Get in touch

For advice on how to access the funding opportunities listed here or to discuss partnering on research with industry, contact your faculty's Industry Partnerships and Commercialisation team

Research and development today is about networking, sharing, and partnering.

Organisations such as research councils, charities and companies offer researchers access to resources and funding for research with applications to industry, and you can find many of these opportunities listed here. 

This page is updated quarterly and was last fully updated on 24 January 2020. Please visit the funders' web pages for the most up-to-date information about the status and deadline of funding calls. 

Other resources include Idox GRANTfinder 4 Education, a searchable database of funding opportunities to which the College has a subscription, the Innovation Funding Service for information about government-backed competitions, and pages from the government and UK Research and Innovation

News: The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations has opened a call for proposals to rapidly develop and manufacture a proven vaccine approach that can be used against 2019-nCoV. (Deadline 14 Feb)

Funding opportunities

Internal funding

There are several sources of internal funding available to Imperial academics and researchers looking to work with industry or commercialise their research. These are listed on a web page from the Research Office.

Collaborative research

Collaborative research can be directly funded by industry as well as supported through leveraged funding schemes from public funders such as research councils. 

  • BBSRC Industrial Partnership Awards - standard peer-reviewed research grants but with financial support (10%) from industrial partners (Closed)

  • BBSRC 'Stand-alone' LINK - Pre-competitive research funded 50:50 with industrial partners (Closed)

  • EPSRC Prosperity Partnerships - Prosperity partnerships are business-led research partnerships between leading UK based businesses and their long term strategic university partners. (Open until 20.02.2020)

  • The SUDEP Institute Challenge: Developing Predictive Biomarkers of SUDEP - A series of four multidisciplinary prize challenges for targeting sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP) (Open until 10.10.2020)

  • European Institute of Innovation & Technology - Funding programmes that drives innovation across Europe by integrating business, education and research to find solutions to pressing global challenges (Closed)

  • MRC Developmental Pathway Funding Scheme - For projects seeking to develop a wide range of therapies, diagnostics and devices. It funds the pre-clinical development and early clinical testing of novel therapeutics, devices and diagnostics, including repurposing of existing therapies. (Rolling deadline)

  • NERC Knowledge Exchange Call  - Supports activity focused upon increasing the uptake of research output by the users with little or no commercial return, but which will deliver impact (Closed)

  • NASA STMD Program - NASA funded research grants for partnerships with commercial and international partners (Rolling deadline)

  • STFC Innovations Partnership Scheme - Supports development of effective, long term collaborations between UK universities, CERN, ESO, industry for projects of up to £150k over 3 years  (or mini IPS over 12 months) (Open until 20.02.2020)

  • UKRI UK-China Research-Industry Creative Partnerships - UKRI research funding to develop research-industry partnerships between the UK and China in the creative industries (Closed)

Collaborative training

Collaborative doctoral studentships and training for business and policy are available. 

Commercialisation and development

These awards help individuals and partnerships develop new technologies, supporting projects from the proof-of-concept stage to being ready for the commercial market.

  • Apollo Therapeutics Fund - Provides committed translational funding and drug discovery expertise for novel therapeutics (Rolling deadline)

  • Collaborate to Innovate  - Funding for working with SMEs to commercialise research (Closed)

  • CRUK Biotherapeutic Drug Discovery Programme Awards  - Funds projects at any stage of drug discovery, from target identification to early preclinical studies. Awards can support early stage translational research with a clear pathway towards further biotherapeutic development, typically five years (Closed)

  • CRUK Biotherapeutic Drug Discovery Project Awards  - Aims to increase the availability of biotherapeutic drugs for the management of cancer. Awards can support early stage translational research with a clear pathway towards further biotherapeutic development, typically one to three years. (Closed)

  • CRUK Small Molecule Drug Discovery Project Awards - Support research towards identification/validation of new targets, and the discovery of novel small molecule therapeutic/preventative agents. They particularly welcome applications at the target validation stages, typically one to three years. (Closed)

  • BBSRC Follow-on funding - For commercial activities before developing a full follow-on funding application (Closed)

  • British Heart Foundation Translational Awards - Supports the development of cardiovascular technologies from the proof-of-concept stage to being ready for the commercial market (Open until 06.03.2020)

  • NIHR Invention 4 Innovation (i4i) - Supports the preclinical and clinical development of medical devices in areas of existing or emerging patient need. 4i funds collaborative research projects that have demonstrated proof-of-principle and have a clear pathway towards adoption and commercialisation. (Rolling deadline)

  • NIHR/MRC Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation (EME) - Funds ambitious studies evaluating interventions with potential to make a step-change in the promotion of health, treatment of disease and improvement of rehabilitation or long-term care. (Rolling deadline)

