The sharing economy: apply for business funding for new ideas

Innovate UK’s IC tomorrow programme is seeking innovative ideas to grow trust in the sharing economy and support it in the fields of tourism, travel, home improvements, construction and data.

The sharing economy is a growing phenomenon. It involves the use of Internet technologies to connect people and organisations so they can make better use of goods, skills, services, capital and spaces, allowing them to share access and reduce the need for ownership.

Examples include Airbnb, which connects a host with a spare room with a traveller looking for somewhere to stay, and Lyft, a ride-sharing service.

Up to 6 businesses could win £30,000 each to encourage innovation in the sharing economy. Successful businesses will have the opportunity to work alongside partners including Sharing Economy UKAirbnbNesta,Kingfisher (owner of B&Q and Castorama), CrossrailPeterborough City Council and Cranfield University.


We are looking for innovative solutions that:

  • provide new digital ways to improve levels of trust between those using the shared economy, in partnership with Sharing Economy UK
  • add value to the tourism experience by building on collective awareness and information sharing, in partnership with Airbnb
  • open up new commercial markets for the sharing economy, in partnership with Nesta
  • improve the customer home-improvement experience, in partnership with Kingfisher
  • help to make the use of construction resources more efficient and sustainable, in partnership with Crossrail
  • allow cities to make better use of their data to encourage sharing opportunities at a local level, in partnership with Peterborough City Council and Cranfield University

Competition information

  • this competition opens on 7 March 2016, and applications must be submitted by noon on 12 April 2016
  • the competition is open to businesses in the UK or EU
  • up to £30,000 is available to develop the successful project under each challenge
  • businesses can trial their ideas with industry partners while keeping their intellectual property
  • a briefing event will be held in London on 16 March 2016. It will be available as a webinar both live and after the event

Find out more about this competition and apply.

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