Funding Focus #4: National Grants Over £25,000

Grantify Funding Focus

Funding Focus is our ongoing spotlight series exploring the range of grants, schemes and other types of funding available in the UK.

The funding landscape can seem confusing if this is the first time you’ve tried to apply for business funding, but at Grantify we track dozens of grants and funding schemes every month to keep you up to date with what’s available.

Each month, we choose a few schemes to break down into a simple-to-understand format, with key info highlighted, so you can feel more confident about what your business is eligible for.

This month, we’ve got three more national schemes with awards of over £25,000 available.

  1. CRACK IT Challenges

Woman with test tube carrying out experiment

What: The National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs) runs CRACK IT Challenges; a unique funding competition which focuses on developing and commercialising new technologies, to replace, reduce and refine the use of animals in studies.

The scheme is open annually, with a specific challenge set each time.

This is a phased scheme. You can apply for a single-phase challenge, a double stage challenge or even submit a challenge idea.

Who: The competition is open to any UK or European Union (EU) body, public or private. Applications can be from single organisations or investigators or from consortia.

The lead applicant must be UK or EU based.

Awards: For the Single Phase Challenges, awards of up to £100k are available. Up to three projects will be funded.

Entry into Phase 2 is dependent on successful completion of Phase 1. Contracts are up to three years with funding of up to £1 million.

Eligible Projects: Single Phase Challenges primarily focus on the validation of new technologies, prototypes and methods that are closer to market or require less research and lower development costs.

Challenges that require a significant amount of funding and may include research, development and validation of new technologies, prototypes and methods should consider continuing to phase two of the challenge.

New challenges are set annually, but challenges should be a call for a product, technology or process that:

  • Will have a significant impact on the 3Rs.
  • Is innovative and breaks new ground in areas where technologies would improve science and business.
  • Adds value or accelerates the availability of technologies.
  • Brings in new audiences/technologies.
  • Has wide applicability/leads to step change.
  • Ideally has significant commercial potential.
  • Is focused on developing and leveraging new technologies into broader use across the bioscience sector.
  • Is clearly defined so that the scope and endpoints are understood.
  • Has defined deliverables so that applicants and assessors are clear as to what is expected from the Sponsors.
  • Has scope for Sponsor in-kind contribution that brings genuine added value to the collaboration.

CRACK IT Challenges are developed with sponsors through either an open call or NC3Rs office-led initiatives. The CRACK IT Advisory Panel assess the Challenge proposals and recommends to the NC3Rs which challenges to run as competitions.

You can view previous challenges here.

Links: You can learn more about the 2021 challenges here, and about the work of NC3Rs here.

2. Defence and Security Accelerator

British army

Type: Ministry of Defence grant funding.

What: The Ministry of Defence funds innovation through two main mechanisms, the Open Call for Innovation and Themed Competitions.

The Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) finds and funds exploitable innovation to support UK defence and security quickly and effectively, and support UK prosperity.

Suppliers may submit proposals to address any defence challenge or a specific Innovation Focus Area and can submit under either Emerging Innovations or Rapid Impact.

The Open Call welcomes innovations that address any defence challenge, or innovations that address security challenges where there is a relevant security Innovation Focus Area (IFA).

Themed Competitions offer suppliers the opportunity to submit proposals around specific government areas of interest.

Who: DASA submissions are welcome from the private sector, academia, individuals (i.e. sole traders) and Public Sector Research Establishments (PSREs).

DASA will examine the legal status of organisations prior to placement of any contract. In most cases there are no nationality restrictions, however DASA individual competition documents will detail any necessary restrictions.

Eligible Projects: Your idea could be a concept, product or service, at various levels of maturity.

Suppliers may submit proposals to address any defence challenge or a specific Innovation Focus Area and can submit under either Emerging Innovations or Rapid Impact.

When: The Open Call for Innovation runs throughout the year. Assessment starts the day after the competition cycle closing date. The most up to date information on the Open Call is here.

Themed competitions may only run for a short time and have set closing dates.

Links: The only way to submit a research proposal to DASA is online via the DASA Enterprise Collaboration Service. You can begin that process here.

3. Knowledge Transfer Partnerships

Empty lecture theatre

Type: UK Government funding, through Innovate UK and UK Research and Innovation

What: The Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) scheme helps businesses in the UK to innovate and grow. It does this by linking them with an academic or research organisation and a graduate.

Who: Each KTP is a 3-way partnership between:

  • A UK-based business of any size or a not-for-profit organisation (including social enterprises and charities).
  • A knowledge base. This could be a university, college, research and technology organisation or Catapult in the UK.
  • A suitably-qualified graduate, with the capability to lead a strategic business project.

Awards: A KTP is part-funded by a grant. You will need to contribute to the overall cost of the project.

The amount you will need to contribute depends on the scale and length of the project, and the size of your business.

  • Small and medium-sized enterprises contribute around £35,000 per year, about one-third of the project costs.
  • Large businesses contribute around £55,000 per year, or half of the project costs.

Eligible Projects: A KTP enables a business to bring in new skills and the latest academic thinking to deliver a specific, strategic innovation project through a knowledge-based partnership.

The academic partner (known as the Knowledge Base) will help to develop the project, provide academic input and recruit a suitable graduate, known as an associate. They will act as the employer of the associate, who then works at the business for the majority of the project.

Application: KTP applications can only be submitted by a registered knowledge base.

A KTP application must be completed jointly by the prospective business and the knowledge base.

Each application is supported by a Knowledge Transfer Adviser, appointed by Innovate UK.

Links: The KTP programme runs continuously throughout the year. The current open and close dates can be found here.

Want to Grow Your Business in 2021?

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