Visit www.innovateuk.gov.uk competitions section to find out more about the funding opportunities available now.
Collaborative research and development
We generally fund innovation through our collaborative research and development competitions which offer 50-75% funding for projects aiming to take their research closer to market –whether it's a new product, process or service.
In certain technologies and to meet particular challenges more groundwork may need to be done to get to the point where projects are ready to be taken through collaborative R&D. In these areas we run competitions to fund feasibility studies so that businesses can develop their ideas to the point where they may be worth pursuing through collaborative R&D. These studies are usually 75% funded, run for three months and we may provide up to £25,000 for the cost of the research.
Our fast-track competitions offer relatively small amounts of funding; perhaps £50,000 to £100,000 for projects lasting 12-18 months. For some industries or challenges we believe it's the best way to offer support and stimulate innovation. For example, the UK has an outstanding track record in the creative industries and the sector is characterised by small and medium-sized businesses. We use the fast-track approach when it's the right tool for the industry.
We recognise that while companies might be able to get to a prototype stage, in some industries we need to be able to show the market, potential users and the industry that the technology works. Our demonstrator competitions offer businesses and industry as a whole the opportunity to showcase their technologies in action and, more importantly, to test them in real-life situations and during everyday use. In this way glitches can be ironed out before mass market launch.
Occasionally we're presented with good ideas that don't fit with any of our competitions. Such ‘exceptional' ideas are highly innovative, offer significant benefits to the UK economy, and tend to be larger scale than our usual collaborative R&D projects. For these business-led projects we provide 50% of the total project cost.
We want to increase the number of UK business that secure funding under Framework Programme 7 – the main European instrument for funding research. To do this we are aligning our work with the EU's own objectives and attempting to influence policy in European programmes. We are providing financial support to European funding competitions, and we offer a free support service for businesses that want advice on how to deliver successful funding bids.
For more information and advice see www.fp7uk.org
We also support the EUREKA European R&D network and its Eurostars programme which considers R&D funding applications year-round from small and medium-sized enterprises.
For more information see www.eurostars-eureka.eu