Audience of the Future funding for early-stage projects

Audience of the Future funding for early-stage projects

Apply for a share of up to £800,000 for early-stage, human-centred design projects in creative or immersive experiences.

Innovate UK, as part of UK Research and Innovation, will invest up to £800,000 to fund early-stage, human-centred design projects through the Audience of the Future Challenge Fund. The aim of this competition is to support early-stage projects to generate ideas that meet customer needs, using research and human-centred design principles. Fast, low-cost prototyping and user testing of those ideas is also within scope.

Your proposal must deliver well-defined, user-validated ideas ready for further technical research and development (R&D) and discover insights about the problem space, consumer motivations and behaviours.

Projects must explore innovation opportunities in one or more of the following themes:

  • designing for Net Zero
  • design for Build Back Better
  • design for Cross Sector Immersive Projects

Projects must include activities or work packages that:

  • discover customer perceptions, motivations, and behaviour
  • define the problem statement and pinpoint the characteristics necessary to make any solution desirable and fit for purpose
  • deliver clearly communicated ideas that have been validated through fast, low-cost prototyping and user-testing and are ready for further technical R&D

The competition is open to single applicants and collaborations for projects with total eligible costs between £25,000 and £50,000. To lead a project, your organisation must be a UK registered business of any size. You must involve at least one micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME).

Rebecca Heap, Senior Research & Development Manager at Beavis Morgan R&D, comments: “After a tough 18 months, the events industry looks to rebound by embracing technology and innovation to enhance the enjoyment, sustainability and accessibility of the events that we love and have missed. Technology is enabling us to have more immersive and unique experiences with interesting opportunities on how this can change the audience of the future.  This Innovate UK grant is welcome support to the industry, tech innovators and an exciting prospect on how we may engage with events and exhibitions in the future.”

See: Competition overview – Audience of the Future – Design Foundations 2 – Innovation Funding Service (

Research & Development (R&D) tax relief has also proved to be a major boost to British business by giving companies the ability to unlock cash from innovation to help fund research and development into the ongoing enhancement of existing products and services.

Does your business undertake research and development? If so, speak to us today to set the benefits in motion. Our proven methodology offers a painless approach towards obtaining R&D tax relief.

For more information about how we can help you and your entrepreneurial business, contact Rebecca Heap.

You may also wish to view our R&D Tax Relief – Recent wins for our clients Summer 2021 update.