About KTN SME Accelerator: Accelerating innovative chemistry & Industrial Biotech-led solutions for a Net Zero World

Introducing ktn’s SME Accelerator: Accelerating innovative chemistry & Industrial Biotechnology solutions for a Net Zero World

The purpose of this SME Accelerator Programme is to provide a valuable package of training & support to a cohort of 10-15 promising early & late-stage innovators to accelerate their pathway towards commercialisation.

This particular programme is about accelerating innovative chemistry & Industrial Biotechnology solutions for a Net Zero World and ideally those solutions will help enable the UK to build more resilient and local chemical supply chains.

What’s involved:

Over a 6-month period (October 2020 through March 2021), ktn will take a cohort of early- and late-stage innovators through a programme that is designed to help them take the next step in their development journey towards commercialisation and make them more attractive to public and private investors.

This package of support and training will be delivered online and is designed to be flexible around the specific needs of early- and late-stage innovators. The programme includes:

  • 1-1 ktn support from ktn sector experts including an Innovation Canvas session to help identify particular innovation challenges and prioritise actions to take your business to its next stage in development.
  • Scale-up support: The opportunity to engage with, and learn from experts in scaling up technologies and processes
  • Industry insights: The opportunity to hear from leading, established companies in the chemical supply chain about their own Net Zero strategy and innovation priorities, providing a great opportunity for innovators to gain exposure to these companies and understand the potential for collaboration and investment.
  • Specialist business support: We will provide access to business support experts who can provide advice on IP, tax credits, export markets, etc to help your business grow
  • Investment readiness training provided by ktn expert Emma Fadlon. This will include: insights from leading investors about what they look for when they invest; training in how to prepare an effective pitch; critique on your pitch from a panel of experts
  • The opportunity to improve your external profile and attract private investment: The top innovators from our cohort will be selected to showcase and pitch to our investors and industry partners at our Showcase event (March 2021). Ktn will provide innovators with exposure throughout the programme including at the Showcase event.

Who’s involved in the Programme:

This programme is led by ktn and sponsored by Innovate UK. We are working with a number of other Partner organisations from our expert network who will support training and investor readiness activities. Confirmed Partners include: organisations from the chemical sector with strong commitments around Net Zero & Open Innovation; organisations with expertise and capability in scaling-up industrial processes; and Investors and Investor Networks. Confirmed Partner organisations include: Unilever, Croda, Lubrizol, iBioIC, Centre for Process Innovation (CPI), Early Market LLP, Carbon Limiting Technologies, Ikigai Capital, Clean Growth Fund, UK Innovation and Science Seed Fund and Sustainable Ventures. We will be announcing more Partners soon!*

Rebecca Wood, Open Innovation Specialist, CRODA says “Croda is excited to join the KTN SME Accelerator Programme to support UK based SMEs and start-ups in bringing their technology closer to market. Croda is recognised for its long-standing focus on innovation in both the chemistry and industrial biotechnology areas and we recently announced our 2030 Sustainability Commitment “to be Climate, Land and People Positive by 2030 and to be the most sustainable supplier of innovative ingredients.” To deliver this we recognise that we need to partner, collaborate and invest in new technologies which enable not only the reduction of emissions to support our Net Zero ambition but also produce novel and innovative new effects for our customers.”

* If you would like to be considered as a Partner, please contact

Who should apply?

This programme is open to innovative and ambitious SMEs and start-ups who:

  1. Are developing the next wave of technologies that could be deployed in 2030-50 to make a substantive impact in meeting the UK and global Net Zero ambitions; and/or
  2. Can enable the production of chemicals with a lower/zero carbon footprint; or through their innovative product, will enable substantive emission reductions in downstream sectors; and/ or
  3. Are developing processes and technologies that can enable the UK to build more resilient and local chemical supply chains

We are particularly keen to hear from innovators whose core IP in: Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Industrial Biotechnology, Synthetic Biology, Digitisation; Artificial Intelligence fields. Also, innovators who are working in the following themes: Alternative feedstocks; Catalysis; Chemical Recycling of chemicals/ materials; process intensification. We are open to applications from other fields and themes as long as they can justify how they will meet the other criteria.

How to Apply?

The Programme will open for applicants on 1 September and the deadline for submissions will be midnight 30 September 2020. We will notify successful & unsuccessful applicants in early October.

If you would like to learn more about the SME Accelerator to find out whether it is relevant for you, then please attend our Launch Event on 3 September. You can register for the launch event here.

Event Overview

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Event Dates:

Thursday 3rd September 2020

Event Duration:

10am - 11am

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