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Resource efficiency for materials and manufacturing: CR&D

Fund Name

Resource efficiency for materials and manufacturing: CR&D

Project Length

12-18 months

Project Value

£100k - £1m



The aim of this competition is to fund ambitious collaborative research and development (CR&D) projects, to support UK materials and manufacturing organisations to become significantly more resource efficient. Simultaneous demonstrations of how UK materials and manufacturing will become more resilient or technologically advanced are encouraged.

Check Your Eligibility

Fund details

Your proposal must improve resource efficiency and reduce carbon emissions.

You must focus on two or more of these five core areas:

  • materials for the future economy: new material applications for cutting-edge products that reduce emissions, energy consumption and costs
  • smart design: effective design methods, design for resource efficiency, and design for maximum through-life value
  • resilient supply chains: sustainable feedstocks, supply chain visibility, and co-location of waste and emission streams
  • world-class production: flexible production capacity, minimal material waste, high-quality products, high productivity, and full adaptivity
  • longer in use and reuse: minimising materials use and waste, practising complete traceability, and using new remanufacturing services

Enabling areas must not be the main focus of your project. These include:

  • clean energy
  • regulations and policy
  • skills
  • relations
  • value models

Innovate UK will not fund:

  • an incremental improvement in resource efficiency or reduction of carbon emissions
  • a bio-manufacture or biotechnology process
  • the circularity of rare earth elements
  • a carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology
  • technologies to directly reduce industrial energy consumption


Your project must:

  • have total costs between £100,000 and £1 million
  • start by 1 October 2023
  • end by 31 March 2025
  • last between 12 and 18 months
  • be collaborative
  • carry out all of its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK

To lead a project your organisation must:

  • be a UK-registered business of any size
  • be a UK-registered research and technology organisation (RTO)
  • collaborate with other UK-registered organisations
  • be or involve at least one grant claiming micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME)

To collaborate with the lead, your organisation must be one of the following UK registered:

  • business of any size
  • academic institution
  • charity
  • not for profit
  • public sector organisation
  • research and technology organisation (RTO)


Your project can include partners that do not receive any of this competition’s funding, for example, non-UK businesses. Their costs will count towards the total project costs.


Subcontractors are allowed in this competition and are limited to no more than 20% of the project’s total eligible costs.

Subcontractors can be from anywhere in the UK and you must select them through your usual procurement process.

You can use subcontractors from overseas but must make the case in your application as to why you could not use suppliers from the UK.


Up to £12 million has been allocated to fund innovation projects in this competition. Funding will be in the form of a grant.

If your organisation’s work on the project is commercial or economic, your funding request must not exceed the limits below. These limits apply even if your organisation normally acts non-economically but for this project will be undertaking the commercial or economic activity.

For industrial research projects, you could get funding for your eligible project costs of:

  • up to 70% if you are a micro or small organisation
  • up to 60% if you are a medium-sized organisation
  • up to 50% if you are a large organisation

For experimental development projects which are nearer to market, you could get funding for your eligible project costs of:

  • up to 45% if you are a micro or small organisation
  • up to 35% if you are a medium-sized organisation
  • up to 25% if you are a large organisation

Talk to us today if you would like to apply for this opportunity.

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