Research Councils UK

The  RCUK Knowledge Transfer Portal offers a single point of access for business to find out about Research Council knowledge transfer schemes and activities, and how to get involved. You will find links to Research Council funding opportunities, current events, networks, and training courses. Some examples of the schemes offered by the Research Councils to aid in transferring good ideas, research results and skills between industry and academia are listed below.

Collaborative Research Grants

Collaborative Research Grants are grants led by academic researchers, but involve other partners. Partners generally contribute either cash or ‘in-kind’ services to the full economic cost of the research. Research Councils support collaborative research through a variety of mechanisms, including schemes specifically aimed at encouraging academic collaboration with industry.

Industrial CASE Awards

Industrial CASE are three and a half year postgraduate awards allocated to companies either directly or through agents (Knowledge Transfer Networks). The aim of the awards is to enable companies to take the lead in defining, and arranging, projects, with an academic partner of their choice.

Link & Industrial Partnership Awards

LINK applications involve collaborative research with at least one company and one science-base partner (projects with SMEs are particularly favoured) where at least 50% of the cost of the project comes from industry. Applications should be for pre-competitive research that would not be undertaken in this form without LINK support. LINK projects are normally funded in preference to standard grants of equivalent scientific merit. Benefits for company partners include:

  • financial support for the project
  • closer relationships with the science base
  • possibility of recruiting appropriately trained staff at the end of the project

Industrial partnership award are Science-led grants where an industrial partner contributes in cash at least 10% of the cost of the project.

Flexible Interchange programme

BBSRC’s FLexible Interchange Programme (FLIP) supports the movement of people from one environment to a different one to exchange knowledge/technology/skills, developing bioscience research/researchers and addressing our strategic priorities. FLIP awards provide flexible opportunities for individuals (“the interchangers”) moving between different organisations, disciplines and sectors at all stages in their career beyond the PhD (or equivalent). Awards will typically:

  • last up to 24 months
  • cost up to £150k in total
  • be undertaken on a full-time, part-time or intermittent basis
  • cover a contribution to the salary of the interchangers, reasonable travel and subsistence and costs associated with the interchange

Business & Industry Fellowships

The scheme aims to:

  • Enhance knowledge transfer in science and technology between those in industry and those in academia.
  • Provide opportunities for an academic scientist to work on a collaborative project with industry.
  • Provide opportunities for someone employed in industry to work on a collaborative project with a university department or a not-for-profit research organisation. It is anticipated that fellows will establish personal and corporate links between the 2 sectors in the UK as a foundation for their long-term future development. Fellowships can run for 2 years full time, or up to 4 years part-time, where fellows maintain a working relationship with their home institution throughout. During the length of the fellowship the fellow remains employed with their home institution with salary costs covered by the fellowship. Research expenses may also be claimed up to the value of £2000 per year.

Advanced Training Partnerships

Advanced Training Partnerships (ATPs) offer postgraduate level training to employees working in UK agri-food industries. ATPs were developed in response to domestic and global pressures on food production systems, recognising that investment in high-level skills training will support the UK agri-food sector to respond resiliently to food security challenges.

Follow-on Funding

Enables researchers to develop the outputs from existing research in order to achieve significant economic, social and/or cultural impact. Follow-on funding can be suitable for early stage ‘proof-of-concept’ investigations or the translation of research into practice. The aim of the programme is to help researchers maximise the societal and economic benefits of their research.