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Grant for R&D – Support for Small Single Businesses

7 November 2011

A new Technology Strategy Board scheme is offering funding to small and medium-sized enterprises (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.

The Grant for Research and Development (Grant for R&D) scheme will support R&D projects which offer potentially significant rewards and could stimulate UK economic growth.  In contrast to the Collaborative R&D programme which requires several partners in a project, Grant for R&D funding is available to single companies.

Three types of grant are available:

  • Proof of market
  • Proof of concept
  • Development of prototype

Any UK SME working in any sector may apply; applications are accepted on a rolling basis approximately every two months for assessment by independent experts.  Grant for R&D replaces the scheme previously offered by regional development agencies.  The new scheme will work alongside existing programmes in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Proof of market grant

This grant enables companies to assess the commercial viability of a project, through:

  • Market research
  • Market testing and competitor analysis
  • Intellectual property position
  • Initial planning to take the project to commercialisation, including assessing costs, timescales and funding requirements

Projects will last up to 9 months, have a maximum grant of £25k, and up to 60% of total project costs may be funded.

Proof of concept grant

SMEs may use this grant to explore the technical feasibility and commercial potential of a new technology, product or process, including:

  • initial feasibility studies
  • basic prototyping
  • specialist testing and/or demonstration to provide basic proof of technical feasibility
  • intellectual property protection
  • investigation of production and assembly options

Projects will last up to 18 months, have a maximum grant of £100k, and up to 60% of total project costs may be funded.

Development of prototype grant

This funding is used by companies to develop a technologically innovative product, service or industrial process, and can include projects such as:

  • small demonstrators
  • intellectual property protection
  • trials and testing, including clinical
  • market testing

Projects will last up to 2 years and have a maximum grant of £250k; up to 35% of total project costs for medium enterprises, or up to 45% for small and micro enterprises, may be funded.  Medium is defined as turnover less than 50 million Euros and 250 employees and a micro (start up) and small enterprise will have turnover of less than 10 million Euros and 50 people employed, and businesses must be a single entity to apply for this grant.

Full details of Grant for R&D can be found at:

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