28.06.24 Funding Preparation

Innovation across borders: Bilateral funding

As countries strive to tackle pressing global challenges and compete for investment in breakthrough innovations, cross-border R&D collaboration is viewed as essential to developing and implementing viable solutions. Funding is often required to catalyse the international cooperation required to fuel these groundbreaking initiatives, which has led to an increasing number of bilateral funding competitions, including several attractive UK funds.

What is bilateral funding?

Bilateral funding refers to financial support provided by two countries to address shared objectives. Unlike unilateral funding, which operates within a single nation, bilateral funding actively encourages cross-border partnerships, reducing the perceived risk typically associated with them. These collaborations are designed to foster knowledge exchange, driving technological advancements and economic growth.

Why does it matter?

  1. Accelerates innovation: Bilateral funding unlocks R&D potential by combining diverse expertise, resources and perspectives. When researchers, entrepreneurs, and institutions collaborate across borders, breakthroughs often happen faster.
  2. Drives economic competitiveness: By pooling resources, countries enhance their competitive edge, stimulating growth and enabling them to compete more effectively with better-capitalised competitors. Joint research projects lead to new products, services, and industries, driving economic prosperity.
  3. Addresses global challenges: Bilateral funding enables joint efforts to find sustainable solutions to some of the most pressing global issues, including climate change, healthcare for ageing populations and cybersecurity.

Young innovators

Live bilateral funding opportunities

Since Brexit, the UK has launched an increasing number of bilateral funding competitions, creating an abundance of new opportunities for UK innovators to capitalise on. In addition to reducing the risk inherent in establishing new international relationships, these funds also provide applicants with the opportunity to rapidly enter new markets and accelerate the development of new products or services.

However, to fully capitalise on these bilateral funding opportunities, applicants need to be alert to when the specific funding rounds will launch, as they will need sufficient time to evaluate and build suitable business relationships. Bi-lateral funds are also typically associated with more elaborate eligibility and application criteria, requiring careful analysis of funding agency requirements and the potential ROI of an application.

Current live opportunities include:

UK-Taiwan CRD 2024

Innovate UK and Taiwan’s DoIT offer £5 million to fund collaborative industrial research projects between UK and Taiwanese businesses. Applicants are particularly welcome from the following sectors:

  • smart technology
  • green energy technology
  • smart manufacturing
  • biotechnology
  • service innovation, for example, Big Data, 5G

Deadline 17th July | Up to £900k for project costs

UK-Singapore Collaborative R&D 2024

Innovate UK will invest up to £5 million in innovation projects in partnership with Enterprise Singapore. This competition has an open scope.

Deadline 28th August | Up to £750k for project costs

UK-Canada sustainable critical minerals research partnerships

Apply for funding to collaborate with a Canadian research partner to develop partnerships to address key critical minerals research priorities around optimising efficiency and minimising environmental impact across critical minerals value chains.

This funding is from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Alliance Missions grants in critical minerals.

Deadline 3rd October | £240k for project costs

Canada-UK: Biomanufacturing of Biologics and Advanced Therapies Round 2

UK-registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £3 million for collaboration with Canadian SMEs on joint R&D projects, for enabling technologies and innovations in the biomanufacturing of biologics and advanced therapies.

Deadline 16th October | £600k projects costs

Eureka collaborative R&D: UK – Israel Round 3

Innovate UK will invest up to £1 million to fund collaborative research and development (CR&D) projects focused on industrial research with the Israel Innovation Authority. The UK and Israel are jointly funding this competition under the EUREKA framework.

Deadline 30th October | £300k project costs


At Granted, we believe the best approach to non-dilutive funding is a long-term strategic approach. Want to benefit from industry-leading expertise, funding opportunities, grant application support and expert project-to-fund matching? Contact us today.


Stay in the loop

Subscribe to our regular emails and be the first to receive the latest and greatest in grant funding opportunities, news, insights and resources.