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Secure funding to work with us

There are many schemes available, primarily through government organisations and charities, and we can secure funding from them to work with you.

Some current funders and opportunities include:

Impact Acceleration Accounts

Awards by the research councils through Impact Acceleration Accounts fund partnerships between the University and external organisations. These partnerships can develop new services, products and professional practice through a range of mechnisms which include: secondments of staff from the University to a partner organisation or from the partner organisation into the University, proof of principle awards and commercialisation awards.

Whether you are a small, medium or large-scale organisation, contact us to discuss your idea:

Innovate UK

Most of their funding schemes are competitions, and the company partner contributes a proportion of the project costs. Experienced staff at the University can provide support and assistance.

Opportunities change regularly  Check the Innovate UK website for all of the current opportunities.

Innovation Vouchers

You can receive up to £5000 to pay for academic consultancy enabling your company to innovate in some way.

You will need to outline the work that you would like done and, if it benefits the academic’s research and they are happy to do it for you, then you can apply online for a voucher from Innovate UK, taking careful note of the guidance. The academic’s work will be costed in line with market rates. 

Available to

SMEs (fewer than 250 employees).

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP)

A KTP grant will part-fund a researcher (KTP Associate) who will carry out a 1-3 year project with your company that will be of strategic benefit to you. 

The Associate is a University member of staff but spends most of their time at your company premises, with expertise, support and supervision provided by an academic supervisor and other researchers.

Experienced staff at the University will guide and support you in negotiating the two-stage online application process

Available to

Large and small companies - different grant rates are applicable to each.  


Each competition page contains a briefing document detailing the areas of innovation that must be addressed by the project. Read guidance on how to apply, including how to register for your chosen competition and complete the application.

Feasibility Studies

Regular competitions are issued on different themes for grants of up to £400,000 for UK SMEs to do research and development in collaboration with a research organization. 

The project must be to test an innovative idea and its feasibility to target a specific market. The funding contributes towards the costs of the work that the company and the academic(s) do for the project.

Available to

SMEs (fewer than 250 employees).

Collaborative research and development

Regular competitions are issued on different themes related to technical or societal challenges for grants from £25K to £5m for a UK business to do research and development in collaboration with a research organization. 

You can use the funding to test and develop a new product, process or service, and it contributes towards the costs of the work that the company and academic(s) do for the project.


A set of ongoing competitions for funding from £150,000 to £10m towards a collaborative research and development project involving two or more partners, covering four main themes:

  • Agri-Tech
  • Biomedical
  • Energy
  • Industrial Biotechnology. 

Projects may be at one of three levels:

  1. early stage feasibility study
  2. prototyping, field trials or market testing
  3. late-stage testing in a real-life environment. 

The funding contributes towards the costs of the work that the company and academic(s) do for the project.


An ongoing competition for grants for UK SMEs to carry out research and development projects in science, engineering or technology areas to part-fund either:

  • proof of market (up to £25k)
  • proof of concept (up to £100k)
  • development of a prototype (up to £250k). 

If your project would benefit from academic input, the University will act as a subcontractor, and you can include our costs in your initial application.

Available to

SMEs (fewer than 250 employees).

See available competitions

Contact us

We can help you identify potential academic partners if you don't already know who to talk to.

Just provide us with details of the issue to be addressed and the specific expertise you need.

Business enquiries team

Academic benefits

Helping to solve your problem enables our academics to extend their existing research programmes. 

Case Study: Aerosol optical tweezers

Creating commercial devices for measuring airborne particles

Case Study: Helitune

A new algorithm boosts efficiency of helicopter maintenance, cutting costs and downtime dramatically

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