Updated: 18 August 2020
Are you looking to launch a new product? Or conduct some innovative research? If so, there is a range of research funding available to help. Small business grants are provided by the UK government and other private bodies. You often have to meet certain criteria but it can be a great opportunity to access funding or other services. Here’s a quick overview of some of the main funding grants you could benefit from.
Research and Development (R&D) tax relief allows you to claim back a significant amount of your development costs each year. A range of different sectors can claim, and it can be used to cover a project’s employee costs, software costs, consumable items or subcontractor costs. You can even claim if the project was unsuccessful.
If you are successful in your application then you can claim up to 32% in development costs each year.
For more information check out gov.uk/guidance/corporation-tax-research-and-development-rd-relief#2
Do you want to develop an innovative service, process or product? If you do, then you could be eligible for grants from £250,000 up to £10 million. Innovate UK run a variety of grant funding competitions that can help you develop your amazing idea and make it into a success.
They also have innovation loans available for SMEs. If you have a late stage innovation project, you could borrow up to £1 million.
More information at gov.uk/guidance/innovation-apply-for-a-funding-award
Innovate UK Smart grants support the best, game-changing disruptive ideas that have the potential to make changes on an international scale. They can enable you to take amazing ideas forward, quickly. You can get funding of up to 60% of your project costs but will have to cover the remainder yourself. You could get a grant ranging from £25,000 to £250,000.
Find more information at gov.uk/guidance/innovation-get-details-about-innovate-uk-funding-competitions#smart
A different way to further your R&D is through a KTP. KTPs have been helping SMEs over the past 40 years by linking them with expertise.
You would be linked with a research organisation and a university graduate to work on a specific project. By bringing new skills into your business, you can improve performance and become more competitive and productive.
Find your local KTP here https://www.gov.uk/guidance/knowledge-transfer-partnerships-what-they-are-and-how-to-apply#ktadviser
A SBRI provides contracts and funding for businesses to carry out research or the development of a new product. Mostly, the programme aims to fund innovative ideas that can enhance public services. The initial funding available is between £50,000 to £100,000 with a further £1,000,000 to develop your project or idea further.
For more information please take a look at: gov.uk/government/collections/sbri-the-small-business-research-initiative
Do you have a new business idea and want to see if it works? Regardless of what stage you are at in the development process you could qualify for a 70% grant to cover your project costs. You can get up to £400,000. You will need to fund the remaining costs yourself.
For more information please take a look at: entrepreneurhandbook.co.uk/grants-loans/
Whether it’s your local council, trade body or private trust, there are regional grants available for research funding across the UK. Try searching online for what’s on offer in your area, or speak to your local council for more information.
Depending on the grant you go for, some won’t cover the full cost of the project. You may need to provide some of the funding yourself. If you’re claiming R&D tax credits, you’ll need to pay for the project up front and claim it back later.
If you need finance to help fund your research, a Funding Circle loan could help. You could borrow up to £500,000 for research and development or a wide variety of other purposes. There are no fees for full early repayment too, so you can pay off your loan early at any time if you get additional funding.
Check if you qualify in 30 seconds at fundingcircle.com/businesses.