Innovate UK Textile Fund – Funding Call Now Live

The Innovate UK Textile Fund is an exciting opportunity for businesses in the UK fashion and textile sector who are looking to develop innovative solutions to pressing industry challenges.

The Innovate UK Textile Fund is part of the £15M trilateral UKRI Circular Fashion and Textile Programme. It is being delivered by LITAC (Leeds Institute of Textiles and Colour) and Future Fashion Factory working in partnership with Innovate UK.

Critically, the IUK Textile Fund will enable textile businesses to adopt more sustainable operations, driving the UK to become the global leader in circular fashion and textiles and to best transition towards Net Zero models. To achieve this aim, IUK Textile Fund brings together stakeholders from across the fashion and textile industry as well as academia; ideally placed to best support a joined-up, cross-sector approach when achieving circular solutions.

Building on Future Fashion Factory’s pedigree of excellence when successfully delivering on innovative R&D projects, the fund will be led by industry partners who seek the expertise of academic collaborators. These experts will sit across a consortium of one of three UK universities:

  • University of Leeds
  • University of Huddersfield
  • Royal College of Art

A mechanism of the Circular Fashion and Textile Programme, the IUK Textile Fund will align with the same thematic areas that inform Innovate UK’s broader mission for circularity. As such, grants will be awarded to businesses who successfully meet one or more of the below key themes:

  • Circular Business Models 
  • Novel Technologies 
  • Sustainable Manufacturing 
  • Sustainable Fashion Ecosystem 
  • Diverse and Future-Proof Workforce 
  • Green Growth 

The Award

Projects must last between four to six months and must have total eligible project costs of £50,000 or less. Projects must start by 1st October 2024 and complete no later than 31st March 2025.

Who Can Apply?

The Fund welcomes applications from UK fashion and textiles businesses. However, only SMEs and micro businesses can apply?

To be classified as a micro or small company you must meet at least two of the three following conditions:

  • have annual turnover of no more than £10.2 million
  • a balance sheet of not more than £5.1 million
  • an average employee headcount of not more than 50

To be eligible for funding industrial partners must either have textile design or textile manufacturing as their core business OR have an innovative application of their technology / product that will add-value to these industries. More than one industrial partner can collaborate on an application. The lead industrial partner must have a turnover of at least £50,000 per year and be able to demonstrate they have been established since at least 1st March 2023. Academic organisations can collaborate on an application, as a partner or a subcontractor, but cannot lead a bid.

How to Apply

This will be a single stage application process. It is strongly recommended (but not mandatory) that applicants discuss and explore the development of their project/s with the LITAC IUK Textile Fund team to ensure fit and alignment with the focus of the project, and avoid time being spent on projects that are unlikely to be supported.

In the first instance, please send a brief description of your project idea as an ‘Expression of Interest’ (EOI) to by 30th June 2024; feedback will be provided within five (5) working days.

All applications must be made by completing the application form that can be downloaded at the bottom of this webpage. Completed forms must then be uploaded to this submission portal, no later than 17:00 on Wednesday 31st July 2024.

Once submitted, this application will go to the Textile Fund Investment Committee for review and formal assessment.

The deadline for applications is no later than 17:00 on Wednesday 31st July 2024.

Gateway Criteria

  • An application must be led by an industrial partner. Applications can be submitted by one company or by a group of companies with a common purpose / challenge. Academic partners cannot lead an application. 
  • Lead applicant companies must have a turnover of at least £50,000 per year. 
  • Lead applicant companies must have been established since at least 1st March 2023. 
  • The project must include formal academic input, either as a partner or subcontractor, from one or more of the named academic institutions. 
  • The project must be innovative. Generic business support / business growth projects cannot be supported via this funding mechanism. 
  • The project must align with the UKRI Circular Fashion and Textile Programme strategic objectives. 
  • The project must complete, with all expenditure defrayed, no later than 31st March 2025. 

Key Dates        

Call Opens/Deadline for EOI Submissions2 1st June 2024 to 30th June 2024 
Submission Deadline 31st July 2024 
Assessment decisions announced Mid-August 2024 
Contracting period Mid-August to Late-September 2024 
Project start date 1st October 2024 
Project end date no later than 31st March 2025 

Application Form

Call Guidance