Invest NI are interested in supporting collaborative Scoping Studies with an emphasis on exploring commercial opportunities associated with future focused innovation in key areas.

Funding of up to £25,000 is available for these studies. We would particularly welcome applications aligned to the themes below, although non theme-related projects will also be considered providing that they meet the minimum criteria for application.

 

Key growth areas

Transforming Construction  
  • The way buildings are created has remained much the same for the last 40 years and requires radical change if it is to deliver the buildings needed for the future. There needs to be a transformation in construction so that more affordable places to live and work are built. These need to be safer, healthier and use less energy. With increased emissions and affordability issues due to urbanisation there is global demand for new solutions in construction. Finding these solutions will increase local companies’ ability to compete and to export.
Energy Revolution  
  • Around 80 per cent of global energy use still comes from fossil fuels. Countries all over the world are moving to renewable energy, with investment more than doubling over the last decade. But for the majority of our energy to be clean and affordable, there is a need for more smart systems. These can link energy supply, storage and use, and join up power, heating and transport to increase efficiency dramatically.
Data to Early Diagnosis and Precision Medicine  
  • There are many diseases that take years to develop before they present symptoms. Developing effective treatments for this offers great opportunities to improve lives and create global sales. The challenge is to combine the wealth of data created by UK researchers with real-world evidence from our health service. This will allow industry to create new products and services that will diagnose diseases earlier and help clinicians choose the best treatment for individual patients.
Healthy Ageing  
  • The number of people aged over 75 is increasing and staying active, productive and independent is important to them. The challenge is to produce innovate solutions, so older people’s aspirations are met and that better, more effective care can support an independent lifestyle. By working together, the government and industry can address the challenges of ageing while competing in a growing global market.
Transforming Food Production  
  • It is currently forecast the world will need 60 per cent more food by 2050 to feed 9 billion people, and demand for water is expected to rise by 20 per cent in the agriculture sector alone. Therefore the production of food needs to be significantly more efficient and sustainable. Using precision technologies can make that a reality. Putting Northern Ireland at the forefront of this farming transformation will deliver benefits to farmers, the environment and consumers, as well as creating growth, jobs and exports.
Audience of the Future  
  • Immersive technologies such as virtual, augmented and mixed reality are changing how people experience the world around them – from entertainment and art, to shops and classrooms. The challenge is to bring creative businesses, researchers and technologists together to create striking new experiences that are accessible to the general public. This can create the next generation of products, services and experiences that will capture the world’s attention and position Northern Ireland as a major player in immersive technologies.
Next Generation Services  
  • Services account for almost 80 per cent of the UK economy. As technologies like artificial intelligence and data analytics become ever present, we need to ensure that service sectors are ready. Collaborative working will help service industries to identify how the application of these technologies can transform their operations. This will create opportunities in the global market for local companies.
 

In considering these themes you should also consider how your project might benefit from the exploitation of new and emerging technologies such as cyber security; robotics; artificial intelligence; virtual reality, satellite technology and the internet of things.

Call for Applications closes on Friday 03 August

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