• Status: Closed

  • Key features: Investment of up to £2m in feasibility studies to stimulate innovation across four enabling technology areas.

  • Programme: Feasibility studies

  • Award: Up to £2m

  • Opens: 10 Nov 2014, 00:00

  • Registration closes: 14 Jan 2015, 12:00

  • Closes: 21 Jan 2015, 12:00

  • Support phone number: 0300 321 4357

Technology inspired innovation - November 2014 - Electronics, photonics and sensors

Competition results

See here for the competition results.


Innovate UK is to invest up to £2m in feasibility studies to stimulate innovation across four enabling technology areas: advanced materialsbiosciences; electronics, sensors and photonics; and information and communications.      

We are seeking proposals that will kick-start the delivery of genuinely new products and services, with substantial and scalable commercial potential.   

The aim of this competition is to ensure that small and micro businesses in the UK are equipped to respond to market opportunities across a range of economic sectors.   

Projects must be business-led and are open to small or micro companies only, working either singly or in collaboration with one other small or micro company. We expect to fund feasibility studies conducting pre-industrial research, in which a business partner will generally attract up to 70% public funding for their project costs.   

We expect projects to last up to four months and total project costs must not exceed £33k.   

This competition opens on 10 November 2014 and the deadline for applications is at noon on 21 January 2015. A briefing day for potential applicants will be held in London on 25 November 2014.   



Enabling technologies underpin the development of high-value products and services to meet market needs across all economic sectors, generating significant growth in the UK.   

Four areas: advanced materials; biosciences; electronics, sensors and photonics; and information and communications, already contribute more than £500bn in annual turnover to the UK economy.   

Innovation in these areas will keep the UK at the forefront of technological developments and their application. It will also help develop new business models that are scalable and sustainable.   

This competition is especially suited for innovative businesses looking to explore new technological opportunities, expand their business sectors and refresh their R&D strategy. Innovate UK has a wide range of tools and competitions to support such businesses.  

The feasibility studies we support will help businesses to attract further investment for R&D, validation and eventual commercialisation.   



Feasibility studies need to align closely with one or more of the four technology areas below. Projects that can deliver across areas are especially encouraged but applicants should identify a lead area to aid assessment.   

Projects should focus on early-stage technical opportunities as outlined below. They should entail a significant level of technical risk and require companies to carry out most, if not all, research in-house.    

Electronics, sensors and photonics   

We are seeking applications under the following headings:   


  • devices and systems for industrial processing   
  • solid-state lighting  
  • biophotonics, communications or photovoltaics   
  • to improve functionality, performance, size or cost reduction.   

Sensor systems   

  • intelligence and optimised  control, including wireless sensing, networks of sensors and imaging.   

Plastic electronics   

  • materials, devices, equipment, production processes, architectures, test and measurement, systems or modelling tools.   

Electronic systems   

  • design and integration, embedded systems, robotics and autonomous systems, and verification and testing of computing system designs.   

Power electronics   

  • devices and systems for efficiently converting and controlling electricity consumption in electronic systems.   

Looking for partners to work on your project?  

Go to connect: innovateuk.org/connect

Each partner in a project can receive funding towards their project costs – the funding is a percentage of the total eligible project costs and varies, depending on the type of organisation and the type of research. See general guidance on how projects are funded.

Funding allocation and project details

We have allocated up to £2m to fund feasibility studies in this competition.   

Successful applicants can attract grant funding towards their eligible project costs. The percentage of costs that we pay varies, depending on the type of research being carried out.   

Projects must be led by a small or micro company, either singly or in collaboration with one other small or micro company. Projects can attract up to 70% public sector funding, and total project costs must not exceed £33k.   

Projects should last up to four months.   

Companies are welcome to submit applications for multiple projects, but no company will be allowed to participate in more than one project. We reserve the right to apply a portfolio approach across the four technology areas as outlined in the scope, with regards to the final allocation of funds.   

Find out whether your business fits the EU definition of an SME.

Key dates

  • Competition opens: 10 November 2014
  • Briefing event: 25 November 2014
  • Registration deadline: 14 January 2015 noon
  • Deadline for receipt of applications: 21 January 2015 noon


Application process

This competition will open on 10 November 2014. Applicants must first register via our website – the deadline for registration is at noon on 14 January 2015. The deadline for applications is at noon on 21 January 2015.   
A briefing event will be held on 25 November 2014 to highlight the main features of the competition and explain the application process. Applicants are strongly recommended to attend this event.   

More information

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.   


As part of the application process all applicants are asked to submit a public description of the project. This should adequately describe the project but not disclose any information that may impact on intellectual property, is confidential or commercially sensitive. 
The titles of successful projects, names of organisations, amounts awarded and the public description will be published once the decision to offer an award has been communicated to applicants by email.  Information about unsuccessful project applications will remain confidential and will not be made public. 
Innovate UK runs regular Collaboration Nation events which enable companies that have been successful in feasibility studies competitions to showcase the results of their projects to their peers  and others, with a view to finding new  partners to collaborate with and new  sources of funding.  
For more information see the Feasibility Studies page..  
Successful applicants to this competition will be required to present their feasibility studies at a Collaboration Nation event in the autumn of 2015. Further details of the Collaboration Nation event will be announced nearer the time.