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21 February 2020

View From Dorset Gateway Funding Blog

View From Dorset Gateway Funding Blog


My name is Kevin Brooks and I am the Dorset Gateway's Specialist Bid Writer. Dorset Gateway is the central repository of information, advice and support for businesses within Dorset, offering a business support service, signposting to and assisting with funding opportunities.

Today I will be sharing the latest funding opportunities, focusing on Innovate UK (IUK) funding.

At the time of writing, Innovate UK (IUK) has opportunities on its funding portal totalling circa £142 million. Each opportunity hopes to support multiple research and development projects that meet the grand challenges of the UK’s Industrial Strategy – such as building a vibrant economy on sustainable/net carbon 'clean growth'.


It is also important to say, that each of these opportunities are competitions – so there will always be more losers than winners. The winners, though. They can use IUK funding to change our fragile world for the better and position the UK in global markets as a leading-edge player.

A good example of this, is the competition where the UK and Canada are partnering to seek out sustainable solutions to the problem of turning food production truly green while using innovative solutions to increase productivity.

IUK say:

We want to support a portfolio of projects across the breadth of the agriculture sector, including projects that focus on crop, livestock and aquaculture production systems that:

  • combine digital technologies, artificial intelligence, the application of big data and engineering solutions with biological, environmental or social science to drive productivity
  • develop technologies and solutions that connect farms and supply chains
  • transfer technology from another sector into agriculture, providing this requires innovation

There are also other competitions seeking low carbon solutions for: motors, batteries, power electronics, hybridisation and alternative propulsion systems.

Then there is the Smart, Sustainable Plastic Packaging call, seeking projects aligned to the UK Plastics Pact targets, e.g. that 100% of plastic packaging is reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.

Other competitions such as SMART Grant, funding for quantum, food production (including aquaculture), autonomous systems and railway innovation will also seek greener solutions in an overall framework of economy boosting.

For R&D active and grant-ready SMEs in Dorset, this is an exciting time. Dorset has companies operating in the clean growth sector or with the ability to diversify into it – whether in digital technologies, AI, big data, aquaculture, agritech, food production, aerospace or advanced engineering and manufacturing. Dorset has the potential to become a clean growth powerhouse.

The Dorset LEP’s Gateway services, such as the One Health Accelerator and Bid Writing Support Service, can help grant-ready SMEs apply for IUK funding. Click here to find out more.

Thank you for reading the View From The Gateway Funding Blog. For easy access I have included all IUK grants currently available.

Kevin Brooks, Dorset Gateway's Specialist Bid Writer and One Health Accelerator Project Lead.

Agritech, farming & aquaculture

Advanced engineering & manufacturing

Energy, environment & sustainability

Health, medical sciences, digital & creative:


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