The Analysis for Innovators (A4I) programme is different in that it targets competitiveness and productivity head on, by offering cutting edge R&D, expertise and facilities to UK companies that want to solve an analysis or measurement problem from within their existing business. This could be an issue of precision or accuracy of measurement on a production line for example, which you have been unable to solve using standard available technologies and techniques.
Since this is addressing real problems you have with existing processes in your business, we believe it will be of interest to companies that didn’t previously consider applying for R&D funding. Any size business with any type of measurement or analysis problem are able to apply.
Innovate UK have partners on this programme – NPL, STFC, NEL & LGC – who run some of the most advanced cutting-edge facilities, techniques and technologies available in the world, here in the UK.
They will be making their expertise available through initial free technical consultancybrokered to successful applicants to A4I, and then offer financial support to allow industry access to their unique facilities and expertise in optional follow-on R&D projects. Innovate UK expect the programme to particularly appeal to manufacturing companies, especially those involved in complex supply chains, but companies applying may be from any sector.
Analysis for Innovators Brokerage will open in March 2018, but Innovate UK and KTN are running a special series of roadshow events around the UK from mid-February to early March to explain the programme and how it differs from other funding competitions, both in terms of its scope and the online application process and schedule. Note that this process has been revised from that used in the first running of A4I in 2017, and so we encourage you to attend this time, even if you have heard of A4I before.
A4I will be run as a two-stage scheme, and at the first stage, we are not requiring you to describe the project that you want to do; instead you will need to describe the problem: its nature, any techniques you have already tried and the value to your business of solving it. Success at the first stage will enable the brokered consultancy sessions for addressing the problem. These sessions may lead to follow-on projects, and a number of funding options for these will be outlined and available to those wanting to take them up as a second stage.
This very different approach and means that a very different application process is necessary. Come and hear about the £4m competition and a different approach to Innovate UK funding at the A4I Roadshows being held across the UK from mid-February to early March.