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A selection of funding opportunities for people working in industry


For further information, please follow the links to the external funding opportunity webpages.

BBSRC: Industrial Partnership Awards

Call status: Open

Application deadline: 21 September 2016, 16:00

Funded through our responsive mode grants.

Industrial Partnership Awards (IPAs) encourage and support collaboration between academic research groups and industry. Funding is only available for organisations eligible for BBSRC support.

Applications are assessed by BBSRC Research Committees, alongside standard applications, using the same criteria. IPA projects are normally funded in preference to standard grants of equivalent scientific merit.

BBSRC: ‘Stand Alone’ LINK

Call status: Open
Application deadline: 21 September 2016, 16:00

Funded through BBSRC's responsive mode grants. LINK supports collaborative research projects between at least one company and one academic partner. Funding is only available for organisations eligible for BBSRC support. Applications are assessed by BBSRC Research Committees, alongside standard applications, using the same criteria. BBSRC would expect to give a LINK project a significant uplift, but pressures on our funding mean that we cannot guarantee the extent nor effect of this uplift.

Benefits for company partners include: Financial support for the project; closer relationships with the science base; and possibility of recruiting appropriately trained staff at the end of the project.

BBSRC Innovator of the Year 2016 Competition

Call status: Closed
Previous call: 2 September 2015 – 19 January 2016
Next application deadline: TBC

This competition recognises and rewards individuals and small teams who have harnessed the potential of their excellent research. The competition has three categories: Commercial, social and most promising. Winners in each category will receive a £15,000 award, with a further £15,000 for the overall winner.

BBSRC Flexible Interchange Programme (FLIP)

Call status: Closed
Previous call: 16 October 2015 – 3 February 2016

BBSRC's Flexible Interchange Programme (FLIP) supports the movement of people from one environment to a different one to exchange knowledge/technology/skills, developing bioscience research/researchers and addressing our strategic priorities. FLIP awards provide flexible opportunities for individuals ("the interchangers") moving between different organisations, disciplines and sectors at all stages in their career beyond the PhD (or equivalent).

BBSRC Modular Training Partnerships (MTP) with Industry

Call status: Open

Application deadline: 4 October 2016, 16:00

(Applicants should ensure applications are completed as far in advance of the published deadline as possible to enable institution checks to be carried out before final submissions. There will be three MTP application deadlines per year.)

Modular Training Partnerships (MTPs) fund the development of industrially-relevant short training courses at Masters level. Training should be developed in close collaboration with industry, and evidence of industrial demand is a key requirement for funding. MTPs provide pump-prime funding for: the development of individual training modules and preparation and marketing of course materials, and course launch. Clusters of complementary modules are also considered if there is sufficient evidence of industrial demand. Priority is given to applications in subject areas of significant need identified by industry, and applications that are within strategic priority areas.

BBSRC New Strategic Training Awards for Research Skills (STARS)

Call status: Open
Application deadline: 4 October 2016, 16:00

The BBSRC STARS programme aims to support the development of strategically important and vulnerable research skills and capabilities in the biosciences. Awards are available to develop postgraduate-level training in areas of significant need for clearly defined academic and industrial sectors.

BBSRC: Knowledge Transfer Partnerships

Call status: Open
Application deadline: apply at any time

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) accelerate business innovation by supporting knowledge exchange with academic institutions. KTP operates through an open call which includes the entirety of BBSRC's remit. As part of a UK-wide programme, these partnerships serve as a mechanism to transfer knowledge and to develop graduate and postgraduate personnel for industrial careers.

BBSRC seeks to promote KTP in industrial sectors that are able to benefit from the UK's excellent bioscience research base and encourages the appointment of KTP Associates at post-doctoral level.

STFC Challenge Led Applied Systems Programme (CLASP) scheme

Call Status: Open

Application deadline: 1 September 2016.

STFC External Innovations runs a Challenge Led Applied Systems Programme (CLASP) to support the application and commercialisation of STFC research in the key global research challenge areas of energy, environment, healthcare and security. Individual annual calls are aligned to specific challenge areas.

STFC will be launching a new call in July 2016, offering £1.5M to fund a range of projects from short feasibility studies to large developmental projects that will use STFC funded research to solve key challenges in the Energy and Environment sectors. Challenge areas are outlined in the CLASP Guidance notes

STFC Rainbow Seed FundRainbow Seed Fund

The Rainbow Seed Fund is an evergreen venture capital fund for some of the leading UK publicly funded research organisations. It is independently managed by Midven and provides capital to commercialise the partners’ research. The partners employ over 3,000 scientists, in fields including: Bioscience (non-medical), Medical (non-bioscience), Electronics/Telecoms/IT hardware, Informatics and software, Engineering/Physics, Chemistry, Materials and Environment. The annual research budget is in excess of £1.0bn with over 25 research institutes across the country, in addition to links with the European centres of CERN and ESA. The Fund makes individual investments of between £10,000 and £500,000 and helps to leverage additional human and financial capital over the lifetime of our investment.

