Inward Mission

Explore and exploit the collaboration, growth and innovation opportunities that exist in Transforming Foundation Industries.

image with workers
Transforming Foundation Industries (TFI) Inward Mission to the UK 2023

Open to UK and Indian companies only.

The Inward Mission – Transforming Foundation Industries is organised by Innovate UK and delivered by Innovate UK EDGE. The programme consists of a visit to the UK’s thriving Foundation Industries locations, giving UK and Indian companies a chance to see the facilities the UK has to offer. In addition, it provides a chance to form partnerships ahead of a £10m bilateral funding call, which is in the final stages of discussion, due to be launched in April 2023.

The Inward Mission forms a key step in the collaboration building activities ahead of this funding call, as proposals must include partners from both the UK and India to work jointly on sustainability for the Foundation Industries. It also provides an opportunity to visit and build relationships with key research organisations in the UK.

It is focused on helping your business to maximise the opportunities, provide international partnership and help you to develop your innovation and bring your ideas to commercialisation.

Innovate UK is committed to Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (ED&I) and encourages people from all backgrounds to apply to participate.

Why are India & UK collaborating?

Foundation Industries are seeing growing demand for products due to the growing population, expanding market, and large-scale public-sector investments. From our long history of collaborating, it has been shown that there are areas where the UK is leading and India can learn from, and vice versa.

Indian Foundation Industries face similar sustainability challenges to their UK counterparts with high dependence on fossil fuels and virgin raw materials and are looking for similar solutions. Following the agreement of a 2030 Roadmap for Bilateral Relationship (with climate cooperation a key pillar) and the ongoing discussions of a Free Trade Agreement, Innovate UK has run a series of successful engagement activities with India including a lab-to-lab collaboration programme and the Global Expert Mission and in February 2023 we will be running a Global Business Innovation Programme with India.

The benefits of being involved with this Inward Mission include a visit to two key regions in the UK; Liverpool City Region and the Midlands through our partners Glass Futures and Manufacturing Technology Centre, understanding of funding initiatives and to form B2B partnerships and collaboration.

Focus Industries / Sectors

This initiative is particularly relevant for businesses and research organisations in Foundation Industries and those that focus on delivering sustainability solutions for the sector in metals, glass, paper, cements, ceramics and chemicals, to enable energy and resource efficiency.

These may be achieved through:

  • Enabling technologies – digital solutions, sensors and controls, heat recovery systems, value added processes for waste streams
  • New business models
  • New and more efficient production processes
  • New supply chain models


  • Visit key UK Foundation Industry centres of excellence and Research and Technology Organisations to understand their capabilities
  • Explore opportunities in Foundation Industries to grow your business internationally
  • Hear the latest on the £10m bilateral funding call and the application process direct from funders
  • Improve the development of projects by meeting potential UK innovation partners, through organised matchmaking, and get a head start on funding applications

Key dates

3 March 2023: Closing date for Indian companies applications
13 March 2023: Successful Indian company applicants notified
21 April 2023: Closing date of registrations for UK companies
24-28 April 2023: Inward Mission to the UK

What to expect

Programme of the week (subject to change).

Monday 24 April 2023 – Liverpool City Centre

Tuesday 25 April – St Helens and Daresbury

Wednesday 26 April – Midlands

Thursday 27 April – Midlands

  • Presentation of bilateral funding call, workshops and matchmaking sessions with UK and Indian companies for collaborative projects
  • Final networking dinner

Friday 28 April – Midlands

  • Impact and next steps

About the key players

Liverpool City Region Combined Authority

On top of its £900 million devolution deal, the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority has secured more than half a billion pounds in additional funding from government, including £173 million in Transforming Cities Funding which is being used to modernise and improve travel in and around the city region and a share of £300 million to connect Liverpool to the HS2 network, which will also link in to Crossrail for the North. The investments made in the first three years will deliver 9,000 jobs and 5,500 apprenticeships for local people.

Knowledge Quarter Liverpool

Materials Innovation Factory (MIF)
A collaboration between the University of Liverpool and Unilever, MIF allows businesses involved in materials chemistry to accelerate product development and gain competitive advantage through smarter, faster and more precise ways of working.

Digital Innovation Facility (DIF)
A £12.7million investment co-funded by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority’s Local Growth Funds, in Liverpool’s Knowledge Quarter. Providing a new home for world-leading academic research dedicated to maximising the possibilities of emerging technologies.

Glass Futures

Glass Futures is creating a new glassmaking Pilot Plant facility in St Helens, United Kingdom, to provide a Global Centre of Excellence for sustainable manufacture of glass. It will have full plant utilities and services, a full-scale Batch Plant, initially a 30 tonnes per day furnace complete with abatement and heat recovery. The glass output can also be processed by an IS machine and cold end container process coating, inspections, and packing line.

STFC, Daresbury

From the day it opened in 1962, Daresbury Laboratory has pushed the boundaries of modern science. Over 50 years on, it is internationally recognised for world-leading scientific excellence in a diverse variety of fields, from nuclear physics to supercomputing, and its achievements, which consistently deliver impact on a human scale and have inspired scientists, adults and children alike.

Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC)

The MTC was established in 2010 as an independent Research & Technology Organisation (RTO) with the objective of bridging the gap between academia and industry – often referred to as ‘the valley of death’. It represents one of the largest public sector investments in UK manufacturing and, after four years of planning and a 16 month build, the facility opened at Ansty Park in Coventry at the end of 2011 with rapid growth since then.

To apply for this initiative, you must be:

  • Business/company (start-up, SME or large/multinational)
  • Or commercial institutes & labs, leading academic centres
  • Either a foundation industry business (metals, paper, glass, cements, ceramics and chemicals) or have a technology to enable energy or resource efficiency for these organisations.

What is the cost?

Innovate UK will be covering the costs of UK venues, workshops access and tours for all participants. For Indian participants only, return flights from India to the UK, hotel accommodation and travel between UK venues will be covered by Innovate UK. Group meals will be covered only where appropriate.

How to apply?

For Indian companies the Inward Mission has a competitive application process where only the best applications will be successful following an evaluation process. All applications must be made online through the link provided above and received no later than 3 March 2023. Successful applications will be notified by 13 March 2023.

For UK companies, register your interest now to be notified when registrations are open.

Innovate UK is committed to improving the diversity of who we support. As such, we welcome applications from under-represented groups. 

Additional information & assistance

For more information, assistance with your application or to discuss accessibility needs, please contact Innovate UK EDGE South East at [email protected]

Take part in an Inward Mission and benefit from sector and market expertise

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