Research and Knowledge Exchange

Funding for industry engagement

Sources of funding for collaboration between researchers and industry include Innovation Vouchers, funding from Construction Scotland Innovation Centre, Knowledge Transfer Partnerships and Innovate UK thematic calls.

Innovation Vouchers

Standard Innovation Voucher

Provider: Interface (via Scottish Funding Council)

Maximum funding available: £5,000

Match-funding from industry partner required: yes, but it can be in kind

Eligibility: SMEs only, but check further details link for full eligibility

Brief summary: Set up in 2009, the Scottish Funding Council’s Innovation Voucher Scheme provides an opportunity for Scottish small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) to work with academic experts to help solve problems that may help expand their company and offer solutions which cannot be obtained commercially. Over 1000 companies have benefited since the scheme began.

The aim of the scheme is to fund projects with a value up to £5,000 which drive innovation, leading to new products, services or processes that will benefit the company, university, research institution or further education college and the Scottish economy, such as securing or creating jobs, or allowing the company to expand into new markets.

Follow On Innovation Voucher

Provider: Interface (via Scottish Funding Council, European Regional Development Fund, Highland and Islands Enterprise and Scottish Enterprise)

Maximum funding available: £20,000

Match-funding from industry partner required: yes, 50% in cash

Eligibility: 

Projects can be a continuation of the previous partnership, demonstrating further innovation (i.e. demonstrating novel/pioneering ideas) and leading to new, or significantly enhanced, products, services or processes that will benefit the company, the academic institution and the Scottish economy. Only projects which cannot be delivered commercially and require the technical expertise of an academic partner are eligible.

Or

To develop a new collaboration in a new area with a research group drawn from a different department or institution. 

Brief summary: The awards are specifically intended to encourage existing partnerships that have previously collaborated and jointly received funding; this can include the Scottish Funding Council Innovation Voucher awards scheme or any other funded activity.

Student Placement Innovation Vouchers

Provider: Interface (via Scottish Funding Council)

Maximum funding available: £5,000

Match-funding from industry partner required: yes, but it can be in kind

Eligibility: Only SMEs that have had a successful SFC standard innovation voucher award are eligible to apply, but check further details link for full eligibility

Brief Summary: The scheme is aimed at building on existing relationships between SMEs and Higher Education Institutions in Scotland to continue the development of an SFC standard Innovation Voucher award.

A PhD/Masters student is placed within the company to continue this development and work on a clearly defined project/timeframe with the intention that the outputs of the project can be adopted by the business and offer valuable business skills/experience to the student.

Only SMEs that have had a successful SFC standard innovation voucher award are eligible to apply. The voucher should be used to continue the development programme from the original Innovation Voucher project.

 

Further Details:  If you are interested in collaborating with us using Innovation Vouchers please contact Anne Sofie Laegran in the CAHSS KE Office on a.s.laegran@ed.ac.uk

 

Further information on each of the vouchers outlined above can be found at http://www.interface-online.org.uk/how-we-can-help/funding/.

Please note that applications for Innovation vouchers must be submitted by the University in collaboration with the industry partner.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC)

Provider: CSIC (via Scottish Funding Council)

Maximum funding available: tbc, but minimum project size £20,000

Match-funding from industry partner required: yes, 40%

Eligibility: All sizes of companies operational in Scotland, but check further details link for full eligibility

Brief Summary: Funding for the construction industry in Scotland to work with academic partners to innovate and provide value for the Scottish economy. Funding funds 40% of the cost of the project to work with a University to solve or develop an innovation challenge.

 

Further Details:  CSIC applications must be industry-led. If you are interested in collaborating with us using CSIC funding please contact Anne Sofie Laegran in the CAHSS KE Office on a.s.laegran@ed.ac.uk

Further information on CSIC is available athttp://www.cs-ic.org/innovationcentre/collaboration-support/

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP)

Provider: Innovate UK (via Department for Business Innovation and Skills, UK Research Councils and Scottish Funding Council)

Maximum funding available: variable but maximum project term 3 years and average project cost £75,000 per year

Match-funding from industry partner required: yes, 33% SMEs, 50% large companies or groups

Eligibility: An organisation must be able to demonstrate it has the ability to support the project financially, it has sufficient qualified staff to supervise the associate appropriately and that it is a strategic project, central to the organisation’s development. KTP may not be appropriate for every business. Very small businesses, or very recent start-ups, may not have the capacity to provide support for the KTP Associate or the resources to commit to the project.

Brief Summary: Knowledge Transfer Partnerships involve the forming of a partnership between a company or organisation (the company partner) and the academic institute (knowledge-base partner), enabling the organisation to access skills and expertise to help it undertake strategic growth projects. Each partnership employs one or more high calibre Associate (recent graduate) to facilitate this transfer of skills and expertise. The Associate works within the company/organisation on a project central to its needs and is jointly supervised by company personnel and a senior academic.

Projects can last 1–3 years and typically aim to introduce new or improved products or services, new or improved processes or systems, marketing or management capabilities. The company has access to the resources of the university and its experts throughout the life of the project. KTP enables new capability to be embedded into the business and has benefited and continues to benefit a wide range of businesses across many sectors, small and large businesses, third sector and public organisations.

 

Further Details:  If you are interested in collaborating with us on a KTP please contact Anne Sofie Laegran in the CAHSS KE Office on a.s.laegran@ed.ac.uk

Further information on KTPs is available at http://ktp.innovateuk.org/

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Innovate UK thematic funding calls

Provider: Innovate UK (via Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, UK Research Councils and various other funders depending on the call)

Maximum funding available: varies

Match-funding from industry partner required: yes, usually c. 30% for SMEs

Eligibility: All sizes of companies operational in UK, but check details of specific calls for full eligibility criteria.

Brief Summary: Innovate UK runs regular competitions for innovation funding. Details of their current and forthcoming competitions can be found on their website https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/innovate-uk

 

Further Details:  Most Innovate UK funding competitions are industry-led. If you would like to work with one of our researchers on a particular Innovate UK competition please contact Anne Sofie Laegran in the CAHSS KE Office on a.s.laegran@ed.ac.uk