STFC Follow-On Funding

Follow-on Funding is intended to provide financial support at the very early or pre-seed stage of turning research outputs into a commercial proposition. Follow-On Funding will support a range of relevant activities to enable the development and examination of a concept to establish its commercial feasibility and scientific and technical merit.

STFC RSE/STFC Enterprise Fellowships

The STFC, along with the RSE (Royal Society of Edinburgh), offer support for STFC funded scientists who want to develop a business idea based on STFC funded research. The fellowship gives one year's salary and business training, to the Enterprise Fellow - the aim being to give someone the time and skills to set up a viable business as a result of the STFC science programme. Enterprise Fellowships are designed to encourage exploitation of the STFC research programme. Applications may be submitted on any subject provided that the original research or technological developments have their origin as part of a programme largely funded by STFC, or in the case of nuclear physics programme previously funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

STFC STFC Impact Acceleration Account - PilotSTFC Impact Acceleration Account - Pilot

STFC is launching a pilot call for an Impact Acceleration Account (IAA), which has been developed to provide flexible funding directly to the research organisation’s Knowledge Exchange (KE) / Technology Transfer (TT) Office (or equivalent) to support STFC-funded academics to take their ideas towards commercialisation, through activities not currently supported by an STFC funding programme. The programme will provide funds of £50,000 to organisations following assessment of applications.

Innovate UK Innovate UK Competitions

You can apply for funding to test the feasibility of your idea, research and develop it and demonstrate it in a prototype. Innovate UK funding competitions cover the following industry sectors:emerging and enabling technologies; infrastructure systems; health and life sciences; manufacturing and materials. There is also an open programme that is not sector based.

Innovate UK Agri-Tech Catalyst

Call status: Open


  • Before noon, 26 October 2016 for the expression of interest stage of the industrial research award category
  • Before noon, 25 January 2017 for the full-stage registration deadline for the early and late-stage awards
  • Before noon, 2 November 2016 for the expression of interest stage of the industrial research award category
  • Before noon, 1 February 2017 for the full-stage registration deadline for the early and late-stage awards

The £70m‘Agri-Tech Catalyst' funding scheme has been launched to help businesses and researchers develop innovative solutions to global challenges in the agricultural technology (‘agri-tech') sector. The Agri-Tech Catalyst will take innovative ideas from any sector or discipline. Ideas must show the potential to improve the sustainable intensification of agriculture.

Innovate UK Knowledge Transfer Partnerships

Call status: Open

Deadlines: 2016/17 close dates for submission are:

  • 7 September 2016
  • 2 November 2016
  • 18 January 2017
  • 8 March 2017

The Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) scheme helps businesses to innovate and grow. It does this by linking them with a university and a graduate to work on a specific project.

Each KTP is a three-way partnership between a business, an academic institution and a graduate. The academic institution employs the recently-qualified graduate who works at the company. The graduate, known as the ‘associate’, brings new skills and knowledge to the business.

Innovate UK Smart Awards

New R&D science, engineering and technology funding for single SMEs. Three types of grant are available: Proof of market grant; Proof of concept grant; Development of prototype grant.

Innovate UK Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI)

The Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) is a well established process to connect public sector challenges with innovative ideas from industry, supporting companies to generate economic growth and enabling improvement in achieving government objectives. SBRI provides innovative solutions to challenges faced by the public sector, leading to better public services and improved efficiency and effectiveness. It generates new business opportunities for companies, provides small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) a route to market for their ideas and bridges the seed funding gap experienced by many early stage companies. It supports economic growth and enables the development of innovative products and services through the public procurement of research and development (R&D).

Innovate UK Innovation Vouchers

Funding of £5k projects for SMEs in the area of Agri-food, Built Environment, to allow businesses to work with an external expert for the first time, gaining new knowledge to help businesses innovate, develop and grow.

Wellcome Trust Funding Schemes

A large number of science funding schemes, including schemes for collaboration with social sciences, humanities and arts are available from the Wellcome Trust.

Circular Economy Investment Fund

Call status: Open

Zero Waste Scotland is investing European Regional Development Funds to help small and medium businesses be resource efficient and create a more circular economy.

Finance for Welsh SMEs

Finance Wales makes commercial investments in small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) based in Wales or willing to relocate.

Resource Efficient Scotland SME Loans scheme

Funded by the Scottish Government, the Resource Efficient Scotland SME Loans scheme aims to support businesses that are looking to reduce costs through improved energy, material resource and water efficiency by providing an unsecured, interest free loan from £1,000 to £100,000.