The Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) is an integral part of the Government’s Industrial Strategy, which aims to raise UK productivity and economic growth through innovation. ISCF will deliver a major portion of the Government’s commitment to increase R&D funding by £4.7 billion over four years. Overseen by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), ISCF will be managed by Innovate UK and the Research Councils as part of Research & Innovation UKRI.

ISCF adopts a challenge-focused approach and aims to bring together researchers and UK businesses to tackle some of the key issues affecting industry and society including productivity, economic growth and global competitiveness. ISCF funding seeks to build on the UK’s strengths from industry and the research base. By building consortia of multi-disciplinary expertise from academia, industry and other stakeholders it is anticipated that ISCF funding will generate transformative solutions to drive the UK’s long-term competitiveness to benefit industry and society.

Grand Challenges

A series of challenges have been defined through consultation with industry. They share two common characteristics:

  • The UK has world-leading research and businesses that are ready to innovate in the target area
  • The global market is large or fast-growing and sustainable

A full list of the challenges with detailed information is available from the UKRI website.

Four 'grand challenges' underpin the Industrial Strategies and all ISCF investment priorities will align with these four 'grand challenges'.  QMU has expertise and interest in these areas of the Grand Challenges: 

  • Clean Growth
  • Ageing Society
  • Future of Mobility
  • AI & Data Economy
  • Transforming food production
  • Transforming construction
  • Prospering from the energy revolution
  • Healthy ageing
  • Leading-age healthcare
  • From data to early diagnosis & precision medicine
  • Robots for a safer world
  • Faraday battery challenge
  • Satellites and space technology
  • Manufacturing and materials of the future
  • Self-driving vehicles
  • Audiences of the future
  • Next generation services
  • Quantum technology
  • Creative industries clusters
  • Government priorities

Current ISCF Funding Opportunities 

We are watching for calls as they emerge, as well as working with industry and engaging with Government, to shape future calls and opportunities.

ISCF funding is focused on Challenge Areas.

  • No single portal exists for ISCF funding opportunities, calls will be published on the site of the lead UKRI council.
  • Innovate-UK led opportunities are published through the Innovation Funding Service.

Connecting and engaging with QMU

QMU is internationally recognised for excellence in research and teaching in many of the priority and grand challenge areas that form the approach of the UK's Industrial Strategy. Through the work of our Research Centres we have a range of international research expertise, and we have a growing portfolio of industry partners, from SMEs to multinational companies both within the region, the UK and internationally. We have a track record as a selected strategic partner not just on the basis of our capability but also on our approach to managing these collaborations.

In 2018, in response to the opportunities presented by the UK Industrial Strategy, we launched the first QMU Innovation Fellowship Programme, supported by the Scottish Funding Council’s (SFC) University Innovation Fund (UIF).

To discuss how we migh collaborate, in the first instance, please contact the Research and Knowledge Exchange Development Unit rkedu@qmu.ac.uk.

Business Support & Enquiries

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Business Support & Enquiries

Miriam Smith Business Development Manager
0131 474 0000
07872 128 688