Close close


Enter your search term below:



Funding & business support opportunities for companies and researchers
developing solutions for next generation transport

SETsquared Scale-Up Programme logo

In recent years, the transport sector has begun to close the gap on other sectors with cutting-edge developments making new modes of transport a reality. These changes are already influencing passenger behaviours and creating new modes of travel with more people than ever before working remotely rather than travelling to offices. In the not too distant future, when people do need to travel they may be able to do so through the use of fully autonomous vehicles leading to the improvement of journey times, passenger comfort and safety, as well as safeguarding the environment.

In addition, exciting new developments in aviation are underway with significant transformative potential, driven by electrification, autonomy, and air space management technologies. Already we can see how quickly unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) or drone technology is evolving with the rise of smart drones which feature built-in safeguards and compliance tech, smart accurate sensors, and self-monitoring that can provide new opportunities in transport, military, logistics, and commercial sectors.

At this pivotal time, our Scale-Up Programme has a range of opportunities for companies and academics innovating in the area of Next Generation Transport.

Our mission is to accelerate the growth of SMEs through access to expertise at our six scale-up partner universities (Bath, Bristol, Cardiff, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey) and helping raise public and private investment.


Research England & Higher Education Funding Council for Wales logos

The Scale-Up Programme is a partnership between:

Funding opportunities

We aim to take the pain and expense out of submitting collaborative R&D bids. Companies and researchers can apply for up to £15k of funded support as well as support to submit the most compelling bid to major funding calls.

The support can be used in a number of ways, including bringing in a professional pre-approved bid writer, in order to help you put together the best bid possible. We can also help link you to the considerable research expertise of our Scale-Up Partner Universities – Bath, Bristol, Cardiff, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey and provide opportunities to join consortia.

Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC)

The APC funds propulsion technologies that will lead to a cleaner world. Specifically this encompasses technology capable of low and zero tailpipe emissions, or demonstrates a significant reduction in carbon dioxide emissions, including motors, batteries, power electronics, hybridisation and alternative propulsion systems.

So if you’re working in this space and considering a bid to the APC for calls APC 16 and beyond – this is your opportunity to tap into some funding and support to prepare the most compelling bid possible.

To apply, please complete the form below.

Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) Programme

The ATI works in partnership with the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and Innovate UK to offer funding streams designed to accelerate innovation in the UK to maintain global competitiveness. The Strategic Programme offers four competitive funding batches per year. It is a comprehensive 2-stage assessment process suited to larger programmes typically accessing grants in excess of £1 million. To be eligible your project must align with the UK Aerospace Technology Strategy.

We can help you develop a collaborate R&D for this Programme of funding. To apply, please complete the form below.

Niche Vehicle Network

Sponsored by Innovate UK, the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) and the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC), the Niche Vehicle Network’s (NVN‘s) Collaborative R&D competition covering proof of concept and production readiness projects, is now open for applications.

The focus of this year’s competition is on low carbon vehicle technology, with emphasis on electrification, energy efficiency and lightweight vehicle structures.

There is one R&D competition, with two streams: proof of concept projects can range from £200k-£300k, and  production readiness projects from £300k-£500k. Up to 50% of the project costs can be covered by NVN funding.

To access collaborative bid development support, please complete the form below.

NATEP: helping SMEs innovate in aerospace

Brought together by Innovate UK, the Aerospace Technology Institute and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), the aim of this competition, is to provide help for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to develop innovative aerospace technologies. Your project must have a credible route to market and preferably have identified your end users. It should:

  • demonstrate improvement in business productivity and competitiveness
  • show clear benefit technically
  • be able to pull through new technology or processes for use in a current or future product or manufacturing process
  • show clear benefit in creating or safeguarding jobs
  • be able to enhance capabilities within the broader aerospace industry, as well as other sectors such as advanced manufacturing

Your project’s total eligible costs must be between £100,000 and £300,000. The total project grant must be less than £150,000.

To apply, please complete the form below.

5G Create Funding Competition

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport has launched a £30m open competition to develop new uses for 5G in a variety of industries. This includes creative industries such as film, TV and video games, but also our rich variety of technology businesses in diverse sectors such as energy, water, health and social care and logistics.  It is an open competition within the 5G Testbeds and Trials Programme. This funding will be available, aiming to explore and develop new use-cases and 5G technical capabilities.

In recognition of this huge opportunity, we therefore invite companies and researchers innovating in this area, to apply for support to develop collaborative R&D bids for this call.

To apply, please complete the form below.

Upcoming events & workshops

Scale-Up Innovation Workshop

8 & 9 June
Virtual event

Fast paced and dynamic, this fully-funded programme is designed for businesses which have a digital element to their products/services.

Brought to you at a time when many entrepreneurs are adapting their business models to suit a changing and uncertain environment, this Innovation Workshop will give you dedicated time with expert mentors to revisit and scrutinise your business model.

It will also give you the opportunity to consider different financial models, develop new and existing products as well as identify new revenue streams.

Register now

Application Form

Please complete the form below if you wish to apply for funding and support for the R&D opportunities shown above.


Unsure which opportunity is for you? Complete the form below and we will get in touch to discuss the best fit for your business or research.

Associate membership of the Scale Up programme is open to any company who meets the criteria and is free of charge. Full Membership will be offered to companies who 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 2019/20 the Membership Fee is £1,600 ex VAT. Any eligible company can waive the fee under the De Minimis State aid regulation (Commission Regulation (EU) NO 1470/2013) (DMR) providing they have not received in excess of 200,000EUR of aid within a 3 year period . This requires eligible companies to complete a Statement of Previous Aid declaration

Close close

Mailing List sign-up

  • By submitting this form you agree to our privacy policy