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Details on the major EU and UK Grant Funds

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Grants supporting R&D will have one or more defining characteristics mentioned below in addition to strict eligibility criteria. You need to consider these characteristics carefully to ensure that the grant is suitable for your proposed projects and overall company R&D strategy.

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 Innovate UK ( IUK )  previously the Technology Strategy Board , is the main source of support for UK R&D and innovation. It is not only a grant-offering body but is responsible, as the name suggests, for UK innovation strategy in many of its variations.

Research supported varies from basic/fundamental research through applied research to developmental projects with awards ranging from 25% to 70% of eligible costs with a value from £50k to £2–3 million and occasionally higher.

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Horizon 2020 (H2020)  runs from 2014 to 2020 and is the EU’s flagship innovation and R&D programme with a budget in excess of €82 billion. The following is but the briefest summary directed at commercial organisations.

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In 2009 the government reintroduced the Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI).

The scheme, developed in the USA in the 1980’s, has a number of policy objectives but from the point of view of research and development active SMEs the scheme as currently operated maybe described as follows.

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News Flash: Latest

First of a kind deployment of innovation


Innovate UK are using a novel scheme to assist businesses, particularly SMES to break into markets with novel disruptive technologies in specific sectors.

Contracts covering up to 100% of the cost of demonstrating new technology are available to SMEs operating in the fields of

  • solutions for affordable, sustainable and secure energy delivery
  • solutions for connected transport through the integration of multimodal transportation systems
  • integrated solutions to systemic challenges in urban areas
  • resilience of infrastructure and cities to environmental and societal pressure.

Contracts in value between £250 K and £5 million are available.

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Energy Catalyst, (Round 4) Early Stage Technical Feasibility Grants

The ENERGY CATALYST, an ‘Innovate UK’ grant, supports both businesses and research organisations, including academia, that are UK based or are moving there to respond to challenges across the energy sector. It will fund projects delivering innovative solutions that address ALL the elements of the energy trilemma namely:

  • Reducing Emissions
  • Improving Security of supply
  • Affordability

Key Objective:
It will help stimulate and support innovation at all stages through to commercial readiness. Thus The Energy Catalyst can fund projects from early concept stage through to pre-commercial technology validation, based upon innovation that incorporates, for example:

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