature positive solutions. The competition will enable the development, acceleration and commercialisation of innovative solutions. These solutions must enable private investors to confidently invest in nature positive projects.

    Your project must support the scaling of nature positive solutions, by enabling biodiversity-related risks and opportunities to be incorporated into planning, reporting and investment decisions for the finance and business sectors.

    Your project must address and overcome previously identified barriers to private investment in nature, including but not limited to:

    • limited sources of revenue from nature to fund investment
    • high-transaction costs and significant disincentives for investment in nature-based projects
    • insufficient certainty to price long term risk, due to a lack of standards and accreditation
    • limited project pipeline and scale and an under-developed supply chain

    Your project must consider factors that are important in the context of nature and biodiversity, including but not limited to:

    • wider impacts including climate adaptation and resilience
    • impact on people including indigenous communities
    • removing barriers to adoption of solutions including, for example, trust, authenticity and traceability of the data, and lack of data expertise

    Your project must:

    • provide a strong case for why your proposed solution will be in demand from end users
    • demonstrate how the proposed solution would enable end users to invest in nature positive solutions
    • provide a plan for how to engage end users, for example, financial institutions and investors in its development
  • Your project must focus on one or more of the following themes:

    • data, tools, models and metrics, including decision making tools
    • environmental monitoring and verification of investments, over time, cost effectively
    • insurance or insurability of projects
    • solutions that help aggregate projects to attract finance

    Your project can involve at least one end user, for example, a financial institution. They are not required to be a grant claiming participant.

    Projects funded through this competition will be expected to engage with other related initiatives and their partners. See the Further information section for more details.

    Your project can build upon the outcomes of the research projects supported through Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) funded IFB phase 1 activity. This is not compulsory.

    We are not funding projects that directly deliver nature positive solutions.

  • Innovate UK will hold an online briefing at 12 noon on Friday 23 February: click here for the joining link.

    There will be a collaboration event for finding potential partners at Queen Mary University of London, 10am-4pm on Thursday 7 March: click here to register for a place.

    If you would like help to find a project partner, contact Innovate UK KTN’s Investment team or our Sustainability team.

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