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Infrastructure focus for Innovate UK


The UK’s innovation agency will spend more than a quarter of its budget for this financial year in the infrastructure sector, it has revealed.

Innovate UK said in its annual report that it was restructuring into four work streams, with infrastructure systems receiving a £150M budget.

This gives the sector more cash than each of the other streams – health and life sciences; manufacturing and materials; and emerging and enabling technologies.

The annual report described infrastructure systems as covering “major global market opportunities in optimising transport and energy systems and integrating them with other systems such as health and digital in an urban context”.

Innovate UK said it would run two broad infrastructure systems competitions in the next 12 months to find businesses to support.

Priorities for the body in this sphere include aiding development of:

  • Sustainable energy generation
  • Technology that adds flexibility to energy generation
  • Supply systems for nuclear and offshore renewables
  • Intelligent mobility
  • Smart infrastructure projects
  • Future cities.

Innovate UK chief executive Ruth McKernan said: “We are simplifying our offering – not just fitting our approach better to industry sector groups, but also making our funding programmes clearer and easier to navigate.

“We are introducing a simpler sequence of two broad competitions in each sector per year, plus two open competitions for applications from any sector. We will also run more innovation programmes and competitions in partnership with other government bodies and organisations.”




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