UK Innovations

The UK has always been innovoative, with world-leading universities, businesses and social enterprises developing new approaches to local and global issues.


The FASTANK was initially designed for use by major Aid Agencies in developing countries to meet the needs of the UN Decade of Water & Sanitation. Since then FASTANK® has quickly become the tank of choice for Oil and Chemical spill clean-up, fire fighting, fish-farming and animal rescue.



HSBC are using blockchain to enable businesses to trade across borders and speed up paperwork, processes and tracking of goods being imported and exported.

De Montfort University

A team at DMU has developed a process which turns old plastics into both prosthetic limb sockets and construction bricks. The cost of producing a prosthetic socket this way is just £10, compared to the current industry average of around £5,000 each and the plastic bricks are 10 times more effective at insulation when compared to a conventional clay brick.

University of Sheffield

Factory 2050 is the first building to be completed on the The University of Sheffield's new Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre. The building is home to the AMRC’s Integrated Manufacturing Group (IMG). IMG's work is developing the use of robotics and automation, integrated large volume metrology, digitally assisted assembly and manufacturing informatics.


This Scottish team are opening the potential of the sea and helping eradicate the more than 8.8 million tonnes of plastic that end up in our oceans each year.

Their revolutionary process transforms the waste from the fisheries industry into a flexible anti-microbial and compostable type of food packaging that extends the shelf life of fresh food.


The Newport-based company has developed energy management software to help organisations make smarter energy decisions. They have built a platform that imports energy data, visualises it and derives insights from it. As a result, organisations can more accurately assess their energy usage and make changes for the future.


InnovationRCA is the Royal College of Art’s award-winning centre for entrepreneurship, incubation and acceleration, with unique design-led methodologies.

Established in 2004, it helps staff, students and alumni transform compelling ideas into successful businesses. With global access to seed funding, angel investing and venture capital, InnovationRCA has an exceptional track record, helping to build over 70 companies creating jobs, exports and profits.

McKinsey assessed it as "world-class" and one of the UK’s most successful university-based units of its kind, with a 71% 5-year-survival rate for its start-up companies, compared to the UK average of 16% for university start-ups.

InnovationRCA operates its own angel investor network with programmes aimed at entrepreneurs, start-ups and organisations looking for advisory and consultancy support for nascent innovation and entrepreneurship activities.

Linking together a number of InnovationRCA’s companies is an innovative approach to creating solutions to the ongoing problems associated with the crises in biodiversity, climate, and unsustainable consumption.

Through the application of rigorous research and design thinking, InnovationRCA’s community is building towards a vision of an environmentally sound and socially equitable future which will resonate with the people who will use their products and services.

The tyre collective

The Tyre Collective is a clean-tech company spearheading the capture and monitoring of tyre wear, accelerating the shift towards zero-emission mobility.

Piñatex by ananas anam

Piñatex by Ananas Anam is an innovative material made from pineapple leaf fibre that is increasingly used as an alternative to leather. Finding a use for the waste leaves delivers positive environmental and social impacts: it prevents them from being burnt, and represents a supplementary income stream for pineapple farming communities.


BuffaloGrid’s mission is to remove internet adoption barriers through the BuffaloGrid Hub, a solar-powered device that can charge 10 portable electronic devices simultaneously and provide access to digital services to connect the ‘next billion’.


Zelp is a methane-reduction device and certification system that aims to reduce the environmental impact of methane emissions from the livestock industry.


Knitregen produces wearable tech to aid rehabilitation in stroke sufferers.

deploy tech

Deploy Tech creates easy to deploy concrete water tanks, providing affordable and sustainable water storage infrastructure to rural areas.

Creative commissions

Creative Commissions are part of the British Council’s global programme – The Climate Connection – that brings people around the world together to meet the challenges of climate change in the run-up to the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26).  

17 Creative Commissions connect the UK and over 30 countries to explore climate change through art, science and digital technology. Each Creative Commission addresses different climate change themes, that are shared through a range of digital-first approaches, including VR, film, creative digital platforms and tools. The ambition for these Creative Commissions is to stimulate global conversations about the climate crisis, and to inspire transformational change through creativity and innovation.