• Status: Closed

  • Key features: Innovate UK and the National Council of Science and Technology of Mexico (CONACYT) are to invest up to £9 million in collaborative research and development projects to stimulate innovation across three sectors that underpin future Mexican socio-economic growth

  • Programme: International Programme

  • Award: Up to £9 million

  • Opens: 25 Jun 2015, 00:00

  • Registration closes: 27 Jan 2016, 12:00

  • Closes: 04 Feb 2016, 12:00

  • Support phone number: 0300 321 4357

Mexico-UK Collaborative Industrial R&D Competition

Summary

National Council of Science and Technology of Mexico (CONACYT)***In agreement with our consortium partners CONACYT (Mexico) we are able to extended the deadlines for this competition; this gives you more time to identify consortium partners and complete your application***

Innovate UK and the National Council of Science and Technology of Mexico (CONACYT) are to invest up to £9 million in collaborative research and development projects to stimulate innovation across three sectors that underpin future Mexican socio-economic growth: 

  • agroindustry
  • energy
  • health
This investment from the UK has been made possible through the UK Department of Business, Innovation and Skills-managed Newton Fund: www.newtonfund.ac.uk

 
The aim of the competition is to bring together companies (small-to-medium-sized companies and/or larger, well established businesses), research organisations, academics and other collaborators from Mexico and the UK for the joint R&D of innovative products, processes or services that meet critical challenges existing within these three sectors. The principal market a project must consider is Mexico. 
 
 
Projects must be collaborative, involving both UK and Mexican participants. On the UK side, projects must be business-led, and can involve other non-business partners. 
 
Innovate UK and CONACYT are running parallel application processes under this competition. The UK applicants (that is the UK side of each project collaboration) must apply through Innovate UK; the UK applicant's Mexican partners must apply through CONACYT.
 
For UK participants conducting industrial research, small or micro businesses could receive up to 70% of their eligible project costs, medium-sized businesses 60% and large businesses 50%. 
 
We expect total UK project costs to be between £450,000 and £850,000 (although we will consider projects outside of this range) and projects to last between 12-24 months. 
 
The UK lead partner must submit an application on behalf of all UK participants in a project to Innovate UK. The Mexican partner lead must submit an identical application on behalf of Mexican participants to CONACYT. 
 
This competition opens on 25 June 2015, and the deadline for applications is at noon on 4th February 2016. UK applicants must register one week before the deadline, that is noon on 27th January 2016.

 

Applicant Briefing Recording 

Recordings containing briefing for applicants are now available. The passcode to access this recording Mexico. Applicants are strongly recommended to view these alongside the other competition documentation. Details will be provided on this webpage and @NewtonFund
 

Scoping Webinar Recording

For a thorough explanation of the three scope strands of this call please see the recording of the Newton Mexico Webinar we ran on June 24th 2015 with CONACYT. It will help give context to the call, and also give background to the Newton Fund and the aims for this collaboration with Mexico. The recording can be paused, and fast forwarded for ease. Simply click the following hyperlink and use passcode Mexico: Play recording.

Background

Tackling global challenges – such as extreme weather conditions, urbanisation, access to affordable health care, food and energy security and meeting the social and economic needs of a growing and ageing population – requires an integrated research and innovation approach, bringing together stakeholders from different disciplines, sectors and nations in high quality collaborations. 
 
The Newton Fund, which provides the foundation for this collaborative competition between the UK and Mexico, aims to build UK-partner country research and innovation collaborations centred on these shared research and innovation challenges, which have direct relevance to the partner country's social welfare and economic development. The Newton Fund forms part of the UK Government's Official Development Assistance to lower and middle-income countries, to improve their economic development and welfare. 
 
This competition is designed to foster and support the development of collaborative industrial  research and development (R&D) projects that bring together companies, research organisations, academics and other collaborators from Mexico and the UK for the joint development of innovative products, processes or services that meet particular challenges that Mexico is facing in its growth and development trajectory. 
 
This programme marks the first bilateral engagement between the public agencies responsible for driving forward business-led innovation in Mexico and the UK: the National Science and Technology Council or Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Technologia of Mexico (CONACYT), and Innovate UK in the UK.
 
Innovate UK invests in sectors and technologies where we believe there is a global market opportunity for UK business innovation. Mexico presents a strong case for partnership and UK business engagement. Mexico was the fifteenth largest global economy in GDP terms in 2014 ($1.2 billion). The UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) department has four offices and more than 30 staff in Mexico, and is working closely with the Mexican government to double the UK's bilateral trade to £4.2 billion by 2015. 
 

Scope

The scope for this competition has been kept intentionally broad to enable Innovate UK and CONACYT to understand where the interest in bilateral engagement on business-led innovation and commercialisation of research lies.
 
