The Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund


The Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund has achieved a lot since its inception in 2016, with the support of the private sector.


The fund, which is part of the Government’s Industrial Strategy, has so far supported 1820 organisations, according to UK Research and Innovation. This investment is also just the tip of a public sector spend iceberg.


What is the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund?

The Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund is part of the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy, a long-term plan which aims to “raise productivity and earning power in the UK.”

In 2016, the Government committed to increasing R&D funding by £4.7 billion by 2020 in order to strengthen science and business.

Details of the first two waves of funding from the strategy are outlined on the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) website. So far, £986 million of government investment has been secured by 497 projects.

Tracker’s Commercial Projects function can support suppliers with complete coverage of all commercial activity in the UK, providing access to over 400,000 planning notices and 10,000 non-planning projects every year – helping the early buyer engagement journey.

Latest updates

In September 2019, businesses were invited to join a workshop for the first phase of a £125 million government investment in the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund Future Flight Challenge. This public sector funding will be matched by a £175 million investment from industry.

In a statement released by Innovate UK and UKRI on GOV.UK, the partnership states:

“The aim of the Future Flight Challenge is to demonstrate innovative ways to achieve greener flight, new services and ways to travel, increased mobility, better connectivity and reduced congestion.”

Construction R&D

There are also opportunities for construction suppliers. It was announced during August 2019 that Innovate UK plans to invest in construction, noting that “projects should go beyond the state-of-the-art in improving the productivity, quality and performance of the UK construction sector.”

Collaboration is a key factor for Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund decision makers as winning suppliers are encouraged to work with other businesses, research bodies, public sector organisations, academic institutions and charities. Engaging early with this market is important if you want to win opportunities and funding. Whilst there are many routes to early engagement, the main concept centres around enabling a proactive approach to tendering long before a tender notice is published. Tracker’s suite of business growth and tender intelligence tools can support suppliers search for opportunities within this thriving industry and identify buyer spend patterns – where they are spending, with whom, on what and in which sectors.


Why should private sector construction suppliers apply for funding?

A smart business should be applying for these opportunities as well as sourcing opportunities via business intelligence.

The Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund invests in trailblazing businesses; therefore, it seeks to work with suppliers that are addressing “the biggest industrial and societal challenges today.”

Establish your business as an innovative leader and grow your brand’s awareness within the public sector marketplace.

Businesses from all over the UK have benefited from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund. Examples of successful applicants include Ferguson Marine, an Orkney-based organisation that is developing hydrogen solutions to reduce emissions within the maritime industry. Goonhilly Earth Station in Cornwall has also been granted funding for the work it is doing alongside the European Space Agency on deep-space communications.


How Tracker can support your search for new opportunities

If you are looking to expand the opportunities available to your business, start your search with Tracker Intelligence.

As well as public sector Tender Alerts, Tracker’s Commercial Projects tool helps organisations win tenders by providing early engagement opportunities with buyers through accessible contact data.

Find out how Commercial Projects can be of value to your business with a free 3-day trial. If you are a Tracker customer contact our Customer Growth Team to discuss how this will benefit your business.



Who are we?

From publishing the first national directory of public sector contracts, to being the first to market with our online Tracker solution, we have been the true pioneers of technology and innovation in the public sector marketplace. Throughout our 39 years, we have continued to evolve and chart new territory – placing our customers at the heart of everything we do. Take your business to the next level with Tracker now.

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