£20m competition targets UK semiconductors, AI, quantum

£20m competition targets UK semiconductors, AI, quantum

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

InnovateUK has opened a £20m fund to boost the development of semiconductor, AI and quantum technologies from small and micro companies.

The ‘transformative technologies’ competition runs until 29th March and has identified semiconductors, future telecoms including OpenRAN, artificial intelligence, engineering biology, quantum and sustainable manufacturing and funding is available before a project starts. However the fund is likely to be spread thin across all these areas which all take significant investment.

For semiconductors projects will aim to improve and scale up technologies for semiconductor manufacture within the UK. Projects must apply innovation from at least one technology area using distributed computing, multi agent systems or the application of AI into networking technologies. Funding in the competition will support new business models and innovation within both wired and wireless communications.

Application areas include but are not limited to: neutral host networks, citizen WiFi mesh networks, energy efficient networks and Satellite and Non terrestrial networking solutions. The competition is encouraging projects to build on or contribute to open standards development and / or the extension of OpenRAN.

Artificial Intelligence Assurance projects will look at ways to advance trust in the compliance and risk of AI systems. Proposals must deliver a clear, game-changing intervention and focus on one or more of the following: Auditing; Impact assessment or evaluation; Reliability and robustness testing.

Quantum projects cover quantum computing hardware and software and single photon detection/generation.

Sustainable Materials & Manufacturing projects need to focus on two or more of: materials for the future economy; smart design; resilient supply chains; world class production as well as designs with a longer lifetime and reuse.

“This new Innovate UK transformative technologies competition will mean that small and micro companies throughout the UK can accelerate the development of the products, services and systems that will underpin our future economy. It is ambitious, rapid support with funding awarded in advance of projects starting,” said Mike Biddle, Executive Director, Net Zero at Innovate UK.

To find out more about the scope of the competition, key dates, to check eligibility and to apply click here.

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