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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 

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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Applicant briefing: Wednesday 15th June, 15:00 - 16:00. Register here.

Apply to the programme and more information.  Applications close: Friday 1 July, 09:00

Shortlist interviews: 19-27 July
Companies Notified: Friday 29 July 2022.
Programme commences (virtually): September 2022
Market Visit - first incubation week: Early October 2022
Market Visit - second incubation week: January 2023
Continued support from Innovate UK EDGE specialist: February-May 2023


Singapore - Agrifood

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Applicant briefing: 7 June 2022

Apply to the programme and more information. Deadline 23:45 on 1 July 2022 

Shortlist interviews: 12 & 13 July 2022
Incubation programming: 1 Sep 2022 – end Jan 2023
Continued support from UK specialist: Feb 2023 – Jan 2024

USA  (New York) - Clean Growth

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Applicant briefing: 3pm - 4pm, Wednesday 22nd September 2021 - video here

Apply to the programme and more information. Deadline 23:45 on Friday 22nd October 2021  
Shortlist interviews: 2nd, 3rd & 4th November 2021
Incubation programming: 10th January - 30th June 2022


Canada (Saskatchewan) -  Agri-Tech

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Applicant briefing: 1 December 2021 (15:00-16:00)  video here


Apply to the programme and more information.  Deadline 10 December 2021 (13.00)  
Shortlisted company interviews: 5-6 January 2022
Companies Notified: 10 January 2022
GIP Workshop: 23 February 2022
1st Physical Visit: 12-18 March 2022
2nd Physical Visit: 18-24 June 2022
Continued Support form EDGE Specialist: June-September 2022