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Multiple funding & business support opportunities for SMEs
& academics in the area of sustainable innovation



We provide support to companies and researchers to help you submit compelling collaborative R&D bids to major funding calls which have the best chance of success. So far, through our Scale-Up Programme we’ve supported over 80 bids, over a third of which have been successfully awarded.

Worth up to £15k, the funded support can include commissioning a professional bid writer, project management, conference attendance and travel – as needed to prepare the most compelling bid possible.  For companies, we can also help link you to the considerable research expertise of  the universities of Bath, Bristol, Cardiff, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey and provide opportunities to join consortia.

We’ve identified some key Government funding calls, listed below, for which we can provide support. 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.

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

Transformation of Foundation Industries: R&D Competition

The Transforming Foundation Industries (TFI) Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) will shortly be opening a competition to fund large innovative projects to improve productivity and sustainability. The Foundation Industries (FI) span metal, glass, paper, ceramics, cement and bulk chemicals.

Consortium from across at least two of the foundation industries can apply for between £1-2 million for projects that demonstrate how they address resource/energy efficiency within the foundation industries, and support resilience and sustainability of the sector and its supply chains, aligned to the objectives of the wider ISCF Challenge.

Four themes of projects will be eligible for this competition:

  1.  Heat recovery and utilisation
  2.  Sensors, controls and digitalisation
  3.  Waste utilisation and symbiosis
  4.  Other energy or resource efficiency improvements (process, product, supply chain or business model)

Applications for funding close on 10 March 2021 so please submit your application for support below.

Apply Now

Innovate UK Smart Grants

An opportunity for UK registered organisations to apply for a share of £25million to deliver commercially viable or disruptive R&D innovation that can significantly impact the UK economy.

Competition opens:        21 January

Online briefing event:    5 February at 11.30

Submission deadline:     26 May 2021 at 11:00


Smart is Innovate UK’s ‘Open grant funding’ programme. Applications can come from any area of technology and be applied to any part of the economy. This includes the creative industries, science or engineering, and the arts, design and media. Projects can overlap with the grand challenge areas.

Proposals must demonstrate:

  • A clear game-changing, innovative and/or disruptive and ambitious idea leading to new products, processes or services
  • An idea that is significantly ahead of others in the field, set for rapid commercialisation
  • A strong and deliverable business plan that addresses (and documents) market potential and needs
  • A clear, evidence-based plan to deliver significant economic impact, return on investment (ROI) and growth through commercialisation, as soon as possible after project completion
  • A team, business arrangement or working structure with the necessary skills and experience to run and complete the project successfully and on time
  • Awareness of all the main risks the project will face (including contractor or equipment failure, recruitment delays, etc) with realistic management, mitigation and impact minimisation plans for each risk
  • Clear, considerable potential to significantly impact the UK economy and/or productivity in a positive way
  • Sound, practical financial plans and timelines that represent good value for money, which will always be a consideration in Innovate UK funding decisions.

View the KTN Good Application Guide

Please submit your application for support below.

Apply Now

National Biofilms Innovation Centre 4th Proof of Concept Call

This Proof of Concept funding stream aims to support the development of a concept, idea or technology to prevent, detect, manage or engineer biofilms. NBICs will contribute between £25-50K in total for each project to last on average 6 months.

Eligibility criteria:

  • Collaboration between a UK company and research institution (member of NBIC consortium).
  • Projects at TRL 2-4.
  • Have to demonstrate how the collaboration will move the research towards practical exploitation.
  • SMEs can obtain up to 50% of directly incurred project costs.

Applications are invited from any sector, however the following themes in particular are encouraged to apply:

  • Hygiene and sanitation to impact on infection control in the home, industrial, transport and/or institutional environment.
  • Clean technologies that minimise negative environmental impacts.

Deadline is 23:59pm on 12 February so please submit your application for support below.

Apply Now

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.

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

The Scale-Up Programme is a partnership between: