Innovation Challenge Fund 2020

Future Mobility in Maharashtra: Combatting COVID-19 and climate change

The UK Government is delighted to announce a £1.5 million fund that is now open for applications for innovative projects in Future Mobility that address the challenges of COVID 19 and/or climate change. We expect to make at least 6 awards of up to £250,000 each, to fund research and development projects by consortia of researchers and industry from India, and international partners, including the UK. The grants are for projects lasting 10 months, with a proposed start in January 2021, or soon after.

Innovation Challenge Fund 2020 will fund innovative research and development projects in Future Mobility that propose tech led or tech enabled solutions to the greatest challenges of our time: COVID 19 and climate change. This represents the UK and India’s commitment to work together to combat the pandemic and its impacts, and to ‘build back better’. The aim of the Innovation Challenge Fund is also to support the development of the Maharashtra Future Mobility Tech Cluster by promoting closer scientific collaboration between industry and academia, and by promoting links with international counterparts and centres of excellence, including in the UK. As such, proposals for research and development projects are invited from consortia made up of researchers and industry from India, and international counterparts, including the UK. Projects can either develop original ideas or adapt successful technologies, techniques or processes from other fields.

We are looking for proposals that meet the primary criteria of addressing the COVID 19 response/recovery and/or climate change/environmental protection and meet the following challenge areas:

  • Safety and Convenience (such as hygiene/sanitization/social distancing in shared and public transport, contactless deliveries)
  • Technology Leap (such as new energies, temperature controlled transport for essential/medical supplies, drone mobility)
  • Connectivity (such as first-mile/last-mile healthcare delivery services, micro mobility for logistics and services delivery, rural mobility)
  • Energy Transition (such as ICE electrification, hydrogen fuel cell, energy efficiency)
  • Smart Mobility (such as intelligent transport systems, trip repurposing tech, demand-supply matching)
  • Other (we will consider proposals which do not fit into the above categories provided the focus is on Future Mobility and there is a strong connection to the climate change/environmental agenda or COVID-19 containment.)

Separate applications can be made if consortia wish to submit proposals for more than one challenge area, though we recognise there may be some overlap. If your consortium is working on a project which does not quite fit into one of the above challenge areas but still centres around Future Mobility and the COVID-19/climate change challenge, please submit a concept note and we will consider it.


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