It’s great to see the government using the current pandemic to bolster new innovations which would have long-reaching effects beyond the current crisis. We have seen how air quality has improved due to the numbers of cars off the roads but there are challenges on how to get people onto public transport (and planes). It’s unclear whether the numbers of CoVid-19 cases in the wild still represent a danger for people using public transport.
What sorts of ideas would be interesting for this sort of project?
Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, has today (Saturday 27June) launched a new fund to help cutting-edge companies of all sizes recover, grow, and drive a re-building economy.
The £191 million fund will also support new green innovations, unleashing the sustainable industries of the future along the way.
The COVID-19 Sustainable Innovation Fund will target those innovative companies needing to keep their great ideas alive during the current pandemic, in turn contributing to revolutions across whole sectors and transforming the way people live, work and travel.
Businesses could use the investment to develop smart sustainability-based projects, for example technology that supports a reduction in single-use plastics to greener modes of transport, or more energy-efficient office buildings.
Firms are also being encouraged to develop large-scale operations like the next generation of sustainable public transport, helping to reduce air pollution in towns and cities, and building more powerful, efficient and cost-effective wind turbines.
Dr Ian Campbell, Executive Chair, Innovate UK said:
“Many businesses have successfully, and innovatively, responded to the challenges posed by the Coronavirus. Organisations will recover from the pandemic, and as the situation stabilises, we will help businesses build an innovative economy that is viable and resilient. Today we issue the call for more innovators to put forward proposals to help the UK build a sustainable and productive future”.
The Sustainable Innovation Fund aims to help all UK sectors recover, grow and develop new sustainable opportunities in the aftermath of COVID-19, while helping the UK meet its ambitions to cut carbon emissions to net zero by 2050.
The launch of this new fund by Innovate UK adds further detail to the Chancelllor’s initial pledge in April of £1.25 billion government investment to help ambitious, innovative businesses survive and thrive during the current pandemic.
Businesses can find more information on the Sustainable Innovation Fund by visiting Innovate UK’s funding website and searching ‘Sustainable Innovation Fund’, with applications open from Monday 29 June.