  • NIHR Healthcare Technology Assessment (HTA) - Funds research about the clinical and cost-effectiveness and broader impact of healthcare treatments and tests for those who plan, provide or receive care from NHS and social care services. (Rolling deadline)

  • Wellcome Innovator Awards - Support researchers who are transforming great ideas into healthcare innovations that could have a significant impact on human health. (Rolling deadline)

  • Wellcome Trust Pathfinder - Pilot funding for academic-Industry partnerships to develop early-stage applied research and development projects in orphan and neglected disease areas (Closed)

  • Wellcome Trust Translation Fund - Commercialisation funding for projects (Closed)

Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund

The Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) is a unique opportunity for collaboration, covering a great variety of technology challenges. This is an exciting prospect as it propels UK innovation closer to market by bringing together resource and expertise from across the supply chain. 

Imperial has involvement in a number of ISCF projects. We are a founding partner in the Faraday Institution, which is facilitating the ISCF’s Faraday Battery Challenge, and are leading a consortium of seven universities and 17 industry partners on the battery system modelling challenge. In addition to the Faraday Challenges, we have contributed expertise to solutions in materials, manufacturing and leading-edge healthcare.

As well as participating in existing projects, we are looking to explore new partnerships and finding ways our expertise can be included in the solutions presented to these challenges. As consortia look to build their expertise we could provide the technical knowhow needed to complete a challenge.

We look forward to supporting the next wave of challenges in:

  • Accelerating detection of disease
  • Commercialising quantum technologies
  • Digital security by design
  • Driving the electric revolution
  • Future flight
  • Industrial decarbonisation 
  • Manufacturing made smarter
  • Smart sustainable plastic packaging
  • Transforming foundation industries 

Current Open Calls

Application of whole genome sequencing approaches to cancer (Open until 22.01.2020)
The call is to encourage the development of new approaches to targeted therapy based on the molecular signatures of cancers. Your project can develop new analytical methods or validate new targets using new and existing genomic data from cancers.

Commercialising quantum technology: Technology projects round 1 (Open until 27.01.2020)
The competition is to address technological barriers to the commercial or industrial exploitation of quantum technologies in the UK. Projects must focus on one or more of the following technical barriers: connectivity, situational awareness, computing. Expected to be led by businesses but RTOs can lead in exceptional circumstances

ISCF transforming foundation industries: Fast start projects (Closed)
This competition is to bring businesses from different foundation industries together to work on common resource and energy efficiency opportunities. Your project can focus on any part of the manufacturing process, including: feedstock inputs, production and material product development. Must contain two businesses, one of which must be an SME

ISCF decarbonisation of industrial clusters: Roadmaps (Closed)
This is the first phase of a 2-phase competition. Projects must set out how a cluster could be decarbonised to net-zero levels, in line with the Industrial Clusters Mission. Phase 2 is dependent on the success of phase 1. Only successful applicants from phase 1 will be invited to take part in phase 2.

Driving the electric revolution: Building regional centres of excellence (Closed)
This competition is to provide funding to establish the centres, building on existing capabilities and expertise where it already exists. The centres will support the industrialisation of PEMD technologies to help accelerate the growth of the UK’s supply chains for power electronics, machines and drives (PEMD). The centres must be open access facilities that support the development, prototyping and scaling of PEMD technologies and manufacturing processes. 

ISCF healthy ageing trailblazers: Stage 1 (Closed)
The competition is to encourage businesses and public sector led collaborations, including social enterprises, to develop and demonstrate how products, services and business models which support people as they age will be adopted at scale. This is stage 1 of a 2-stage competition. For stage 1 of the competition you can apply as a single applicant. Stage 2 proposals must be collaborative.

ISCF Future food production systems (Open until 22.01.2020)
Up to £20 million of grant funding is available for projects that disrupt the traditional land-based models of food production. Projects must create integrated, data-driven solutions to drive agricultural productivity as well as target net zero emissions. Projects cannot be led by academic institutions and must be collaborative and involve an SME.

Contact us

If you would like support to take advantage of ISCF funding, please email Dr Fiona Jamieson or call her on 020 7594 7596.

People and information exchange

Opportunities for researchers/graduates from different sectors to exchange knowledge, skills and technology:

Industry open innovation calls

Open innovation calls offer academics opportunities to explore ideas and develop competencies by working with industry, customers, and other stakeholders. The collaborations involve the cross-fertilisation of knowledge from industry and academia.

