Chancellor announces first round of ISCF funding in Spring Budget

Posted on: 06/04/2017

The Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) announced with funding across three challenges.

In his Budget speech yesterday, Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond announced funding for the first three competitions in the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF).

First announced by the Prime Minister at the 2016 CBI Annual Conference, the ISCF will help identify and develop UK industries that are fit for the future, driving progress in technologies where the UK can build on our existing areas of industrial and research strength.

The new fund will support collaborations between business and the UK’s science base. An initial investment of £270 million in 2017-18 will kick-start the development of disruptive technologies that have the potential to transform the UK economy.

Following engagement with experts in academia and industry, the Budget announces that the first wave of challenges funded from the ISCF will include the following:

  • Leading the world in the development, design and manufacture of batteries that will power the next generation of electric vehicles, helping to tackle air pollution
  • Developing cutting-edge artificial intelligence and robotics systems that will operate in extreme and hazardous environments, including off-shore energy, nuclear energy, space and deep mining
  • Accelerating patient access to new drugs and treatments through developing brand new medicine manufacturing technologies, helping to improve public health


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The following sector interests relate specifically to the challenge areas earmarked for funding in the Spring Budget:

  • Batteries challenge: Transport and Energy
  • Robotics and artificial intelligence challenge: Built Environment, Digital and Creative, Complex Systems
  • Medicines and manufacturing challenge: Health

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