Creative Catalyst Challenge Fund Seeks Innovative Decarbonisation Proposals in the Creative Industries

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Creative Catalyst Challenge Fund is back for its second round and is now accepting proposals for funding, targeting innovative R&D projects that aim to decarbonise or reduce waste within the Creative Industries. With a total grant pot of £250,000, the fund is designed to support creative entrepreneurs and companies in the UK working towards reducing their environmental impact and contributing to net-zero goals. 

Last year, Creative Catalyst Challenge Fund made several awards to companies working on innovative environmental solutions across the creative industries. These include:  

Heata: Heata repurposes the waste heat generated by cloud computing in the post-production industry to provide free hot water to homes. In their funded project, Heata partnered with a London VFX company to install a large, centralised rack system (a mini render farm) on a heat network in the UK, providing a community of social housing with free heating and hot water. 

ZAP Concepts: Large-scale events often struggle to find reliable, emissions-free power solutions. ZAP Concepts addressed this challenge by designing the Show Power Grid, a battery-based grid that offers zero emissions and enhanced reliability compared to traditional diesel generators. Developed initially for Coldplay’s Music of The Spheres World Tour, the Show Power Grid has the potential to reduce emissions of large-scale events by 50-100%, positioning it as the first-choice sustainable Power-As-A-Service application for events worldwide. 

The Creative Catalyst Challenge Fund offers a bespoke grant pool of £250,000 to finance the research and development of new products, systems, or processes that minimise environmental impact within the Creative Industries. This initiative is geared towards fostering business growth by enabling companies to develop and expand upon their creative and commercial ideas in ways that are environmentally sustainable. 

Funding Breakdown: 

For Round 2, the £250,000 funding will be allocated as follows: 

  • 1 award of up to £100,000 for more established businesses with market traction and customers, ideally with co-investment in place. 
  • 2 awards of up to £50,000 each for businesses over two years old looking to develop a new product or idea. 
  • 2 awards of up to £25,000 each for very early-stage or new businesses and R&D ideas. 

Eligibility Criteria: 

The fund is open to Creative Industries SMEs registered and trading in the UK. Key requirements for proposals include: 

  • Proposals must originate from and support the Creative Industries. 
  • Projects must demonstrate clear benefits for the UK creative sector and the wider UK economy. 
  • Projects must have a total grant funding request of £100,000, £50,000, or £25,000. 
  • All project work must be conducted in the UK, with project completion and budget allocation by 31st March 2025. 
  • Applications must be from registered Ltd Companies/SMEs based in the UK working in specified subsectors, such as Music & Sound, Advertising & Marketing, Crafts, Visual Arts, Dance, Theatre & Performance, Architecture, Publishing, AR, VR & Immersive, Createch, TV & Broadcasting, Film, and Gaming. 


Applications are open until 9am on July 22nd, 2024. Companies can submit only one application each. Interested parties can find full guidelines and application details here.  

For any questions, please contact us at 


Creative Catalyst Challenge Fund is powered by Creative UK, funded by Innovate UK.