Applications Currently Closed

Sustainable Innovation is not currently recruiting. Please complete the expression of interest form below to be notified when applications open later in the year.

Express Interest

Application Process

Interested SMEs should complete the below form, it allows us to capture your contact details, check eligibility, and understand your technical requirements and challenges.

Applications will be assessed as they are received. SMEs will be invited for scoping meetings on a first come, first served basis.

Application Form

Eligibility Criteria

To get access to all that Sustainable Innovation has to offer you must:

  • Have received less than €200,000 State Aid within the last 3 years;
  • Be a start-up or SME with less than 250 employees;
  • Be a company developing a low carbon product, process or service;
  • Be a businesses registered in Greater London, or registered elsewhere in the UK with an operational address within Greater London (co-working spaces and virtual offices are fine with us). Sole traders may also apply.
Deadline Monday 3rd May
Cohort 3 - 2022

Fully-funded research & development support


What is Sustainable Innovation?

Sustainable Innovation connects London SMEs with University academics and expert consultants to bring new clean tech products, processes, and services to market.

Our cohort structure provides sustainable businesses the access to the expertise, facilities and support required to succeed.

R&D collaborations

As part of the application process, we ask SMEs to identify the key technical challenges they face, and their goals for the coming 6-12 months.

Each successful applicant is assigned a team of experts from the schools of Engineering and the Built Environment. Together, we develop a bespoke project for every businesses.

Cohort Timeline


Applications are due before 11.59PM on Sunday 19th December. They will then be processed by our Sustainable Innovation Working Group, made up of project staff, academic experts, and Researchers.


By this point all applicants will be informed whether they have been successful or not. If unsuccessful they will be given advice on how to prepare their business for the next round of applications.


SMEs will be contacted by a lead academic to begin scoping their project.


Members will receive their welcome pack. Meetings, events and academic collaborations will commence.

R&D Collaborations

As part of the application process, businesses can propose projects with experts from the schools of Engineering and the Built Environment. This project should help them to further develop their product, conduct an independent evaluation, and support their progress towards launching to market.

If you have a design prototype and would like support to develop a MVP, or you already have a MVP and are ready to start independent testing, then we are able to assist.

Technical Product Development

  • Academic Consultancy – Expertise from the schools of Engineering and the Built  Environment   
  • Experimentation – Well equipped laboratories to support a variety of experimental activities
  • Prototype  Development - Capability to fabricate in-house to provide proof of concept   
  • Prototype Testing –  Evaluation of usability and performance
  • Materials Development and Analysis      

Academic Consultancy

  • Theoretical Investigation, Modelling & Simulation
  • Life-cycle Assessment - Assess costs, energy balance and emissions for materials, products, and processes   
  • Literature and Technology Reviews
  • Product Strategy – Market analysis, business development, and commercialisation strategy   

Subsidised Staff

We offer a wage subsidy for a new R&D hire to help accelerate your product/process development goals.

  • We will provide 40% of the salary + employers contributions of pension + NI.
  • Maximum salary = £45,000
  • Maximum grant length = 1 year
  • Must be a new hire to the business, for research or development of a low carbon product or process.

Without the support of Ben and LSBU numerous opportunities to display our prototype to industry experts would have been missed, which would have had a negative effect on the securing of the IP.

Our involvement has helped If.Vehicles receive investment of £750,000, and to secure collaboration meetings with Royal Mail and the Department for Transport (DfT).

Read the case study
Arrow black

Personal Development

A good leader is as valuable to a business as a good product or idea. Throughout participation you will have opportunity to meet with subject matter experts and gain the benefit of their experience.

Support & Guidance

Throughout the programme you will meet with the Sustainable Innovation Team to discuss your progress through the programme.

Showcase Event

The cohort culminates in a showcase event in which members will have the opportunity to present their business, as if to a panel of investors.

It enables participants to expand their network as they graduate from the programme and generate momentum towards their business goals.

Peer Network

Members will be able to join the cohort Slack Channel, providing them the opportunity to connect with each other and seek out collaboration and feedback where appropriate.

Man standing at lectern in from of people

Kyle's experience of bio-electrochemical systems has enabled WASE to redevelop existing designs and build new and more efficient systems.

WASE utilised our 40% staff subsidy offer to hire Kyle Bowman, a bio-electrochemical engineer. With Kyle's expertise and the company's increased capacity, they have significantly accelerated development.

Read the case study
Arrow black

Research & Development

We're able to provide R&D support in each of the areas below. Successful applicants will work with our in-house experts until the agreed outputs are achieved.


Component Selection
Current Sensing, AC + DC Calibration   
Breakout Board Design and Manufacture
Load, Power Consumption, Standby Power, and Power Quality Testing  
Circuit Board Layout
Product Performance at Global Power Grid Voltages and Frequencies
Trace Antenna Manufacture and Test
Antenna Measurement and Radiation Pattern Testing
Power Electronics Efficiency Measurement 
EMC Pre-compliance Testing and Radiated Emissions Investigation
Power Supply, Power Consumption, and Battery Life Testing


Software Architecture for Cloud, on Premises and Embedded Systems
Software Load Testing and Metrics
Proof-of-concept App Development
Code Review and Test Suites

Device Fabrication   

Energy Harvesting (E.G. Photovoltaics, Piezoelectrics, Thermoelectrics)
Energy Storage (E.G. Batteries, Supercapacitors, Hydrogen, Thermal Energy)
Energy Conversion Technologies (E.G. Fuel Cells)
Sensors (E.G. Gas Sensors and Toxin Measurement)

Materials Science

Chemical and Structural Characterisation
Electron Microscopes for Surface Topography and Composition
Material Imaging   
Recycled Aggregate Concrete   
Material Properties
Electrochemistry Including Corrosion and Electroplating
Surface Engineering
Setting up Standard Operating Procedures

Sustainable Processes

Improvement to the Circular Economy of an Existing Product, Process or Service
Processes That Reduce Pollution in the Environment
Modelling Materials and Manufacturing Processes
Biomass/Waste to Products (E.G. Biogas, Biofuel, Biopolymers and Chemical Feedstock)
Green Chemistry

Some Previous Participants

You could be part of this growing community

Are you ready? Let's begin your innovation journey

We work with SMEs to create change. Read about just some of our work.

Frequently Asked Questions

At what stage of product development do companies have to be to apply?

Companies can be at a variety of stages in product development and benefit from the wide range of expertise and support available through the programme.

Companies that have a product or solution that is well-defined, i.e. MVP, and are ready to start user testing or building their evidence base are likely to benefit the most from collaborative research and development with LSBU academics as part of the programme.

What happens if I dont get accepted?

If you apply and are unsuccessful in joining the cohort we will provide feedback to support you in future application, as well as signposting to potential areas of support to help you develop.

What is expected of me?

We expect you to actively engage with all of the support available through the cohort. This will typically equate to around 6 hours per month and applicants will need to dedicate additional time to work on any actions set to them via one-to-one support.

How is this free?

A2i and LCLDN are part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and London South Bank University (LSBU). All support is provided under Article 28 Innovation Aid to SMEs, and does not affect your de minimis allowance.

Academic Collaborations
Places available
Experts on hand
Hours of dedicated support

Meet Our Team

Barbara Ioannou
ERDF Programme Manager
Daisy Chatterton
Head of Strategic Projects
Jemima Heard
Project Marketing Officer
Richard Howarth
Senior Marketing Manager
Ellen South
Senior Project Manager
Bethan Wynton
Project Coordinator
Issa Chaer
Director of Research and Enterprise - Built Environment
Perry Xiao
Associate Professor
Sandra Dudley-McEvoy
Director of Research and Enterprise – Engineering
Steven Dunn
Head of Chemical & Energy Engineering