Steerage: International innovation: what help is offered


Innovate UK can help you grow and scale your business globally by helping you access knowledge, forge new partnerships and explore international innovation opportunities.

Through the international programs we offer, we can help you:

  • Build your knowledge of other countries through the insights we provide
  • Establishing relationships with companies, research institutions, investors and governments in other countries
  • work with international partners and develop innovations together
  • Explore innovation opportunities and future market potential. These programs are open to companies and other organizations based in the UK.

Discover ways to get involved internationally by building your knowledge

Through our global expert missions, we collect and disseminate knowledge and insights into innovation opportunities in certain technologies and sectors in other countries. The detailed reports prepared by the KTN on our behalf offer a rich source of insights and show concrete possibilities. Access the KTN reports

Build your international innovation relationships and explore future market opportunities

Through our Global Business Innovation Programs, we help high-growth, innovative British companies explore and capitalize on the opportunities for collaboration, growth and innovation offered by working globally.

Understanding the needs of another market and building collaborations and partnerships can be an obstacle to the global expansion of companies.

This program helps companies become familiar with their target country and build partnerships and connections to maximize their chances of success.

It does this by providing a support program to help companies achieve their specific business goals as they expand. Each Global Business Innovation Program lasts 9-12 months and supports cohorts of 15 companies in 3 phases:

  • Prepare for the market – helping companies understand the market and prepare for the market
  • Market visit typically a week long visit to a country to gain first hand experience and to build, strengthen, and leverage connections with colleagues, investors, the government, and the research community
  • seize the opportunity – including continued support from and Innovate UK Innovation and Growth Specialist.

Global business innovation programs are conducted on a competitive basis, and previous programs have targeted countries such as the United States, Canada, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, China, and countries across Europe.

This program is provided by Innovate UK EDGE. View more information about current opportunities.

Gain a deep understanding of future market opportunities

Our Global Incubator Program is an acceleration program for cohorts of 6-8 innovative, high-growth and growing companies that spend time in the world’s leading incubators abroad.

Our structured program uses an intense four-step method to address the challenges most companies face when entering global markets. Small and medium-sized businesses can explore the potential of certain overseas markets and access top-notch mentors and bespoke workplaces.

The program is active in four countries: USA, Canada, Singapore and India.

This program is provided by Innovate UK EDGE. Learn more about the Global Incubator Program.

Further support from Innovate UK EDGE to help you enter new markets

Innovate UK EDGE is an important part of UK innovation agencies investments in innovative companies that drive economic growth. It complements Innovate UK’s project funding with intensive, specialist-led support for such ambitious companies.

Every innovative company with high potential in our portfolio benefits from the objective perspective of a committed innovation and growth specialist on site. Our specialist takes a close look at a company and, in close cooperation with its management, identifies the most productive ways to accelerate its growth.

Innovate UK EDGE offers a range of services to help ambitious, innovative SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) grow and scale. We help companies:

  • Leverage innovation, intellectual property and connections in the UK and abroad
  • open up new markets at home and abroad
  • Access to finance and finance and preparation of investments.

Innovate UK EDGE innovation and growth specialists can help you find and connect with new employees and business partners in over 65 countries through our participation in the Enterprise Europe Network, including our partnership tool that provides global partnership opportunities.

There are also a number of focused brokerage events to help you find new international business opportunities and the key markets and industries information you need.

Work with international partners and develop innovations together

As a UK company, we can support you financially to work with an international partner of your choice and conduct joint research, development and innovation. We do this by running funding competitions with another country or a range of countries, and by awarding competitive grants to businesses (and research organizations).

We also take part in international sponsorship competitions organized by the Eureka network to provide British companies with other international opportunities for cooperation.


More than 45 countries form the Eureka network, which supports international cooperation in the development of new, innovative products and services.

Through Eureka, UK companies can:

  • Get access to skills, expertise and support through joint R&D and innovation projects
  • Collaboration with other companies and research institutions to establish long-term partnerships
  • receive financial support for their participation.

Eureka Eurostars

The Eureka Eurostars program is aimed at UK SMEs wishing to participate in research collaborations with companies in over 35 countries to develop new products, processes or services. We assume that the new Horizon Europe program will start this year.

There are two calls for proposals each year, usually in March and September. You can apply with two or more participants from two or more Eurostars countries. Only SMEs can lead a project. Innovate UK funds successful UK applicants with up to 60% of the eligible project costs (equivalent to 360,000 per UK project partner). We usually finance 10 to 15 projects per round.

Large companies or academic institutions can also participate in a Eurostars project, but have to finance this themselves.

Eureka network projects

Network projects enable bilateral and multilateral projects between two or more countries of the Eureka network in each area.

Eureka Globalstars

Globalstars provides the UK with a trusted opportunity to collaborate with other world-leading research and innovation nations beyond the Eureka network.

Horizon europe

Horizon Europe is the largest European funding program for research and innovation to date. The budget for the program is 95.5 billion and will run from 2021 to 2027. UK companies, researchers and academics have access to EU funding on the same terms as organizations in EU countries. We therefore strongly encourage researchers, companies and other innovators in the UK and worldwide to continue to work together to form global consortia to apply for funding.

Funding calls are based on 3 areas:

  • excellent science
  • global challenges and European industrial competitiveness
  • innovative Europe.

You can apply to conduct a standard research or demonstration project if you:

  • registered business
  • Charity
  • local community
  • partnership
  • a legal research institution.

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