Nesta Launches £50,000 Inventor Prize + Funding Round Up

Nesta’s new Inventor Prize is intended to inspire and harness the potential of the UK’s home-grown inventors and stimulate user-led innovation. The Prize aims to identify and support the country’s best inventions that will help make people’s lives better. The Prize is athematic, and therefore it is open to projects that relate to any issue, providing the end-product has the capacity to improve lives, thereby helping to tackle a social issue affecting the UK.

In November 2017, a panel of judges will select 10 finalists to each receive a grant of £5,000, coupled with bespoke mentoring to develop their products. The overall winner of the Inventor Prize will be announced in September 2018 and they will receive a £50,000 grant to realise their innovation. Two further promising products will receive runners-up prizes in the form of grants of £5,000 and £15,000.

The scheme is open to individuals and small organisations based in the UK. It is targeting individual inventors, teams or companies that may struggle to otherwise access resources and support. To be eligible, entrants will need to have a working model and be able to show that their invention will help to tackle an important societal issue.

The Prize will seek to:

  • support the development of selected products;
  • build the capacity of prize participants (inventors); and
  • champion and raise the profile of the lone or small scale inventor.

Nesta is looking to support both physical and digital products that can make the lives of people in the UK better. It should be clear how the product is achieving this aim (how it tackles issues faced by people in the UK, from energy and the environment, jobs and the economy, to public health, education and ageing, for example).

The Prize is now open to entries until 11pm on 22 October 2017. Click here for more information.


HLF Parks for People – Application Deadline Approaching

The Heritage Lottery Fund’s (HLF) Parks for People funding helps to conserve the heritage that makes both historic parks and cemeteries special, and it gives local people a say in how they are managed in the future. Projects improve people’s wellbeing and knowledge of their area, and make communities better places to live, work and visit.

Applicants need to show that the local community values the park or cemetery as part of their heritage, and that they are already actively involved in its management. Not-for-profit organisations and partnerships led by not-for-profit organisations can apply including local authorities, charities, trusts, community interest companies, social enterprises, parish councils, voluntary organisations and community groups.

Grants of between £100,000 and £5 million are available to support the following:

  • Landscape design layout.
  • Surviving or lost historic features or buildings.
  • Natural heritage including priority habitats and species.
  • Archaeological sites, earthworks or features from an earlier phase of design.
  • Collections of plants, trees, objects or documents.
  • Cultural traditions such as stories, festivals, fairs and crafts.
  • People’s memories and experiences of the park or cemetery.
  • The history associated with individual features such as memorials or veteran trees.

There is a two-round application process. Applications can be made at an early stage of planning in order to get a good idea of whether the project will receive funding. The second round application will require greater detail and must be received up to 26 months after the first round decision. There are usually two deadlines each year for first-round applications.

The second 2017 deadline for first-round applications is 31 August 2017 (12pm). Click here for more information.


BBC Children in Need’s Curiosity Fund Accepting Applications from Across the UK

The £2.5 million Curiosity Fund is provided in partnership between BBC Children in Need and the Wellcome Trust in order to use the power of exciting and engaging science activities to create change for children and young people experiencing disadvantage in the UK.

To be eligible for grants of up to £10,000 projects should use exciting and engaging science activities to encourage young people to be curious about the world around them and inside them, making a positive difference in their lives: building confidence and self-esteem, developing life skills and expanding horizons.

For the purpose of this grant beneficiaries are deemed to be disadvantage if they have:

  • An illness, experience distress, abuse or neglect.
  • Any kind of disability.
  • Behavioural or psychological difficulties.
  • Lived or are living in poverty or situations of deprivation.

Eligible projects should not focus upon ‘teaching’ science in a more fun and hands-on way than children and young people might experience at school. Children and young people should have their curiosity stimulated and be empowered to ask questions that are relevant to them, by encouraging them to use their own expertise and experiences.

Grant activities should take place between January 2018 and September 2018. It is anticipated that up to 20 organisations will receive a grant in the first funding round. Organisations that miss this round may be able to apply again in September 2018 when the second round is expected to open for applications.

To be eligible for funding applicants should have a track record of working with disadvantaged children and young people aged up to 18. Applicants do not have to be experts in science or even have delivered science activities before to participate.

Organisations that already hold grant funding from Children in Need or the Wellcome Trust are eligible for funding.

The deadline for applications is 22 September 2017. Click here for more information.


Changemaker – Santander
Changemaker is a fund to help social enterprises, small charities and community groups to deliver projects in the UK that create innovative solutions to improve communities. Santander has £200,000 to support projects that help disadvantaged people to have confidence in the future by building skills and knowledge or innovative ideas that help communities prosper.If you have a project which the Crowd support Santander provide the final 50% to help you reach your target, up to £10,000. Click here for more information.


Premier League and The FA Facilities Fund – Football Foundation

A timely one as the Premier League is about to kick off. The Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund provides grants for building or refurbishing grassroots facilities, such as changing pavilions and playing surfaces for community benefit, with money provided by the Premier League, The FA and the Government (via Sport England) and delivered by the Foundation.  The Fund is available to football clubs, schools, councils and local sports associations. Grants are available for between £10,000 and £500,000. Click here for more information.


Engaging Libraries – Carnegie UK Trust
Engaging Libraries is looking for public libraries across the UK and Ireland that want to pilot creative and imaginative public engagement projects on health and wellbeing. The programme is a partnership between the Wellcome Trust and Carnegie UK Trust and is the outcome of joint work between the Wellcome Trust and the Society of Chief Librarians. Carnegie UK Trust are aiming to support between 8 – 10 libraries and activities must be completed between October 2017 and October 2018. Deadline for applications 23 August. Click here for more information.

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