Funding Support for Companies

We know that the financial cost of generating the new ideas, technologies and processes to help you achieve a competitive advantage can be high. The University of Birmingham can help you to identify and apply for funding opportunities available to your organisation. We can also connect you with the University's academic knowledge, facilitating partnerships where needed. Funding opportunities are listed below or contact us for more information.

Latest funding news

Innovate UK focuses on thematic areas that are most likely to generate UK economic growth and which address global challenges and opportunities – and on competencies and technologies which enable innovation in these areas.

A summary of all the latest funding opportunities from Innovate UK can be downloaded here.

New funding opportunities - May 2017

Energy Catalyst round 5

  • The aim of the competition is to accelerate the commercialisation of the very best of UK energy innovation.
  • Applications may involve any technology, come from any sector and address any business opportunity.
  • There are 3 streams under this competition – early, mid and late stage

Investment Accelerator Pilot

  • The aim of this competition is to fund feasibility studies that explore and evaluate the commercial potential of innovative ideas covering two Innovate UK sectors - Infrastructure Systems and Health and Life Sciences
  • It is anticipated that projects will last for 3 to 12 months with total project costs of up to £150,000.

Manufacturing and Materials Round 3

  • Innovate UK is to invest up to £15 million in innovation projects in manufacturing and/or materials.
  • Funding will be awarded to projects that focus on identified technical or commercial challenges.
  • Projects are expected to range in size from total costs of £50,000 to £2 million and should last between 6 months and 3 years. 

Niche Vehicle Grant Funded R&D Competitions

  • Sponsored by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV), Innovate UK and the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC), this competition focuses on providing SMEs active in the low carbon vehicle technology sector with funding to undertake collaborative research and development activities covering the following project types:
  • Proof of Concept Projects: providing grants for UK niche vehicle manufacturers and associated design and engineering companies to undertake the research and development of early market low carbon technology demonstration projects, primarily applicable to non-human powered road and off-highway low volume vehicles
  • Production Readiness Projects: providing grants for UK SMEs and their supply chain to take existing low carbon vehicle technologies from demonstration through to production readiness in a compressed timescale, leading to significant economic benefits whilst reducing CO2 emissions.

Knowledge Transfer Secondments (KTS)

Knowledge Transfer Secondments (KTS) provide funding to help exploit research through the movement of skilled people both into and out of the University of Birmingham through secondments. Projects are funded that fall within the engineering and physical sciences as well as biotechnology, biomedicine and the broader biological sciences.

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

Collaborative R&D

Collaborative research and development (R&D) projects are 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. Outputs from these projects include new products, processes and services. 

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 Innovate UK competitions page for current funding opportunities

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) 

A UK-wide programme that enables businesses to improve their competitiveness, productivity and performance. A Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) achieves this through the forming of a partnership between a business, the University and a recent graduate, enabling the transfer of skills and expertise into the company via a structured and subsidised programme. Projects vary between 1 and 3 years.

More details on the KTP scheme can be found on the University's dedicated webpages.

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. External businesses can gain access to much of the equipment made available through SCRA; contact us if you are interested in finding out more.

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

Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI)

Connecting public sector challenges and innovative ideas from industry. Support companies to generate economic growth and enables improvements in achieving government objectives. Funding calls are announced via Innovate UK's website

R&D tax credits

Research and development (R&D) tax relief (or credit) is a HMRC company tax relief that can either reduce a company's tax bill or, for some small and medium-sized enterprises, provide a cash sum. If you are interested in more details please contact us.