BFI National Lottery Innovation Challenge Fund

The Innovation Challenge Fund seeks to support not-for-profits to develop innovative new solutions which tackle the UK screen sector’s most critical challenges.

Between 2024 and 2026, up to six challenge calls will be identified where innovative new thinking could catalyse a step change in the industry, whilst producing learning and insights that benefit the whole screen sector.

Challenge Call 2 – AI in screen and moving image archives 

Funding available: up to £175,000.

The advent of AI has changed the way we use, share and search for information. Inevitably, this means changes for archives, and their vital role in the screen sector. Although AI’s full range of impacts are not yet understood, it clearly has the potential to drastically impact the ways in which we document, explore and understand moving image in the coming years. 

This call seeks to support moving image archives in the UK to develop skills and AI literacy across the sector by experimenting with new AI-based approaches and disseminating the learning from this. It aims to build capacity, enabling archives to access some of the benefits, and address some of the challenges and opportunities presented by this new technology.

It will do this by supporting the application most likely to:

  • bring together a diverse cohort of moving image archives with an interest in experimenting with AI to improve connectivity and build capacity across the sector; 
  • test new processes and ideas, developing innovative approaches to complex challenges; and 
  • share learning about the results of this experimentation to build AI literacy and understanding across the archive and screen sectors. 

When you can apply

The deadline for applications is midnight on Thursday 5 September. Awards are expected to be made in January 2025.

You need to read the funding guidelines before you apply. The application link is included in the guidelines.

More information and support

We will be hosting an online Q&A for applicants who would like to know more about this opportunity on Thursday 25 July, 2 – 3pm.

Register your interest for the Q&A

We can provide assistance to you if you have access requirements and need some support to apply. See Access support for BFI funding applicants.

If you have any questions about the fund, email

Previous Challenge Call — video games

The fund’s first challenge call supported innovation in the UK video games sector. 

Applications for this call are now closed.

Successful awardees will be announced in early Autumn. You can still find information about the previous challenge call.