Funded support for companies

We know that the financial cost of generating the new ideas, technologies and processes to help you achieve competitive advantage can be high. The University of Birmingham can help you to navigate your way through the funding opportunities that may be available for your organisation and find you a suitable academic partner. Funding opportunities are listed below or contact us for more information.

Types of funding available

Latest funding news

Energy catalyst - £25m funding to accelerate innovation in energy

The Energy Catalyst is open to innovative businesses and researchers from any sector who can address all elements of the energy ‘trilemma’ of:

  • reducing emissions
  • improving security of supply
  • reducing cost.

Read more

Knowledge Transfer Secondments (KTS)

A KTS provides funding to help exploit research through the movement of skilled people both into, and out of, the University of Birmingham through secondments.

You can learn more about KTS by downloading the KTS fact sheet (PDF - 171KB) 

Accelerating Business-Knowledge Base Innovation Activity (ABIA)

The ABIA Project is a European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) funded initiative established to underpin growth amongst small-to-medium sized businesses (SMEs) operating in the science and technology sectors in the West Midlands. By participating in the project, regional businesses will be given free access to the extensive expertise and facilities of the University of Birmingham to support business development and growth. The project provides dedicated staff to match business need with University capability.

Contact the Business Team for more infomation about the ABIA project and to see if your business qualifies for funding.

Collaborative R&D

Collaborative research and development (R&D) is designed to assist the industrial and research communities to work together on R&D projects in the strategically important areas of science, engineering and technology - from which successful new products, processes and services can emerge. 

The scope of the collaborative R&D competitions has been expanded recently to support large projects as well as smaller projects approved within faster timescales.

See the TSB competitions search pagefor current opportunities 

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) 

A UK-wide programme enabling businesses to improve their competitiveness, productivity and performance. A KTP achieves this through the forming of a Partnership between your business and an academic institution (such as a university, further education college or research and technology organisation), enabling you to access skills and expertise to help your business develop. Projects can vary between 6 months and 3 years.

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships

Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS) 

The Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS) is now part of the Business Growth Service, a government-backed service offering support to businesses with the potential to improve and grow.

Funded by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, we have an 80+ strong team of Business Growth Managers with specific manufacturing expertise, working on the ground with management teams to plan long-term strategies, improve processes, bring new products to market and develop supply chains.For more information please visit the MAS website.

Science City Research Alliance (SCRA) 

SCRA is a strategic union between the University of Birmingham and the University of Warwick in the technology areas of Advanced Materials, Energy Futures and Translational Medicine, in which both universities have a critical mass of expertise and facilities to help your business.

SCRA website

The Design Council 

Promoting design and architecture as being at the heart of everything we do – delivers design support and advice to industry, communities, central and local government. Occasional competition calls.

The Design Council website

Innovation Networks 

Capital and Revenue grants of between £10,000 - £15,000 are available to assist with product development and expenditure in relation to innovative projects. The project should be truly innovative resulting in a new product, process or service that provides tangible benefits for the West Midlands economy. Businesses must be collaborating with two or more other small businesses within the West Midlands region with the complementary resources and skills needed to develop ideas. The funding is available for projects where planned external expenditure is between £22,500 - £33,750

Find out more on the Innovation Networks website

TSB Innovation Vouchers

An Innovation Voucher provides funding of up to £5000 so that your business can work with an external expert (e.g. Universities) for the first time, gaining new knowledge to help your business innovate, develop and grow.

The following sectors are currently supported: : Space, High Value Manufacturing, Agrifood, Built Environment, Cyber Security, Energy Water & Waste and Open Data Innovators & Inventors. 

Please check the TSB website for more details and information on Innovation Vouchers.

Superfast Broadband Fund

Creative England have teamed up with Lincolnshire County Council to launch the 'Superfast Broadband fund'. The fund offers innovative and emerging SMEs across the UK, business funding of up to £25,000 and is open to enterprises based in the North, the Midlands nd the South West.

The total funds consists of £150,000 and invites SMEs to develop new digital solutions for local businesses that incorporate the advantages offered by the superfast broadband infrastructure.

Find out more at Creative England.

European funding

European research funding offers businesses an opportunity to engage with the University and consortia of other businesses and academics across the European Union to deliver collaborative R&D projects.There are also opportunities for short term to long term staff exchange programmes providing a boost in capacity, transfer of know-how and high-level skills. 

When collaborating with academics at Birmingham, the experienced and successful EU funding support team will support the application process, as well as provide contract negotiation and post award advice. 

For further information contact