Funding competition UK and South Korea: joint research and development

The UK and South Korea announce a joint funding competition for R&D projects under the EUREKA programme. UK businesses can apply for a share of up to £1 million.

This competition is now closed.

Register and apply online

Competition sections


Innovate UK and the Korea Institute for the Advancement of Technology (KIAT) are announcing a £2 million joint funding call for research and development (R&D) projects under the EUREKA programme.

This will support collaborative, business led research and development (R&D) projects, which should result in a new product, industrial process or service. Projects must be innovative and involve a technological risk.

Proposals must focus on one or both of the following technology areas:

  • advanced materials for transport (air, land and maritime), with a focus on materials development
  • Internet of Things (IoT), with a clearly-identified industrial or sector application

For Internet of Things, we would particularly welcome projects using emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence or blockchain.

Projects must be coordinated by a lead partner from the UK and a lead partner from South Korea.

The guidance for South Korea will appear on the KIAT website.

Funding type


Project size

We expect your joint project to have total eligible costs between £100,000 and £1 million.

Who can apply

State aid

Any UK business claiming funding must be eligible to receive state aid at the time we confirm you will be awarded funding. If you are unsure please take legal advice. For further information see our general guidance.

Your project

We expect your entire joint project to have total eligible costs between £100,000 and £1 million. The total grant available to the UK applicants is up to £350,000.

Your project must start by 1 January 2020 and be completed within 2 years. Your UK grant claim must be submitted by 31 March 2022.

No individual organisation, or individual country, can claim more than 70% of the total eligible costs for the entire joint project.

If your project’s total eligible costs or duration fall outside of our eligibility criteria, you must provide justification by email to at least 10 days before the competition closes. We will decide whether to approve your request.

UK lead applicant

Projects must be jointly co-ordinated by the UK and South Korea lead partners.

To lead an application as a UK organisation you must:

  • be a UK based business of any size
  • collaborate with the South Korean lead, who must be a business of any size
  • collaborate with at least one UK-based micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME), which must incur at least half of the UK eligible costs
  • carry out the majority of your funded work within the UK

All UK organisations

Research organisations, public sector organisations and charities can be partners on the project but cannot lead in the UK. The UK research organisations in your consortium can share up to 30 percent of the UK total eligible project costs. If your consortium has more than one UK research organisation, this maximum is shared between them.

Your project can include subcontractors but they must not account for more than 20% of the total eligible costs for the entire joint project.

Every UK organisation must carry out the majority of its funded work within the UK, and South Korean organisations must carry theirs out in South Korea.

The commercial partners in a consortium must be separate legal and non-linked entities. This is to ensure that projects encourage genuine international collaboration, not internal company research. Where the companies are linked, they shall be considered a single entity under the parent company. Linked companies can specify which nation they want to request funding from. Where companies are linked, the individual companies will receive funding from their respective national funding body.

Organisations from other countries

Organisations from other EUREKA member states can participate provided:

  • they arrange their own funding
  • the project meets the eligibility participation criteria of UK and South Korean organisations


The national funding agencies will fund the organisations from their respective countries.

UK organisations

Innovate UK have allocated up to £ 1 million to fund UK innovation projects in this competition.

UK companies could get funding for their eligible project costs of:

  • up to 70% if you are a micro or small business
  • up to 60% if you are a medium-sized business
  • up to 50% if you are a large business

Total UK grant available is up to £350,000 per project.

The UK research organisations in your consortium can share up to 30 percent of the UK total eligible project costs. If your consortium has more than one UK research organisation, this will be shared between them. (This section was changed 3 April 2019 to reflect the fact that research organisations are eligible for funding.)

This competition provides state aid funding under article 25 of the General Block Exemption Regulation. It is your responsibility to make sure that your organisation is eligible to receive state aid.

South Korea organisations

All participants from South Korea must ensure that they comply with KIAT’s funding rules.

Your proposal

Your proposal must demonstrate:

  • a clear game-changing and/or disruptive innovative idea leading to new products, processes or services
  • a strong and deliverable business plan that addresses (and documents) market potential and needs
  • a team, business arrangement or working structure with the necessary skills and experience to run and complete the project successfully and on time
  • awareness of all the main risks the project will face (including contractor or equipment failure, recruitment delays and so on) with realistic management, mitigation and impact minimisation plans for each
  • sound, practical financial plans and timelines
  • good value for money which will always be a consideration in Innovate UK and KIAT funding decisions
  • a clear, evidence based plan to deliver significant economic impact, return on investment (ROI) and growth through commercialisation, as soon as possible after project completion
  • clear, considerable potential to significantly benefit the UK and South Korea economies and/or national productivity
  • the benefit of participants from the 2 countries working together and how this adds value
  • a clear definitions of where intellectual property (IP) can be used and shared between the participants and countries
  • a clear route to market within 2 to 3 years of project completion

Specific themes

Your project must focus one or both of the following:

  • advanced materials for transport (air, land and maritime) with a focus on materials development
  • Internet of Things, with a clearly-identified industry or vertical sector application, not a horizontal or generic platform

For Internet of Things, we would particularly welcome projects using emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence or blockchain.

Research categories

We will fund feasibility projects and industrial research projects. Please see the general guidance to help you decide which category your project fits in.

Projects we will not fund

We will not fund projects that:

  • have non-civilian applications
  • do not include at least one UK based business and one South Korean based business
18 March 2019
Competition opens
8 April 2019
UK online briefing event. Watch the recording
5 June 2019 12:00pm
Registration closes
12 June 2019 12:00pm
Competition closes
9 August 2019
Applicants notified

Before you start

This is a simplified description of the application process. Before you apply you must read the guidance for applicants for this competition.

There are 3 stages to the submission and assessment process.

Stage 1

One of the lead applicants must download and complete the EUREKA project application form on behalf of the entire consortium. Each lead applicant must submit it to their respective funding agency.

UK applicants must submit the form by midday 12pm UK time on the deadline to Innovate UK through our secure FTP site, along with the supporting documentation listed in the guidance for applicants. South Korea lead applicants must submit by 6pm local time.

To access the secure FTP site, register by clicking the green button above.

Competition managers from Innovate UK and KIAT check applications are eligible and in scope.

Stage 2

Applications are assessed by up to 5 external assessors who are experts in the innovation area identified in your application. They will also be assessed by independent assessors in South Korea.

Stage 3

A joint UK and South Korea consensus panel made up of Innovate UK and KIAT evaluators agree which projects to fund based on the assessors’ scores. The EUREKA Network decides which of the successful projects are put forward for a EUREKA label.

KIAT and Innovate UK jointly make the final decision on which projects to fund.

The lead applicant is notified of the funding decision. All assessed applications receive assessor feedback.

Background and further information

EUREKA is an intergovernmental network launched in 1985. Its aim is to support market-oriented R&D and innovation projects by industry, research centres and universities across all technological sectors. It is composed of 41 member states, including the European Union, represented by the European Commission, and 3 associated states:

  • Canada
  • South Africa
  • Chile

There is also a partner country, South Korea.

With its flexible and decentralised network, EUREKA offers project partners:

  • rapid access to skills and expertise across Europe
  • national public and private funding schemes

Extra help

If you want help to find a project partner, contact the Enterprise Europe Network.

If you need more information, email us at or call the competition helpline on 0300 321 4357.

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