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Tuesday, February 25, 2020

UK launches £2-million Innovation Challenge Fund 2020 in Bengaluru

While the deadline to submit concept notes is April 7, eligible proposals will be considered by a specially convened expert panel at a meeting in June.

By: Express Web Desk | Bengaluru | Updated: February 12, 2020 3:11:35 pm
UK-startup-fund-launch-bengaluru The Innovation Challenge Fund 2020 will award grants to selected proposals led by any Indian not-for-profit organisation with the necessary Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FRCA) clearances.

In a bid to advance research and development of Artificial Intelligence and Data Science projects, the United Kingdom (UK) government Tuesday announced a £2-million challenge (Rs 18.49 crore) fund in Karnataka.

The challenge, launched in Bengaluru, is expected to encourage industry and academic collaboration on tech solutions tackling social, economic and environmental challenges.

“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 must be led by an Indian not-for-profit organisation. Projects can either develop original ideas or adapt successful technologies, techniques or processes from other fields,” an official statement reads.

Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister Ashwathnarayan CN said the fund is great news for startups. “I urge entrepreneurs who want to grow and drive their business to new heights to participate in it,” he said.

Also read| Elevate 2019 Startup winners: Full list of 100 winners announced by Karnataka Govt

The fund invites proposals in nine challenge areas — healthcare, environmental protection, water management, energy, future mobility, agriculture, education, increasing access to information, and financial inclusion.

The Innovation Challenge Fund 2020 will award grants to selected proposals led by any Indian not-for-profit organisation with necessary Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FRCA) clearances.

“Applicants must demonstrate collaboration with other organisations. All applicants will need to show that their proposed idea has a credible and practical route to market. Applicants must ensure they have considered and addressed requirements on Official Development Assistance (ODA) and gender inequality,” the competition manual further stated.

While the deadline to submit concept notes is April 7, 2020, eligible proposals will be considered by a specially convened expert panel at a meeting in June 2020, after which recommendations for funding will be made to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).

“Funding decisions are expected to be announced in August 2020 and awards are expected to commence shortly after,” an official added.

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