Explore opportunities in your area of research: 

Biotechnology

  • AsahiKasei Pharma: Open Innovation calls - An open innovation platform started in 2016 to recruit candidates for research collaborations related to drug discovery in a number of different themes. Asahi Kasei Pharma Corporation will offer selected candidates collaborative research opportunities, with research funding and contribution to the program through their scientists’ research activities and will consider separate license agreements if programme is successful. (Open until 26.02.2020)
  • AstraZeneca: Open Innovation Challenges - AstraZeneca is openly sharing key R&D challenges spanning many areas/disciplines and looking for ways to collaborate with anyone willing to offer innovative solutions. (Rolling deadline)
  • Boehringer Ingelheim: Scientific Advancement Grants - These grants advance knowledge and understanding of basic, pre-clinical, outcomes and/or clinical science and to further scientific awareness and technologies for public health and welfare. They may include third party research award programmes, external research collaborations or external coalitions in which an activity or project is undertaken by Boehringer Ingelheim along with one or more external organizations that advances specific and discrete shared policy or disease awareness objectives. (Rolling deadline)
  • Chiesi: Request for proposals - Chiesi is seeking research proposals for Respiratory and Neonatology therapeutic targets from academic medical centers, universities, and research institutions. The objective is to award funds to validate early-stage projects with clear therapeutic potential. (Closed)
  • Daiichi-Sankyo: TaNeDS Global 2019 - The TaNeDS programme provides close partnership between academics and scientists in Daiichi Sankyo to tackle unmet medical needs. (Closed)
  • Novo Nordisk: Clinical grant - For clinical or clinically relevant research, primarily as finance towards an existing project for younger researchers working in the field of diabetes.  Applications from primary or secondary care are invited. (Closed)
  • Pfizer: Independent Grants Programme - Supports independent initiatives to improve patient outcomes in areas of unmet medical need that are aligned with Pfizer’s medical and/or scientific strategies. (Rolling deadline)
  • Innovative Medicine Initiative: Funding opportunities - An EU public-private partnership funding health research and innovation. IMI's next call for proposals is set to feature topics on cancer, tuberculosis, psoriasis, drugs based on proteins, and vaccines. (Rolling deadline)
  • Takeda: Innovators in Science Award - The 2020 Innovators in Science Award recognises a promising early-career scientist's and an outstanding senior scientist’s research in rare diseases, and supports their innovative research. (Rolling deadline)

Drug discovery

  • Atomwise: AIMS Awards - The Artificial Intelligence Molecular Screen (AIMS) program is designed to dramatically accelerate the race towards life-saving drugs by testing millions of compounds for any protein target of interest. Atomwise seeks proposals from academic researchers with interesting protein targets implicated in disease. (Rolling deadline)
  • Boehringer Ingelheim: opnMe Collaborate proposals - Shares selected molecules with the scientific community to unlock their full potential - all for free, no hidden costs. Access two types of molecules: Molecules 2 Order and Molecules 4 Collaboration. (Rolling deadline)

Energy

 

  • Equinor: Equinor Innovate - Challenge-driven open innovation. Three focus areas: competitive at all times, transforming the oil and gas industry, providing energy for a low carbon future. Post challenges at regular intervals that typically run as campaigns for periods of 6 to 12 weeks. (Rolling deadline)
  • Shell: Innovative Collaborations - Shell is developing new technologies and solutions in collaboration with companies inside and outside the energy sector, academia and governments. (Rolling deadline)

Electronics

Engineering 

  • Rio Tinto Pioneer Portal - Seeking out original ideas, from the unproven to those ready to deploy, that should address a collaboration opportunity relevant to their business. In turn, they may support you with funding, laboratory and research space, professional coaching, access to operations, or if it is a product purchase. (Rolling deadline)
  • Caterpillar Inc Co-Create Open Innovation - If you have an idea in line with their working technologies and customer needs submit a proposal to develop a technological or business solution with them. (Rolling deadline)
  • Tata Steel Innovation - Looking for ideas that could innovate in steel. There are two ways to share ideas with them: Open Ideas, and Technology Challenges, in which the company periodically announces a challenge and invites researchers to come up with a solution to a specific need or opportunity. (Rolling deadline)
  • Volvo Open Innovation Call - Open to hearing about innovations and suggestions to improve their technologies, both high-level ideas ,and inventions complete with implementation details. (Rolling deadline)

Seed and accelerator funds

  • Techcelerate - An Imperial programme that gives postdoctoral researchers the opportunity to test their ideas in the marketplace and develop entrepreneurial skills. The three-month programme provides masterclasses and venture review sessions and culminates in an entrepreneurial journey showcase (Closed)

  • MedTech SuperConnector Helps early-career researchers to commercialise medical technologies with funding, training, mentorship and access to industry partners (Closed)
  • Carbon Trust Floating Wind Technology Acceleration Competition - