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.

Smart

Smart (previously known as Grant for Research and Development) is a scheme available through the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) offering funding to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to engage in R&D projects in the strategically important areas of science, engineering and technology, from which successful new products, processes and services could emerge.

Open from 4 April 2011, the scheme will support R&D projects which offer potentially significant rewards and could stimulate UK economic growth. In contrast to the Collaborative R&D programme, Smart funding is available to single companies. Three types of grant are available 'Proof of Market', 'Proof of Concept' and 'Development of Prototype'.

Any UK SME working in any sector may apply; applications are accepted on a rolling basis for assessment by independent experts.

Smart website

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 page for 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) 

MAS (Manufacturing Advisory Service) is funded by BIS (Department for Business, Innovation and Skills). MAS provides manufacturing business support for companies based in England, helping them to improve and grow. MAS is accessible to all manufacturing businesses and SMEs may be eligible for funding on consultancy projects. MAS can provide consultancy projects in innovation, strategy, supply chain and efficiency following a free manufacturing review. MAS have team of dedicated Manufacturing Advisors across England who are able to tackle a wide range of manufacturing issues, for support and advice contact the helpdesk on 0845 658 9600 or advice@mymas.org or via their 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 

The project will be offering £10,000 grants to West Midlands SMEs that are collaborating with other regional SMEs on the development of a new product, process or service. The grant needs to be matched with an additional project related spend of £12,500.

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 and the South West.

The total fund 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 on 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 businessteam@bham.ac.uk