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Analysis for Innovators (A4I)

Access cutting-edge R&D expertise and facilities

Analysis for Innovators (A4I) enables innovation and improves productivity and competitiveness for UK businesses. 

UK businesses can apply to access cutting-edge R&D expertise and work with world-leading scientists and research facilities, to solve technical analysis or measurement problems that are holding back innovation.

A4I is led by Innovate UK, in partnership with NPL and other laboratories. This popular funding programme is launching its eighth round and has so far funded more than 270 projects.

Round 8

Round 8 is open and accepting applications until 31 August 2022.

The competition is in two strands:

  • Mini projects, up to £50K funding and 3 months duration (open to UK SMEs)
  • Full projects, up to £120K funding and 6 months duration (open to all UK businesses)

Click below to find out more and apply.

Round 8 mini projects

Round 8 full projects

Find out more about A4I

Who is involved?

A4I is an investment from Innovate UK, as part of UK Research and Innovation, alongside funding partners the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), the National Measurement Laboratory at LGC (formerly known as the Laboratory of the Government Chemist), the National Engineering Laboratory (NEL) and the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC).

Together, the funding partners run some of the most advanced facilities, techniques and technologies available in the world. A4I matches the best UK scientists and facilities with companies that have analysis or measurement problems.

The A4I programme differs from other funding competitions, targeting competitiveness and productivity head on it offers cutting edge R&D, expertise and facilities to UK companies that want to solve an analysis or measurement problem from within their existing business.

Who can apply?

You must be a UK registered micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME) with any type of measurement or analysis problem to apply. The programme is expected to appeal to manufacturing companies, especially those involved in complex supply chains, but companies applying may be from any sector.

Why collaborate with NPL?

As the UK's National Metrology Institute, our expertise and innovations can provide creative solutions, reduce the need for in-house resources, lower technical risk and can deliver revenue, time and cost savings for businesses across many different industries.

Tapping into the great depth of expertise at NPL has been invaluable in helping us understand the measurement challenges we are faced with, and enabled us to incorporate some significant improvements into system design.

Michael Gois - Chief Technical Officer, Senceive

The A4I project has been invaluable in unlocking world-leading facilities and expertise which would have otherwise been inaccessible to us. The knowledge gained helped us overcome a problem in our manufacturing process, improving the durability of our fuel cell and making it a much more competitive technology.

Erik Engebretsen - Head of Engineering, Bramble Energy

How A4I has made a difference

A4I has helped 235 UK companies to better understand their problems since 2017, helping them to:

  • Improve reliability of products, services and processes
  • Improve performance of existing products
  • Improve manufacturing output
  • Reduce rejection rates and costs
  • Demonstrate the meeting of standards and specifications
  • Access new markets

Analysis of the programme tells us that:

  • 82% of companies said that their commercial opportunity has greatly or moderately increased as a result of their A4I project
  • Companies expect sales, licensing and cost reductions of up to £125 million.


Download the A4I leaflet

Join our mailing list to keep up to date with future announcements

Do you want to solve an issue that is impacting your productivity and sales? Is it a problem with product reliability, manufacturability/cost of product or product lifetime?

Subscribe to our mailing list to keep up to date on future A4I activities.

Read our A4I case studies to find out how NPL has helped customers improve productivity, accelerate innovation and save on resources. 

Working with NPL: the customer view

Adaptix are developing low-dose, affordable 3D imaging and worked with NPL as part of the A4I initiative. Find out how they benefited from the relations built with NPL.

Adaptix experience


The Imagination Factory

See how Analysis for Innovators (A4I) and NPL scientists worked with The Imagination Factory to help fast track new technology to market and provide a positive impact on millions of train travellers. Find out how A4I can help your company.

Fleet Bio

Learn how A4I helped solved a key production challenge for Fleet Bio with a fully funded 3-month project.

Smith & Nephew

Hear how A4I funding has helped Smith & Nephew solve an analytical problem occurring in a new microbial wound dressing product.