Funding

This page highlights sources of government support for the development and funding of new initiatives.

FundMap
Find a relevant funding opportunity using the FundMap developed by the Electronics Technology Networks. It has information about the investments available through the TSB grants, SBRI contracts and the Home Office.


CIOB Innovation & Research Funding Matrix
The CIOB has developed an online database for its members to interrogate and search for a wide range of local, national and pan-European research and funding opportunities. This aim is to engage and assist the UK construction industry in the R&D agenda and show how to apply for funding at the same time.


Technology Strategy Board
The Technology Strategy Board is a business-focused organisation dedicated to promoting technology-enabled innovation across the UK. Established as an executive body at arm's length from Government in July 2007, the organisation is sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). The Technology Strategy Board invest in research and development; build partnerships between business, research and Government to address major societal challenges; and run a wide range of knowledge exchange programmes to help innovation flourish. With a leading role in UK innovation, the TSB helps to build and maintain the country's global competitiveness.


Small Business Research Initiative
SBRI is a programme that brings innovative solutions to specific public sector needs, by engaging a broad range of companies in competitions for ideas that result in short-term development contracts.


INTERNATIONAL FUNDING

EURIKA's Eurostarts Programme

Eurostarts is a European Joint Programme dedicated to the R&D performing SMEs*, and co-funded by the European Communities and 33 EUREKA member countries. Eurostars aims to stimulate these SMEs to lead international collaborative research and innovation projects by easing access to support and funding. It is fine-tuned to focus on the needs of SMEs, and specifically targets the development of new products, processes and services and the access to transnational and international markets.

EU Framework 7
'Framework programmes' (FPs) have been the main financial tools through which the European Union supports research and development activities covering almost all scientific disciplines. FPs are proposed by the European Commission and adopted by Council and the European Parliament following a co-decision procedure. FPs have been implemented since 1984 and cover a period of five years with the last year of one FP and the first year of the following FP overlapping.

Ambient Assisted Living Joint Programme
The objective of the AAL Joint Programme is to enhance the quality of life of older people and strengthen the industrial base in Europe through the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). The motivation of the new funding activity is in the demographic change and ageing in Europe, which implies not only challenges but also opportunities for the citizens, the social and healthcare systems as well as industry and the European market.

European Science Foundation
Each year, the European Science Foundation (ESF) announces a series of calls for proposals which will give the opportunity to propose and launch research projects and collaborative activities with a European dimension.
EUREKA
EUREKA is a pan-European network for market-oriented, industrial R&D.
Created as an intergovernmental Initiative in 1985, EUREKA aims to enhance European competitiveness through its support to businesses, research centres and universities who carry out pan-European projects to develop innovative products, processes and services. Through its flexible and decentralised Network, EUREKA offers project partners rapid access to a wealth of knowledge, skills and expertise across Europe and facilitates access to national public and private funding schemes.

Eco-Innovation
This Call supports eco-innovative projects in different sectors which aim at the prevention or reduction of environmental impacts or which contribute to the optimal use of resources. Specific priority areas for the building and construction sector are as follows:

  • Innovative building processes or products that reduce environmental impact and/or support a rational use of natural resources
  • Green building techniques that leverage the use of recycled materials and renewable sources
  • New water-saving systems such as rainwater collection, grey water use, green roofs
  • Sustainable construction, maintenance, repair, retrofitting or demolition techniques.

The EU in the United Kingdom
This website brings together contact details for organisations and individuals in the UK and its regions that provide EU information and advice for the general public, the academic community and business. You will also find addresses for EU institutions and agencies that are based in the UK; MEPs, and sectoral bodies with EU interests such as the TUC. The following is a list of information providers supported by the European Commission in the UK with links through to their full contact details.


NATIONAL FUNDING

British Council
Our science programme supports scientific collaboration through the exchange of ideas and knowledge. We aim to build lasting relationships and networks between young scientists around the world.

Carbon Trust
The Carbon Trust's Applied Research Programme is open to UK businesses and research institutions and aims to support the development and commercialisation of technology with the potential to reduce UK carbon dioxide emissions.

BIS Department for Business Innovation & Skills
In a world of change and competition, BIS Department for Business Innovation and Skills is working to create the conditions for business success and help the UK respond to the challenge of globalisation.

Institute of Engineering and Technology
The Institution of Engineering and Technology is one of the world's leading professional societies for the engineering and technology community. The IET has more than 150,000 members in 127 countries and offices in Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific. The IET provides a global knowledge network to facilitate the exchange of ideas and promote the positive role of science, engineering and technology in the world.

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships
Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) is Europe's leading programme helping businesses to improve their competitiveness and productivity through the better use of knowledge, technology and skills that reside within the UK knowledge base. KTP is funded by the Technology Strategy Board with 17 other funding organisations.