The competition will support businesses and researchers that can deliver innovative solutions to critical challenges that Mexico faces in the following three sectors:
 
  • agroindustry
  • energy
  • health
 
Funding will be made available for collaborative research and development projects that will result in products, processes and services that provide solutions to key challenges existing within these three sectors. Projects should not only demonstrate high industrial relevance and commercial potential, but also demonstrate that they will have a positive impact upon the economic development and social welfare of Mexico, beyond primary commercial interests.
 
Such challenges might relate to, for example:
 
  • access to clean energy
  • improving security of energy supply
  • carbon abatement
  • tackling emerging diseases of national relevance
  • food security and nutritional challenges
  • downstream food processing 
 
These are only indicative examples, we will consider projects in other areas.
 
We expect applicants to clearly detail what challenge they are tackling through the collaborative project, and why it is of particular importance to Mexico.
 

Applicant Briefing Recording 

Recordings containing briefing for applicants are now available. The passcode to access this recording Mexico. Applicants are strongly recommended to view these alongside the other competition documentation. Details will be provided on this webpage and @NewtonFund

Scoping Webinar Recording 

For a thorough explanation of the three scope strands of this call please see the recording of the Newton Mexico Webinar we ran on June 24th 2015 with CONACYT. It will help give context to the call, and also give background to the Newton Fund and the aims for this collaboration with Mexico. The recording can be paused, and fast forwarded for ease. Simply click the following hyperlink and use passcode Mexico: Play recording.
 

Funding allocation and project details

There is up to £4.5 million to fund the UK participation in collaborative R&D projects in this competition. The £4.5 million UK Newton Fund will be allocated to the UK project participants with CONACYT allocating the equivalent to fund Mexican participants.
 
The percentage of project costs that we pay varies, depending on the type of research being carried out and the size and type of organisation involved. This competition is primarily focused on industrial research projects. Under this competition, small or micro businesses are eligible to receive up to 70% of their project costs as grant, medium-sized businesses 60%, and large businesses 50%. For further information see: https://interact.innovateuk.org/funding-rules. 
 
On the UK side, projects must be business-led and must be collaborative with a Mexican partner. Other non-business UK partners including research organisations may participate as additional partners. The total of all research partner costs on the UK side cannot exceed 30% of the overall UK partner project costs. 
 
We expect total UK project costs to range from £450,000 to £850,000, although projects outside of that range will be considered. Projects should last 12-24 months.
 
We are targeting industrial research through this competition, but will consider applications that have work packages related to experimental development, as part of an overall of focus on industrial research. For a definition of industrial research and what it covers, please see: https://interact.innovateuk.org/-/funding-rules.
 
To find out if your business fits the EU definition of an SME, see: http://ec.europa.eu/growth/smes/business-friendly-environment/sme-definition/index_en.htm
 

Finding partners

As an interested UK applicant you may need to find either a Mexican and/or UK partner. As of Friday 10th July 2015 we have launched our Meeting Mojo tool to allow you to do this.
 
Meeting Mojo allows all interested applicants to add a profile and then also search for partners in a database specific to this UK-Mexico Call. When you find one, please then message them via Meeting Mojo to discuss and determine whether you are a good match to apply as a project team for grant funding.
 
Please follow the link below and register, giving your full details. NOTE: It will take up to 24 hours to be approved by the site admin before you can then search for partners
 
 

Application process

Recordings containing briefing for applicants are now available. The passcode to access this recording is Mexico. Applicants are strongly recommended to view these alongside the other competition documentation. 
 
This competition will open on 25 June 2015. Applicants must first register via our website. The deadline for registration is at noon on 27th January 2016 while the deadline for applications is at noon on 4th February 2016.
 
Note: all deadlines are at noon.
 

Key Dates

Competition opens 25 June 2015
Deadline for registration (UK applicants need to have registered their intention to submit an application) noon 27 January 2016
Deadline for applications noon 4 February 2016
Results released March 2016

 

More information

For more information and all the documents you need to read before you apply, including the Guidance for Applicants, go to the web page for this competition by using the search function at: https://interact.innovateuk.org/ and watch our applications process video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-rnSpIMiPc)
 
To apply you must first register with us through the competition page on the website. Registration opens when the competition opens and closes a week before the deadline for applications. 
 
Looking for partners to work  on your project?  Go to: _connect (https://connect.innovateuk.org)
 
Get help to understand the future market for your innovation before you apply at: http://horizons.innovateuk.org
  
For more information about the Newton Fund and funding opportunities, visit: www.newtonfund.ac.uk and follow @NewtonFund. 

Help for SMEs to grow faster

Small businesses that combine the funding they receive from us with additional business support are more likely to grow faster. If you are an SME and receive funding through this competition, you will automatically gain access to a growth workshop, an online diagnostic and a growth expert to help you develop a growth plan. This may include coaching, mentoring and entrepreneurial skills training.