UK

Technology Strategy Board

Innovation Vouchers

Innovation vouchers are designed to encourage businesses to look outside their current network for new knowledge that can help them to grow and develop. SMEs from across the UK can apply for an innovation voucher. A grant of up to £5000 is available to work with a supplier for the first time and is used to pay for knowledge or technology transfer from that supplier. The voucher has three key criteria:

  • The idea that you want help with should be a challenge for your business that means you need to look for specialist help.
  • This should be your first time that you have worked with the knowledge supplier.
  • Your idea should be applicable to one of the three priority sectors.

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships

KTP are the Government’s premier “knowledge transfer” mechanism providing the framework and resources to support company-academic collaborations. Any project should be focused on meeting the needs or solving a problem of the industrial partner through technology transfer. Knowledge is transferred via a recent graduate working within the Company with mentoring from an academic expert. Financial support is available as a grant, which can cover up to 67% of the programme costs. In order to qualify for KTP, a Programme should have clear deliverables, be at least 18 months work, and lead to an increase in profits for the company.

SMART (previously known as Grant for Research and Development)

Funding for SMEs to engage in R&D projects in the strategically important areas of science, engineering and technology, from which successful new products, processes and services could emerge. Projects must offer potentially significant rewards and could stimulate UK economic growth and is available to single companies. Three types of Grant are available ranging from £25k to £250k with up to 60% of costs covered

  • Proof of Market
  • Proof of Concept
  • Development of Prototype

Collaborative research and development (R&D)

Collaborative research and development is designed to assist the industrial and research communities to work together on R&D projects in strategically important areas of science, engineering and technology, from which successful new products, processes and services can emerge, contributing to business and economic growth.
By co-funding projects involving partnerships between businesses and between business and academia, collaborative R&D reduces the financial and technical risk and encourages knowledge exchange, supply chain development and parallel working on complex challenges. Regular competitions for funding of collaborative R&D projects are released throughout the year.

Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI)

SBRI utilizes government procurement to accelerate technology development, supporting projects through the stages of feasibility and prototyping which are typically hard to fund. It provides opportunities for innovative companies to engage with the public sector to solve specific problems. The value of contracts made available through this route will increase from £4o million in 2012/13 to over £200 million in 2014/15.