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i-Con Innovation Challenge: solving key challenges for the built environment

The Government has announced a major backing of the construction sector at the heart of its economic recovery.  From 29 June 2020 funding has been made available through the two new sources below. 

Talk to our innovation team to discuss creating a collaborative project and opportunities to use our world-class innovation factory (innovationteam@cs-ic.org).  

The Sustainable Innovation Fund: round 1 (temporary framework)

Innovate UK, as part of UK Research and Innovation, is investing up to £55 million to fund single and collaborative research and development projects as part of the Sustainable Innovation Fund.

The aim of this competition is to help all sectors of the UK rebuild after the effects of COVID-19.

All projects must be led by a business and include at least one SME. Proposals can either be from a single business or a collaboration.

This competition is round 1 of a potential 3.

Round 1 – Temporary framework (this competition)
Round 2 - De Minimis (opening July 2020)
Round 3 - Temporary Framework (opening September 2020)
This competition closes at 11am UK time on 29 July 2020

Your project’s total eligible costs must be between £100,000 and £500,000. Each organisation working alone or in a collaboration can claim a maximum of £175,000.

The Sustainable Innovation Fund: SBRI phase 

Innovate UK will fund organisations to develop and demonstrate new products or services. Your solution must help businesses and/or the public sector in the UK recover from the coronavirus (COVID 19) pandemic in a sustainable manner, demonstrating the impact and potential of a clean growth led recovery and transition to net zero.

The overall programme will be delivered in 2 phases. This is phase 1 and will focus on exploring the feasibility of proposals. Phase 2 will concentrate on continued research, development and testing. A decision to proceed with phase 2 will depend on the outcomes from phase 1. Only successful applicants from phase 1 will be able to apply to take part in phase 2.

This is a Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) competition. SBRI programmes fund organisations to conduct challenge-based research and development (R&D) to develop products or services that address a specific unmet public sector need. The intellectual property (IP) for these products and services remains with the applicant and therefore can be commercialised across the UK and internationally.

This competition closes at 11 am UK time on Wednesday 5 August .

Projects in this phase are expected to range in size up to total costs of £60,000, including VAT.

There are a number of other sources of funding available to business in the construction sector.  Here are some useful links: 
UK Government Future Fund
Scottish Enterprise Covid-19 Innovation Funding  


Closed since 31 March 2021

Organised by


Participants 102
Meetings 20


Australia 1
Germany 1
India 1
Ireland 2
Italy 1
Spain 1
United Kingdom 103
Total 110


Local Authority 2
Lead Contractor 3
Subcontractor 3
Professional Services e.g. engineers, surveyors, consultants 17
Product/Systems Supplier 28
Service Provider e.g. digital 26
Knowledge/Expertise 1
Skills and Training Provider 2
University/College 17
R&D Institution 4
Other 7
Total 110