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Funding – Collaborative R&D Grants

NIC Document


The Technology Strategy Board is a potential source of funding for UK R&D innovation. This guide outlines the main issues involved with applying for funding for your innovation and the key application criteria to be aware of. In Brief
  1. Collaborative R&D
  2. Key application and technology areas
  3. Application criteria


The Government’s programme of collaborative R&D grants under the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) (www.innovateuk.org) makes a significant contribution to public funding to support UK R&D and innovation. Regular competitions for funding of collaborative R&D projects have been held since 2004. The scope of the collaborative R&D competitions has been expanded to support large projects, as well as smaller projects approved within faster timescales.

Collaborative R&D

The objective of collaborative R&D is to help industry and research communities to work together on R&D projects to enable successful new products, processes, and services to emerge. It also supports the flow of the latest knowledge and thinking from the UK’s science, engineering, and technology base to business. The TSB’s collaborative R&D projects must involve two or more collaborators, at least one of which is from industry. The key issue to appreciate with collaborative R&D is that it is a topically focused or thematic funding call. Project concepts must fit within a remit defined by the TSB. It is important to appreciate that your ideas must fit their call and not the other way around. For information on open competitions or past successful collaborative R&D projects, please visit: http://www.innovateuk.org

Key application areas

The TSB has identified key application areas for the UK economy. You can view the different focus areas by visiting: http://www.innovateuk.org  Key technology areas. The TSB has identified several key technology areas on which to focus initiatives and interventions critical to the UK's success, including healthcare.Within these areas, the TSB will identify particular projects and advertise them as open competitions under the collaborative R&D scheme. You can find current opportunities at: www.innovateuk.org.

Application criteria

The following criteria apply to TSB collaborative R&D projects:
  • The project must be industry driven and have industry commitment. Public sector institutions can apply, but must have at least one industrial partner
  • There is no upper limit for partners in a consortium, but there must be a minimum of two involved in the project
  • A subcontractor is not counted as a partner in the programme
  • There is no discrimination on the size of the company – SMEs are treated the same as large companies
  • Partners from outside the UK can be used, but there must be a clear and substantial gain for the UK brought about by their involvement Each application is assessed by a minimum of three external reviewers