The fund could be used for a wide range of initiatives that might include, for example, developing new technologies to make homes and offices more energy efficient, creating ground-breaking medical technologies to treat infections and diseases, or reducing the carbon footprint of public transport in our towns and cities.
In a move to support people across the country to establish more ‘climate-positive’ behaviours, businesses and start-ups could also make use of the fund to develop smart sustainability-focused projects – from apps encouraging people to cut down their food waste to sustainable biodegradable packaging.
In addition to helping UK businesses recover from the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic, it is also hoped that The Sustainable Innovation Fund will help the UK meet its ambitions to cut carbon emissions to net zero by 2050.
Roger Wareham, a partner at Saffery Champness, commented: “We will be working with our clients to support them in their climate-positive innovations and projects. As business advisers, one of our roles is to support clients by directing them to support measures such as the Sustainable Innovation Fund, assisting with access to research and development tax credits, and generally ensuring they can maximise the benefits available to aid their growth on emerging from lockdown.”
Applications for grants are via the Innovate UK website. Round 1 of the funding will see the government investing up to £55 million with the maximum grant for any one organisation capped at £175,000.
The closing date for applications is 29 July 2020.
This funding is part of a wider £750 million package of grants and loans announced back in April 2020 to support innovative firms and is designed to sit alongside the £500 million Future Fund, which was launched on 20 May.