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Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund

The government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund brings together leading research and business to tackle the big societal and industrial challenges today.


What is the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund?

The Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund is part of government’s Industrial Strategy, the long-term plan to raise productivity and earning power in the UK.

The fund is a core pillar in the government’s commitment to increase funding in research and development by £4.7 billion over 4 years to strengthen UK science and business.

It will invest in the world-leading research base and highly-innovative businesses to address the biggest industrial and societal challenges today.

What are the challenges?

The challenges have been informed by industry and are where:

  • we already have world-leading research and businesses that are ready to innovate
  • the global market is large or fast-growing and sustainable

Challenge areas shortlisted for future support include: accelerating detection of disease, commercialising quantum, digital security by design, driving the electric revolution, future flight, industrial decarbonisation, manufacturing made smarter, sustainable plastic packaging and transforming foundation industries.

There's more on the shortlisted challenges in our blog. Details will be added here as they are confirmed.

Who is involved in the ISCF?

The Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund has supported 1,820 organisations since its inception in late 2016. Through the first two waves of funding £986 million of government investment has been secured by 497 projects, in addition to almost £488 million of underpinning investment.

Funding has been awarded to projects all across the country – from Orkney-based Ferguson Marine that is working on a project to reduce emissions within the maritime industry through the use of hydrogen to Cornwall-based Goonhilly Earth Station, which is working alongside the European Space Agency on developing antennas for use by private space exploration companies for deep-space communications. 

Pioneering research organisations, SMEs, charities and the UK’s biggest businesses are all engaged with the fund from Airbus to the Royal Opera House, Saga Robotics, the University of Oxford and Jaguar Land Rover. See how organisations are already getting involved .