Institute of Mechanical Engineers
Established in 1847, the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) is the leading body for professional mechanical engineers. With a world-wide membership now in excess of 75,000 engineers, the IMechE is the United Kingdom's qualifying body for Chartered and Incorporated mechanical engineers. IMechE annually supports the educational and development needs of today's students, graduates and members to the sum of £600,000.

National Physical Laboratory's Technology Innovation Fund
NPL's Technology Innovation Fund provides an exciting and rare opportunity for new and innovative collaborations to be developed generally as well as in the modern built environment domain, enabling and empowering industries with sound measurement expertise – a fundamental factor in all technological developments. NPL offers its help through three distinct products:

The new Technology Innovation Fund is inspired by the successful Measurement for Innovators (MFI) programme run at NPL and aimed at continuing the successes seen throughout MFI. The MFI programme provided participants with business benefits worth almost £10 million delivered through over 400 consultancies, secondments and joint industry projects during a 5-year period.

Such benefits included reduced time to market/ improvement of new products, processes and services helping to drive down costs and improve quality, reduced financial risk of developing new technologies and implementing change, increased understanding of the technology market leading to new business opportunities, and an increased understanding of measurement processes and their fundamental importance in technology development. If this sounds like something you would be interested in then please click here for further details.
 
Below are some case studies where NPL consultancies have significantly helped the companies involved or made advances in science to help businesses.

The Ove Arup Foundation
The Foundation was endowed by the Arup Group with an overall mission, for 'the advancement of education directed towards the promotion, furtherance and dissemination of knowledge of matters associated with the built environment.

The Royal Society
The Society plays an influential role in national and international science policy and supports developments in science engineering and technology in a wide range of ways.
Royal Academy of Engineering
The Academy runs a comprehensive programme of awards and schemes to encourage engineering research and facilitate closer contacts between the industrial and academic worlds.


REGIONAL FUNDING

The Regional Growth Fund
The Regional Growth Fund will provide a mixture of direct support for private sector investments and support for some basic infrastructure that removes the barriers that trigger private sector led economic growth as part of a wider investment. Bids must be able to demonstrate that the Fund will create long term growth by levering private sector investment and jobs.

Business Link
Business Link provides the information, advice and support you need to start, maintain and grow a business. It provides information and advice to help customers make the most of their opportunities. Rather than providing all the advice and help itself, it fast-tracks customers to the expert help they need.
Local Business Link services are primarily funded by the Regional Development Agencies, supported by a number of other government departments, agencies and local authorities. The online service is managed and funded by HM Revenue & Customs on behalf of the cross-government Businesslink.Gov programme.

EEDA Enterprise Hub for the Built Environment
This regional Hub aims to support SMEs within the East of England region to better understand the challenges and business opportunities within the built environment industry. The primary objective of the Hub is to help the regional supply chain deliver homes which meet new legislation and industry standards such as the Code for Sustainable Homes.

England's Regional Development Agencies
England's RDAs help businesses compete, revitalise urban and rural areas, promote sustainability, improve regional infrastructure and facilitate innovation.

Manufacturing Advisory Service
The Manufacturing Advisory Service aims to address the practical needs of British manufacturers by delivering hands-on advice and assistance from experts in a wide range of manufacturing disciplines.
This MAS website provides a variety of resources for manufacturers.
In addition to MAS contacts in your region we have a range of information, case studies of successful MAS interventions, fact sheets, weblinks and a directory of other specialist support organisations.

Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland
The RIAS runs award schemes for individuals, practices, communities and students.

Selective Finance for Investment in England (SFI)
SFI is designed for businesses that are looking at the possibility of investing in an Assisted Area, but need financial help to go ahead. Assistance is also available to SMEs investing in Tier 3 areas - contact your local Regional Development Agency (RDA) for details. Delivery of the scheme in England is primarily through the RDAs. Business Links can act as an initial point of contact and as advisers to applicants in some cases.

Structural and Cohesion Funds
The Structural and Cohesion Funds are the European Union's main instruments for supporting social and economic restructuring across the EU. They account for over one third of the European Union budget and are used to tackle regional disparities and support regional development through actions including developing infrastructure and telecommunications, developing human resources and supporting research and development. 


BUSINESS START UP

NESTA
NESTA is the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts - a unique and independent body with a mission to make the UK more innovative. They aim to shape innovation policies that will help the UK meet national innovation challenges of the 21st century. That means we might use our expert knowledge to influence government and regulatory policy, or consider how policy may support the work of our investment and programme teams. NESTA Ventures invests directly in early-stage companies in the environmental technology, healthcare, information and communications technology and engineering sectors.

British Venture Capital Association
The British Private Equity and Venture Capital Association is the industry body for the UK private equity and venture capital industry. Their membership of well over 400 members represents the overwhelming number of UK-based private equity and venture capital firms and their advisers.

