What are R&D Grants?
Whether you’re a fledgling start-up, a developing technology company, or a mature business, there is a large selection of UK and EU grant funding currently available to help you take innovative new products or services to the next level.
Government backed R&D grants are designed to fill the funding gap where companies either lack the necessary resources or private funding sources might consider their market or types of projects being too risky to invest in.
The main EU grants are Horizon 2020 EIC Accelerator (formerly SME Instrument) and EU collaborative calls. The key ones in the UK are administered by Innovate UK and each year they release a range of sector specific funding competitions as well as a series of Smart Grants which are not limited to a particular industry or technology area.
What grant funding is available?
There are numerous R&D Grants offering millions of pounds to UK companies to encourage R&D and innovation activities.
Horizon 2020 EIC Accelerator and EU collaborative calls
This funding is available in two distinct phases:
Phase 1: Concept & Feasibility Assessment (Business case to apply for phase 2)
Phase 2: R&D, market ready, product, process or service
Innovate UK – Smart Grants and Themed Calls
Companies can apply for this funding if they want to test the feasibility of an idea, research and develop it, or demonstrate it in a prototype. There are different competitions to encourage specific technologies, sectors and challenges, and other calls that are open to any sector or challenge.
Funding in this area focuses on the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 3 through to TRL5 for companies that have growth ambitions. This funding is available for both SMEs and Large Companies and is very competitive.
Click here to see a list of Innovate UK funding competitions currently open for entries.
What projects are eligible for funding?
All R&D projects must be realistic commercial opportunities that are focused on either creating new markets or exploiting significant growth in an existing market. In order for any potential project to be considered it must be seeking to solve a scientific or technological uncertainty. In many cases projects that meet the qualifying criteria are often perceived as too early or too risky for the private sector to get involved.
How to apply for grant funding
Innovate UK has 2 application processes – online through its Innovation Funding Service, and document based via a secure upload site. The process required is dependent on the type of grant and you will be directed to the appropriate website once you start your application. In either case you will need to set up an account, and for document based applications you will need to register at least one week before the application deadline.
Once a funding competition is open for entries, briefing events are often held at locations across the UK or online. Whilst the requirements for each funding competition vary, generally you will need to provide detailed project information, answer a series of in-depth questions about the project, and provide costings.
Why use our grant writing service?
R&D Grant Funding is highly competitive with the national average success rate below 10%. Applying for these grants can be very competitive and time consuming and this is why it often makes sense for businesses wishing to apply to seek professional guidance. You also need to consider how an award of grant funding might affect any claim for R&D Tax Credits.
Industry leading success
R&D Funding Group works with partners who have an industry leading success rate for both Innovate UK and Horizon 2020 R&D Grants, and we are able to offer one of the most cost-effective services in the industry. You can gain a significant advantage over other grant applicants by engaging our Grant Writing services as our experienced team of grant writers consistently win funding where many others fail.
Our Industry Leading Process
Our grants team, comprising of scientists and management consultants have developed a unique bid writing process that ensures your grant application exceeds the acceptance thresholds and therefore has the best chance of success. Over the last 3 years we have raised over £60 million across all technology sectors.