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 .
Transforming Foundation Industries challenge
Foundation Industries produce 75% of all the material on the planet and are vital for the UK’s manufacturing and construction sectors. Combined, they are worth about £52 billion to the UK economy and they all have common challenges.
Accelerating Detection of Disease
This challenge represents a pioneering programme to recruit 5 million volunteers into a research study that aims to invent new ways to detect and prevent the development of diseases.
Commercialising quantum technologies
Quantum technologies have the potential to revolutionise UK industries, from automotive to defence and healthcare. This challenge will take quantum technologies from the lab to commercialisation, creating the products of the future.
Creative industries clusters
An overview of the government’s programme to grow the creative economy by supporting clusters of creative research and development across the UK opening up exciting ways to create, distribute, and participate in new products and experiences.
Driving the electric revolution
This challenge will allow the UK to seize the economic opportunities from the global transition to clean technologies and electrification.
Faraday battery challenge
The Faraday battery challenge will help to lower carbon and tackle air pollution by improving batteries. It will develop high-performance batteries for electric vehicles and other applications that are more cost-effective, durable, safer, of lower weight and also recyclable.
From data to early diagnosis and precision medicine
This challenge will create new products and services using the wealth of health data we have in the UK. It will enable clinicians to diagnose individual patients earlier and then choose the best course of treatment to improve their quality of life.
The Future Flight Challenge will enable the UK to build, use and export new, greener ways of flying through advances in electric and autonomous flight technology.
The healthy ageing challenge asks industry and researchers to develop products and services to help people remain independent, productive, active and socially connected for longer.
To help individual patients get the right drugs and treatments for them at the right time and speed up access to new medicines, this challenge will develop first-of-a-kind technologies for manufacturing, as well as new digital products.
This challenge will develop a new approach to delivering low-cost nuclear electricity. It will design a UK-based, standardised, compact, repeatable, nuclear power station ‘product’ based around a Small Modular Reactor (SMR) using modern volume manufacturing methodologies. This approach will enable these new SMRs to be deployed in the UK before 2030.
Manufacturing Made Smarter challenge
The Manufacturing Made Smarter challenge programme will create a connected ecosystem harnessing the power of the UK's leading companies large and small, large technology developers and new start-ups and spinouts, and our world-leading research institutions, increasing the number of collaborations up the value chain.
National Satellite Test Facility
An overview of the government’s investment to establish satellite test facilities in the UK and ensure it remains a world leader in space technologies.
Next generation services
An overview of government’s challenge to industry and research to help the service industry take advantage of new technologies.
Prospering from the energy revolution
Smart energy systems can intelligently link energy supply, storage and use, and power heating and transport in ways that dramatically improve efficiency. It’s a huge market opportunity, with $2 trillion a year estimated to be invested in global energy infrastructure.
Robots for a safer world
This challenge will develop artificial intelligence and robotics systems for extreme working environments, such as deep mining, nuclear energy, space and off-shore energy. It will support safer work for people and improve productivity.
An overview of government’s challenge to industry and research to develop AI and control systems that put the UK at the forefront of the driverless cars revolution.
An overview of the government’s challenge to industry and research to transform construction to make buildings more affordable, efficient, safer and healthier.