Grant funding helps companies of all sizes invest more in R&D projects and realise commercial opportunities more quickly than they otherwise may have been able to. From industry specific competitions to those where applications can come from any area of technology, throughout the year there are a wide range of R&D grant funding competitions open to innovative businesses.
Providers of R&D Grant Funding
In the UK, government-backed R&D grants are administered by Innovate UK, the UK’s national innovation agency. Innovate UK helps businesses to grow through the development and commercialisation of new products, processes and services.
For businesses participating in international R&D projects, the Eureka programme offers grant funding in a de-centralised manner through the funding agencies of the member countries. Funding for UK businesses is accessed via Innovate UK.
The UK government is also associated to Horizon Europe, an EU research and innovation programme which runs until 2027. Horizon Europe funding is available for global challenges and industrial competitiveness in a range of different fields.
Applying for Grant Funding
Applying for grant funding is a highly competitive process so it’s important to fully understand the specifications for entry into any competition and to clearly demonstrate your project is eligible under its terms. Some funding competitions have two or more different strands so you also need to ensure you are applying to the correct one applicable to the status and type of your project.
Details of how to apply for Innovate UK competitions are provided alongside the scope and eligibility criteria for each competition on the innovation funding service website which can be accessed here. Most competitions also have an online briefing event which provides essential information for applicants and an opportunity to ask any questions you may have about the competition and the application process.
How will receipt of an R&D grant affect R&D Tax Credit claims?
R&D Tax Credits are changing from accounting periods beginning on or after 1st April 2024. A new merged scheme for SMEs and Large Companies is being introduced in a bid to simplify the regime. This will replace the currently separate SME and RDEC schemes. In addition, new terms for R&D intensive, loss-making SMEs which were introduced in April 2023 are being made more favourable. Those eligible in the latter category will need to claim under a new R&D Intensive SME scheme.
There is both good and bad news on how this affects those in receipt of an R&D grant. Businesses benefiting from grant funding will have to claim under the new Merged Scheme, even if they would otherwise have been eligible to claim under the more generous R&D Intensive SME scheme.
However, on a positive note, subsidised expenditure is not going to be deducted in the new merged scheme, meaning that companies who receive grant funding for part of their R&D costs will receive the full benefit payable under the merged scheme, without being subject to any deduction.
Help with applying for grant funding
R&D Funding Group works closely with professional grant writing partners who have a long history of successfully helping businesses win R&D grant funding. If you would like to discuss what grants your business may be eligible to apply for and how we can help with this, please contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation.