What is the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund

The Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) is our flagship challenge-led innovation programme. Around £2.6 billion of public money and £3 billion in matched funding from the private sector have been invested in projects that bring together researchers and businesses to tackle the big societal and industrial challenges of today.

You can win support for a range of projects across 23 different challenges, from small feasibility studies through to large collaborative research and development projects and major new research and development facilities.

All the challenges fall under the four themes of the government’s industrial strategy:

What it has achieved

The Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund has invested billions of pounds across the challenges and has achieved notable successes including:

  • investment in the Vaccines Manufacturing Innovation Centre that will deliver 70 million pandemic doses in 2021
  • supporting new offsite techniques for the construction of homes through the Advanced Industrialised Methods for the Construction of Homes project
  • supporting development of smart vehicle technology by successful start-up Arrival that is being trialled in UPS vans
  • investment in nine creative industry research and development clusters across the UK, including Creative Informatics in Edinburgh, Clwstwr media production centre in Cardiff, Future Screens NI in Northern Ireland, and Future Fashion Factory in Leeds and London
  • establishing the Faraday Institution for battery research and the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre
  • investment in whole genome sequencing of 500,000 UK Biobank volunteers to improve understanding of disease
  • establishing three advanced therapy treatment centres to speed up the delivery to patients of the next generation of medicines
  • establishing a national satellite test facility at Harwell
  • investment in local energy demonstrators in Oxford, Orkney, West Sussex and Oxfordshire to show how smart systems can deliver power, heat and mobility
  • investment in the Construction Innovation Hub, which aims to transform the industry.

How to apply for funding

You can apply for funding if you are a research organisation, a business of any size, or a charity. Some of the challenges have already allocated their investments, but many are planning new opportunities.

Search the Funding finder for Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund opportunities. You can also use some of the facilities set up by the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund or work with funded projects.

Last updated: 3 May 2022

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