British Business Angels Association
The British Business Angels Association (BBAA) is the trade association for UK Business Angel Networks, the early stage investment industry together with its associates and affiliates. It has evolved from National Business Angel Network (NBAN) and is backed by the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (formerly the DTI) and is sponsored by Angelsoft; Kingston Smith; McDermott, Will & Emery and NESTA. The BBAA is also supported by Capital for Companies.


ACADEMICS ONLY

Research Councils UK
Research Councils UKA strategic partnership of seven UK Research Councils championing science, engineering and technology to create a common framework for academic research.

EPSRC
EPSRC are the main UK government agency for funding research and training in engineering and the physical sciences, investing around £740 million a year in a broad range of subjects – from mathematics to materials science, and from information technology to structural engineering.

EPSRC operates to meet the needs of industry and society by working in partnership with universities to invest in people and scientific discovery and innovation. The knowledge and expertise gained maintains a technological leading edge, builds a strong economy and improves people's quality of life.

ESRC
The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funds research and training in social and economic issues.

AHRC
The Arts and Humanities Research Council supports research within a huge subject domain from traditional humanities subjects, such as history, modern languages and English literature, to the creative and performing arts.

The Leverhulme Trust
The Trust makes awards for the support of research and education. The Trust emphasises individuals and encompasses all subject areas.

Carnegie Trust for Universities in Scotland
Grants up to £30,000 are available for joint programmes of collaborative research projects from staff within the Scottish Universities.


SPECIFIC FUNDING SCHEMES
First grant Scheme
This scheme is for researchers who don't yet have enough experience to give them the credentials needed to compete for responsive mode research funding against experienced applicants from UK universities. If you are taking up a professorship or other senior academic position at a UK university and have already established significant research credentials in industry or outside the UK, the first grant scheme is not appropriate for you.

Fellowships
Postdoctoral fellowships
Postdoctoral fellowships enable talented new researchers to establish an independent research career shortly or immediately after completing a PhD. They provide funding to cover the fellow's salary and a small amount of travel and subsistence, equipment and consumables. The fellowships last for up to three years except the Royal Academy of Engineering/EPSRC research fellowships, which last for five years.

Career Acceleration Fellowships
Career Acceleration Fellowships provide support for talented researchers at an early stage of their career. Up to five years funding is available, and there is an annual call for proposals. Career Acceleration Fellowships are offered across the whole of the EPSRC remit.

Leadership Fellowships
Leadership Fellowships provide support for talented early or mid-career researchers with the most potential to develop into the UK's international research leaders. Up to five years funding is available, and there is an annual call for proposals. Leadership Fellowships are offered across the whole of the EPSRC remit.

Innovation and Knowledge Centres
Innovation and Knowledge Centres are centres of excellence with five years' funding to accelerate and promote business exploitation of an emerging research and technology field. Their key feature is a shared space and entrepreneurial environment, in which researchers, potential customers and skilled professionals from both academia and business can work side-by-side to scope applications, business models and routes to market.

Platform Grants
Platform Grants are a flexible mechanism of providing underpinning funding to well established, world leading research groups. This scheme is used by the Engineering, Materials and Information and Communication Technologies Programmes to provide stability and flexibility to world leading research groups. Platform grant funding allows groups to retain key staff, undertake feasibility studies, longer term research and network internationally.

BRE Trust
As a research and education charity for public benefit the BRE Trust has as its overriding activity 'to commission and support research, education, innovation and communication in science, engineering, economics, management and information technology connected with the built environment.

It employs the income and reserves resulting from the gift-aid received from its subsidiary companies to fund PhD scholarships, research chairs at university centres of excellence plus research and education projects.

Contact

Update on the latest Opportunities for Funding and Competitions:

Resource efficiency: New Designs for a circular economy - the Technology Strategy Board is to invest up to £1.25m in feasibility studies into the re-design of products, components and systems to retain material within the economy over several cycles of use – ‘closing the loop'. The second round opens on 11 February 2013. The deadline for registration is noon 20 March 2013 and the deadline for applications is noon 27 March 2013.

National Innovation Voucher Scheme - the Technology Strategy Board has launched a new scheme to encourage businesses to work with an external expert for the first time, gaining new knowledge to help the business innovate, develop and grow.

E2B European Funding Index - summary on all current opportunites for funding on Energy Efficient Buildings.

BIS Launches Innovation and Research for Growth -  £75 million of support for SMEs amongst incentives for businesses to grow through innovation.

Grant for R&D: innovation support for small & medium enterprises -  Smart: a new scheme is offering funding to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to engage in R&D projects in the strategically important areas of science, engineering and technology, from which successful new products, processes and services could emerge.