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Global Incubator Programme: business acceleration for SMEs

An acceleration programme for innovative SMEs to explore the potential of overseas markets.
An international meeting overlaid with an aeroplane and connect world

The Global Incubator Programme is an acceleration programme for innovative SMEs to explore the potential of overseas markets.

Apply to take part


Are you ready to scale your business globally?

You need to explore the potential of overseas markets before you can grow. The Global Incubator Programme is an acceleration programme for cohorts of 6-8 innovative SMEs to spend time in world-leading incubators abroad.

Our structured programme uses an intensive four-stage method to tackle the challenges that most companies face when entering global business markets. Small and medium-sized enterprises can explore the potential of specific overseas markets and access world-class mentors and tailored workspaces. 

The programme operates in four countries: the USA, Canada, Singapore and India.

Who is the Global Incubator Programme for?

In order to be eligible for the Global Incubator Programme, you must be a small or medium sized company based in the UK. 

The four stages of the programme are as follows:


A two-day preparation workshop delivered to the entire group in the UK. You will be allocated an innovation and growth specialist who will work with you on your strategic development plan for the programme. You will receive an overview of the innovation and sector landscape of the country's market and training to maximise the incubation experience.



A market visit as a group, providing the opportunity to consider technology and market fit, preliminary customer validation and an introduction to ecosystem players.



Working with your specialist, refine your strategic development plan, spend 3-6 months in the incubator within the market country and experience a tailored programme of activities.



Work with your specialist to exploit the programme and consider the potential funding, connections, skills and expertise required to enable opportunities that will impact your company and enable it to grow.


Selection for the incubation programme

The Global Incubator Programme operates on a competitive basis and businesses selected against the criteria listed on the programme page are required to actively participate in all four stages.


What is the cost of Global Incubator Programme?

Innovate UK will cover the training and incubation costs offered by this programme (conditions apply) as well as the Participate market visit. Companies must cover staff time and any travel and accommodation if a physical programme is possible.


Apply for Global Incubator Programme 


USA (New York) - Clean Growth

Why USA? The US Government has pledged to cut US greenhouse emissions in half by 2030 and become carbon neutral by 2050. As a result, the US is scaling up the development and deployment of clean energy technologies to build a new clean energy infrastructure and economy.

New York’s commitment to clean tech and renewable energy is driving tech manufacturing and reinvigorating the state’s economy – while establishing New York State as a business destination for industry innovators looking to access one of the world’s largest markets.

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Applicant briefing (recorded 27 July 2022):

Apply to the Programme and more information:  Deadline 5pm Friday 9 September 2022

Shortlist interviews: 3rd to 7th October 2022
Cohort Confirmed 14th October 2022
Onboarding & Planning – 1st November to 16th December 2022
Incubation Period: January to June 2023


Gateway to Australia - Agri-Tech

Why Australia?  The adoption of technology presents a significant opportunity for Australian agriculture to improve profitability, with digital technologies alone predicted to increase GVP by 25% to over $20billion. Australia’s agriculture industry is on track to be a $100billion industry by 2030, creating a perfect launchpad for UK businesses to connect, collaborate and scale in a diverse and rapidly growing market.

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Applicant briefing: 10.00am - 11.00am on 21st July 2022. Register here.
Apply to the programme and more information. Applications close 9.00am on 15th August 2022.  Sample application form here.

Shortlist interviews: 15-27 September 2022
Companies notified: 29 September 2022
Programme commences (virtually): November 2022
Market visits: 
First market visit: February 2023 
Second market visit: June 2023
Continued support from Innovate UK EDGE: March-June 2023


Previous Programmes


Canada - Advanced Manufacturing Cohort Two

Why Canada? Canada is ranked among the top four start-up ecosystems globally and is the number one destination for entrepreneurs. Innovators working in automation, robotics, IoT, machine learning, and AI are choosing Canada.

From start-ups to scale-ups, MaRS offers a range of services that help tech founders grow their companies and create meaningful innovation. MaRS works with 1,400 companies across Canada, turning breakthrough ideas into products and services with global impact.

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 Applications are now closed.


Singapore - Agrifood

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Applications are now closed.