In 2018 an exciting competitive call to academia and industry was announced by the UK government. The Industry Strategy Challenge Fund is for innovators in the UK who are researching, designing, and engineering the solutions to the big challenges of the future. This fund consists of around £2.6 billion of public money, matched with £3 billion from the private sector.
There are 23 challenges appealing for entrants, which come under the four themes of the UK government’s current industrial strategy: AI and the data economy, ageing society, clean growth, and the future of mobility. This week, we took a look at funding winners from each of these four subsets.
AI and the data economy
There are five challenges in this category:
- Audience of the future (immersive technology)
- Commercialising quantum technologies
- Creative industries clusters
- Digital security by design
- Next generation services (tech for the service sector)
One striking winner from the “Audience of the Future” challenge is the Royal Shakespeare Company consortium – winners of £16 million. Led by the RSC, the consortium consists of 14 partners including De Montford University, Intel, Marshmellow Laser Feast and Epic Games. This two year project explores the possibility of live performances combined with emerging technology with VR, AR, MR and more.
There are four challenges in this category:
- Acceleration of detection of disease
- Healthy ageing
- Data to early diagnosis and precision medicine
- Leading-edge healthcare
In the data to early diagnosis and precision medicine challenge, Biobank aims to sequence the genes of all 500,000 volunteers. This charity has a long term vision to research why some people develop particular diseases whilst others do not.
There are eight challenges in this category:
- Industrial decarbonisation
- Low-cost nuclear
- Manufacturing made smarter
- Prospering from an energy revolution
- Smart sustainable plastic packaging
- Transforming construction
- Transforming food production
- Transforming foundation industries
Insider London’s cutting-edge partner Entocycle recently won £10M for their new future-of-farming research facility. In great company, the innovative biotech firm sits alongside carbon capture storage projects in Grangemouth, Teeside, the Humber, the North West of England and South Wales, who have all benefitted from the fund.
Future of Mobility
In this final category, there are six challenges:
- Driving the electric revolution
- Future flight
- Faraday battery challenge
- National satellite test facility
- Robots for a safer world
- Self-driving vehicles
One of the most interesting winners in this category is Healthtech star Apian – part of the NHS Clinical Entrepreneur programme. This start-up is focused on creating secure air corridors for electric drones to carry COVID-19 samples, test kits and PPE thereby minimising physical contact, freeing up staff and streamlining transportation. The drones will use satellite-enabled GPS.
Stay ahead of the curve with the latest industry trends and meet the innovators driving the future of business. With our Company Visits, we are proud to partner with exciting winners from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, alongside cutting-edge firms from a wide range of sectors.