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EUREKA summit unveils new strategy and £4M funding programmes

Science Minister Chris Skidmore speaking at the EUREKA Global Innovation Summit.

The 6th EUREKA Global Innovation Summit is taking place in Manchester until tomorrow 16 May, and is announcing several new funding programmes and strategies.

The EUREKA Global Innovation Summit welcomes 1,700 businesses from 65 countries.

Dr Ian Campbell, Interim Chief Executive at Innovate UK, at the EUREKA Global Innovation Summit

At the EUREKA Global Innovation Summit, hosted by Innovate UK, attendees can meet over 1,700 businesses from 65 countries to discuss the technological challenges outlined in the UK government’s Industrial Strategy.

As the flagship event of the UK Chairmanship of the EUREKA network, which aims to boost international partnerships in market-driven research and development, the summit features over 50 talks, panel debates and workshops covering artificial intelligence, data sciences, the future of mobility and clean growth.

Speakers include Paul Stein, Chief Technical Officer (CTO) of Rolls-Royce, and Stephen Welton, Chief Executive Officer of investment partner Business Growth Fund.

Ian Campbell, Interim Executive Chair of Innovate UK, said at the summit introduction:

[The UK] is the location of choice for businesses at the cutting edge of innovation and technology. Our UK economy’s latest Global Innovation Index rankings show our strength – moving up to 4th place from 5th in 2018.

Innovate UK wants the country to be the best place in the world for businesses to innovate and grow, to maximise the economic and societal benefits of innovation over the long term.

The UK Government’s modern Industrial Strategy is taking action to put the UK at the forefront of global changes such as new technologies and climate change.

Apple of the eye

The summit has also seen announcements to support new collaboration vital to UK prosperity.

Science Minister Chris Skidmore unveiled the new International Research and Innovation Strategy, which underlines the UK’s commitment to worldwide science collaboration and investment.

The strategy forms part of the commitment for the UK to remain a global leader in science and innovation, aiming to boost investment to 2.4% of GDP in research and development through the Industrial Strategy.


Science Minister Chris Skidmore speaking at the EUREKA Global Innovation Summit, said:

The International Research and Innovation Strategy reflects our aspirations to see the UK draw systematically on research and innovation collaboration to build its economic growth and face down our global challenges.

We’re already seeing success, with the biggest increase in public R&D funding on record, and business spend increasing by over a billion pounds in 2017 alone.

In future, our businesses won’t just be entering new markets, but they’ll be making them.

£4 million in new partnerships

He also announced a £4 million competition for UK participation in EUREKA projects in 3 areas:

  1. GlobalStars, a funding competition between Singapore, the Netherlands and the UK focused on medical technology, smart mobility and advanced manufacturing
  2. Smart Manufacturing Cluster Call, which invites applicants to propose projects in advanced manufacturing applications and technologies
  3. Artificial Intelligence and Quantum, a project between 10 EUREKA country members working on disruptive new technologies

Take to the skies

The partnership between Innovate UK, the Aerospace Technology Institute and Innovair, the Swedish programme for aeronautics, as part of the EUREKA Network Projects, was also announced at the summit.

Aimed at furthering aerospace R&D projects between Sweden and the UK, 4 competitions will be awarded at the summit, totalling £2.25 million. Rolls-Royce will partner with Ascatron AB to develop new high-temperature electronics essential to numerous aircraft improvements including reduced weight and maintenance costs and greater reliability.

The sensors and electrical analysis project, led by ESI Group in Sweden and UK partners International Technegroup, will explore the use of complex sensors fitted about the aircraft to monitor conditions such as passenger experience and aircraft operations.

David Cairns, the UK Ambassador to Sweden, said:

Through this joint funding call, both our countries will gain access to new partners, bolster existing capability and encourage greater levels of trade and investment between both our countries.

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