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Multiple funding & business support opportunities for SMEs
& academics in the digital sector



SETsquared is the link between world class University digital technology research teams and fast-growth start-ups and scale-ups developing breakthrough technology for the new decade. So far, through our Scale-Up Programme we’ve supported over 80 bids, over a third of which have been successfully awarded.

With up to £15k of funded support available per proposal, the team will help you to:

identify high-potential funding calls

frame your grant project proposal

commission a professional bid writer (subject to internal panel review)

project manage the consortium development and bid submission

attend conferences and travel to meet partners (where possible) to build your project consortium

For companies, we can also help link you to the considerable research expertise of the our Scale-Up Partner Universities – Bath, Bristol, Cardiff, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey and provide opportunities to join consortia.

We are here to help you build relationships with research institutes and write compelling funding proposals. We’ve identified some key Government funding calls, listed below, for which we can provide support. We keep this list as up to date as possible, but if you have another specific funding call you want to submit an application for, please contact us. So if you are considering a bid to any of these funding calls now is the time to apply for this support to boost your chances of success. We welcome early stage discussions to check the viability and feasibility of grant proposal ideas before you commit.

Our Scale-Up Programme provides a broad range of support to innovative, growing SMEs, if you’re not looking for support to bid for R&D funding, check out our main Scale-Up landing page to find out more.

Supported funding calls

ISCF digital security by design – software ecosystem development

SETsquared is supporting companies who want to apply for a share of the £14m funding from the Innovate UK/ISCF Digital Security by design competition.

Competition opens:        4 October

Submission deadline:     8 December 2021 at 11:00

Total grants will be between £200,000 and £1.4m. The application deadline is 8 December and projects must last between 12 and 30 months.

This is an excellent opportunity for SMEs to develop software and hardware solutions for different industry use-cases in collaboration with academic partners. The project focuses on prototyping security solutions using the Technology Hardware Prototype (or ‘Morello Board’).

SETsquared represents university research departments at the Universities of Bath, Bristol, Cardiff, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey. These institutions have a large number of security researchers and other technology experts, who can work with you to develop solutions for your markets and industries.

Speak to us if you are interested in developing a project application together. As well as helping you to find the ideal project partner, we can support you with external grant consulting support, paid for by the Scale Up Programme (depending on eligibility).

Contact Chris Pett, Digital Innovation Sector Lead, at

Application form

If you wish to apply for funding and support for the R&D opportunities shown above complete the form below to join the Scale Up Programme as an associate – which is free and without commitment. Read a guide on how to make a good application

Alternatively, if you are unsure which opportunity is for you still complete the form below and we will get in touch to discuss your proposal and check it’s in scope for the support programme.

Membership of the Scale Up programme is open to any company pending internal review of the expression of interest raised by the company and incurs a one off charge of £150 inc. VAT. Full Membership will be offered to companies who are already part of our network and wish to access the CR&D proposal development support or investment raising support services. Full membership is subject to payment by the member company of a one-off fee and Membership is valid for one year. For the year 2020/21 the Membership Fee is £1,600 inc. VAT or for any eligible company, it can be waived under the Article 3.2(4) exemption of the Subsidy Control chapter of the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement ("TCA"), and which requires eligible companies to complete a Statement of Previous Aid declaration.

The Scale-Up Programme is a partnership between: