£40m grant funding confirmed for business projects tackling post COVID-19 global impact

Innovate UK has today (Wednesday) confirmed that over 800 companies – nearly twice as many winners as any previous Innovate UK competition – will share grant funding of £40 million – double the amount first planned – to develop new projects and services designed to boost economic recovery from the impact of COVID-19.

Following record-breaking levels of interest from across the UK, those R&D-intensive businesses and technology companies successful in the competition will now drive forward new technological advances in areas including delivery services, food manufacturing, retail and transport, addressing new and unique challenges arising from the COVID-19 impact.

The money is part of the £1.25 billion coronavirus package first announced by the Chancellor Rishi Sunak to help UK businesses driving innovation and development.

Very first payments to companies will be made by the end of this week with more to follow from next week onwards.

More than 8,600 companies applied in April to the special fast-track competition for up to £50,000 each.  This number is more than had applied to Innovate UK competitions across the previous 12 months combined.

The competition’s aim was to support the development of ambitious and innovative products and services which will help society or industry during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

For example, the need to stay at home and to social distance or self-isolate presents new threats to a wide range of businesses and services. These include firms focused on logistics, food manufacturing, entertainment, financial services, healthcare, hospitality, retail, transport and community support.

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