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Innovate UK Delivery Plan 2019-2020

Innovate UK is supporting the government’s Industrial Strategy commitment to increase R&D spending to 2.4% of gross domestic product (GDP) through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund in further partnerships between businesses, researchers and government.

Throughout 2019 and 2020, Innovate UK plan to adopt new investment-focused approaches to financially support universities, the public sector and especially businesses, who account for two-thirds of all UK research and development (R&D).

The Innovate UK plan is framed by five strategic goals:

Deliver measurable economic and societal impact across the UK

Innovate UK will be taking a bold approach to put the UK at the forefront of innovative solutions that address industrial and societal challenges, creating and serving entirely new global markets and servicing existing ones more effectively.

Long term ambitions include:

  • Delivering a continuous evolving programme of challenge-orientated innovation support.
  • Helping businesses to produce solutions that drive economic growth and measurable benefits for society, including environmental and health and wellbeing outcomes.  
  • Work with partners such as the Department for International Trade (DIT) to develop and implement a programme of support for innovative UK companies to go global.

Support and invest in innovative businesses and entrepreneurs with the potential and ambition to grow

Identifying and backing potential high-growth businesses, taking an investment-driven approach to funding innovation, Innovate UK plan to anchor the value of their investment in the UK and enable growth through their networks, with a focus on scaling-up businesses. Successful innovation is about more than great ideas and invention. It is characterised by commercialisation, resulting in economic growth.

Maximise the commercial impact of world-class knowledge developed in UK industries and its research base

Innovate UK work across UK Research & Innovation (UKRI) to enable seamless collaboration between research and industry in order to commercialise the knowledge developed in the UK’s research base. Their programmes will evolve to realise opportunities for joint-working across the research councils and Research England, and to support commercialisation beyond the research base, connecting businesses, providing access to skills and facilities, and encouraging demand for innovative solutions.

A number of IUK programmes work at the interface between university research and business innovation, enabling great ideas to flow both ways:

  • The Catalyst programme offers funding for translational activities to researchers and businesses working in specific sectors or technologies.
  • Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) build partnerships between businesses looking to address specific problems or opportunities and researchers in academia with the skills and expertise to help.
  • Innovation and Knowledge Centres (IKCs) provide a shared space and entrepreneurial environment for academia and businesses to work together on commercialisation.
  • The Innovation and Commercialisation of University Research (ICURe) programme aims to tackle several barriers to the commercialisation of university research, helping determine what the right path to commercialisation is.

Identify, support and grow transforming and emerging industries through innovation

The UK has strengths in major global industries such as automotive, energy and pharmaceuticals. Innovate UK will continue to back innovation at an industry level, providing access to facilities and equipment which individual businesses could not afford, including through the Catapult network, and building a critical mass of skills and expertise to enable commercialisation of innovative ideas.

In line with government priorities and national strengths, Innovate UK work to help key industries to grow or transform through innovation. This includes working with central Government departments to deliver grants for major programmes supporting the aerospace, automotive, life sciences and agri-tech sectors.

Build a coherent, supportive environment incentivising R&D investment and enabling people and businesses to innovate

Innovate UK will provide a strong voice for entrepreneurs, SMEs, and scaling businesses, and will advocate the value of innovation to the UK economy. They will assume a strong role in building the foundations for excellent innovation in the UK, fostering an environment that enables and incentivises R&D investment. Innovate UK will explore how they can develop a broad systems approach allowing innovators to realise their ambitions by developing the people and skills they need, building on local excellence and succeeding on a global stage.

Long term ambitions include:

  • Implementing an innovation talent and skills strategy to enhance the impact of their wider investment in innovation, by helping businesses to understand, access and develop the skills they need to grow through innovation.
  • Foster diversity and inclusion across all our activities, leading to stronger innovation and economic growth.

Innovate UK drives productivity and economic growth by supporting businesses to develop and realise the potential of new ideas. Connecting businesses to the partners, customers and investors that can help them turn ideas into commercially successful products and services and business growth. Funding business and research collaborations to accelerate innovation and drive business investment into R&D. Innovate UK support is available to businesses across all economic sectors, value chains and UK regions.

At Exemplas, we work closely with Innovate UK to deliver funded programmes to support the growth of SMEs and the UK economy. We deliver Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) in the East of England to help scaling SMEs looking to grow and commercialise their innovation. Find out more about other government funded programmes we deliver to drive growth and innovation within the UK’s small businesses.

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