Global Business Innovation Programme to SXSW 2022, Austin, USA – Audience of the Future

About This Event

Is your business looking to draw on your skills in the immersive future technology sector?


What is the Innovate UK Global Business Innovation Programme?

The Global Business Innovation Programme (GBIP) Audience of the Future is a funded offering organised by Innovate UK as part of UKRI and delivered by Innovate UK EDGE, to help innovative UK businesses explore global opportunities to grow and scale. 

Consisting of a three-phase programme - get ready for the market, visit the market and exploit the opportunity, the Global Business Innovation Programme is designed to provide valuable insights to gain detailed market knowledge, introductions and cultural benefits to enable you to effectively access and exploit a market with new collaborations and partnerships, which businesses would find difficult to obtain themselves. 

You will receive invaluable wrap around support by an expert innovation & growth specialist, who will help your business maximise the opportunities identified, including developing innovation projects with partners in the territory.


Why apply to attend SXSW in Austin?

This Global Business Innovation Programme focuses on The South by Southwest (SXSW) conference in Austin, the global community of digital creatives to learn cutting-edge ideas, discover new interests, and network with other professionals who share a similar appetite for forward-focused experiences.

This initiative is designed for businesses in the Audience of the Future sector. Audience of the Future is a programme funded under Wave 2 of the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund. This initiative is particularly relevant for businesses working with: 

  • Haptics, sonics and other sensory interfaces
  • Advanced visualisations and display technologies
  • AI & 5G

Immersive future technology will fundamentally change products and services in the next 20 years, and transform how we experience the world.

Creative industries from around the world will converge in Austin, Texas for SXSW 2022 to experience opportunities for networking, learning, brainstorming, and career-enhancing connections. 

Internationally, Audience of the Future represents one of the largest targeted research and innovation programmes in immersive technology and experiences.  This presents the UK Creative Industries with a unique opportunity for significant growth.


How does the Global Business Innovation Programme work?

The Global Business Innovation Programme is structured around three main phases and each business will have a designated Innovate UK EDGE Innovation and Growth Specialist to support them for the duration of the offering, including developing an action plan to capitalise on the opportunities identified.

The three main phases of the Global Business Innovation Programme are:

Phase 1: Getting ready for the market

Pre-activity briefing workshop to build knowledge and understanding of the  market and potential opportunities, including how to do business, cultural aspects, how to protect your IP and training on how to improve your pitch and articulate your value proposition (1 day workshop).

Phase 2: Visiting the market

Explore the innovation opportunities in the USA first-hand through meeting with key companies and research organisations and potential collaborators and partners through pre-arranged meetings and organised matchmaking (7 days of market related activity).

Phase 3: Exploiting the market

An exploitation workshop and one-to-one support from a Innovate UK EDGE  Innovation and Growth Specialist to follow up and take advantage of the opportunities identified.


Key Programme Dates

Who is this the programme best suited for?

Are you an innovative business? If you are looking to explore future tech opportunities at the SXSW conference in Austin - this programme is for you!


  • Be registered in the UK
  • Small or medium sized business (can have up to 500 employees)
  • High-growth innovative businesses, ambitions for global growth
  • Senior or CEO decision maker in the company should attend

It is important that businesses will directly benefit from participation in the programme and have the necessary resources and can clearly articulate their objectives and ambition for participation.  

Places will be allocated based on those businesses most aligned with this suitability criteria. 


What is the cost?

Innovate UK and Innovate UK EDGE will fund and organise flights, accommodation, in-market travel, and conference fees for successful applicants. They will also pay for any reasonable adjustments throughout the initiative.

Only one representative from each company will be funded. On acceptance to the initiative a commitment fee of £500 will be obtained from each delegate, which will be refunded on completion of the full activities and agreed action plan. Non-completion after formal acceptance may result in forfeiting some or all the commitment fee.


COVID-19 Safety Measures

The safety of our delegation is our top priority. As the public health guidelines and laws concerning COVID-19 and associated variants continue to change, SXSW is still finalising COVID-19 mitigation plans.

The SXSW organisers will keep us informed throughout the season as they refine on-site health precautions, and will continue to work with local health authorities to follow the health and safety guidelines in place for Austin at the time of the event.

If the COVID-19 situation does not allow us to travel to the market, a virtual visit may need to be considered. 


US Travel Regulations

Successful applicants will be expected to fully comply with any conditions of travel to the United States at the time of travel as well as any local regulations on face covering and social distancing. As such, you might be required to provide proof of vaccination, valid travel medical insurance and/or negative COVID-19 test ahead of travelling to the United States.


How can you apply?

To submit your application, please click the 'Apply here' button at the top or bottom of this page. The application will take approximately 1 hour and needs to be completed in one single session. 

The Global Business Innovation Programme has a competitive application process where only the best applications will be successful following an evaluation process.

Innovate UK is committed to ensuring that anyone from any background, has an equal opportunity to be successful. 

The application deadline is Tuesday 23rd November 2021, 09:00am. 

All applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application by Friday 3rd December 2021.

Please note:

  • Only 15 places are available for this programme and one delegate per company is permitted to attend
  • This is a competitive selection process. All applications will be reviewed and assessed
  • The delegate should be the CEO or senior decision maker in the company 
  • All stages of the GBIP are mandatory to attend
  • Once successful a commitment fee of £500 will be obtained from each delegate. This will be refunded on completion of the full activities and agreed action plan

Due to high demand, our application process is highly selective. We strongly encourage you to apply as soon as possible. Please also note we will not be able to provide individual feedback on applications. 


Contact us

Have a question about the event? Email our team at 

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