Innovate UK (IUK) has launched the Global Cooperation Feasibility Studies Competition to increase the international engagement of innovative UK registered small or medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The aim is to help businesses looking to establish or strengthen international research and innovation partnerships and networks, and aid them to grow and scale up.

The scheme will support SMEs to engage effectively in collaborative feasibility study research across borders. This collaboration is expected to help speed up the commercialisation of innovative ideas in fast-growing global markets.

The purpose of the feasibility studies is not to implement projects. It is to enable businesses to take initial steps in exploring international opportunities to further an innovative idea, through identifying and engaging with overseas businesses, networks and other stakeholders, for example, research organisations, customers and end users.

IUK has allocated up to £1.5 million to fund projects in this competition. Each project’s total eligible costs must be between £15,000 and £30,000. IUK may allow projects with total eligible projects costs above £30,000 but the total grant will be limited to a maximum of £21,000.

Projects can focus on any country outside of the UK. They can focus on more than one country, where reasons can be justified. There can be a link between the studies and market-focused innovation projects with private or public funding. For example, Horizon Europe programmes, focused on funding new solutions to major global challenges.

The competition is open to single applicants and collaborations. To lead a project or work alone, the organisation must be a UK registered micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME). To collaborate with the lead and be eligible to claim grant funding, the organisation must be a UK registered micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME).

The deadline for receipt of applications is 3 September 2021 (11:00 BST). Full details can be found here.