Technology Strategy Board Launches R&D Grants for SMEs

lab by pastaboy sleeps

Update: The full application process and guidance notes are now live.

Monday (4th April) sees the launch of a new R&D grant scheme from the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) for small and medium-sized companies in science, engineering and technology sectors.

Unlike previous TSB schemes which have required organisations to collaborate in order to secure funding, the R&D grants are available to single companies, which must be based in the UK and fit with the EU definition of an SME

Three types of grant are available:

  1. Proof of market
  2. Proof of concept
  3. Development of prototype

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.

It also includes pre-clinical research studies for healthcare technologies and medicines, including target identification and validation.

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.

Keep your eyes peeled on the TSB website for more information on the application procedure. If previous schemes are anything to go by, this will be fairly voluminous, but like any good exam paper, make sure you read everything before applying.

And if you're successful, do let us know. We're always keen to hear about exciting R&D projects. Good luck.

Photo (cc) pastaboy sleeps.


Why R&D grants can be a really bad idea

This article is well worth reading if you are thinking about using an R&D grant