SPARK Awards in Advanced Materials

Strategic Projects to Access Research and Knowledge


SPARK Awards are for strategic projects to access research and knowledge. These are targeted towards companies, particularly SMEs, looking to access research. The Materials KTN operates this scheme with the aim to help UK based companies improve their industrial performance through the increased use of technology for product and process innovation. This 2011 competition is launched by the Materials KTN in collaboration with and funded by their key partners the University of Bath, the University of Glasgow and the University of Sheffield.


Based on the strength of their research excellence in advanced materials, the three Universities have each been awarded EPSRC funds to address the barriers associated with the commercialisation of research outputs. Working with the Materials KTN, the Universities have made funding available from either their Knowledge Transfer Account (KTA) or, in the case of Bath, Bath Ventures, for companies wishing to work with them for the first time and to undertake initial technology based projects.

Individual Awards of up to £5000 are available for UK based companies to fund problem solving, proof-of-concept technology demonstration and other development activities involving materials. The research work must be carried out by or in collaboration with one of the University partners, and a fundamental requirement for such an award is that projects reach completion within a maximum of 4 months from the start date of the project.

Although projects are not expected to qualify on all the grounds below, priority will be given to proposals which:

·         Promise rapid results beyond completion of the work.

·         Have high leverage of future value for the company.

·         Have the potential to generate significant future collaborations.

·         Develop novel and/or innovative products or technologies.

·         Will deliver value back into the UK materials community including the application of nanotechnology.

Download an Application Form


Our Funding Partners

University of Glasgow

Find out more about the University of Glasgow's research capabilities in:

·         Nanotechnology

·         Materials Engineering and Composites

·         Functional Materials

Contact Dr Neil Bowering at The University of Glasgow if you have any questions about their research capabilities.

University of Sheffield

Find out more about the University of Sheffield’s research capabilities and facilities in:

·         Polymers (Polymer Centre)

·         Innovative Materials and Manufacturing  (Mercury Centre)

·         Materials Science and Engineering

·         Engineering (Sheffield Engineering Gateway)

Contact Mrs Jenny Molyneux  if you have any questions about the research capabilities at the University of Sheffield.

University of Bath / Bath Ventures

Find out more about the University of Bath's research capabilities:

·         Materials Research Centre

·         University of Bath Homepage

·         Bath Ventures Homepage

·         Download a presentation on the Universiity of Bath's research activities.

Contact Sean Smith at The University of Bath / Bath Ventures if you have any questions about their research capabilities.


If you have any general enquiries about SPARK Awards please contact Dr Matthew Thornton.


Back to our other funding details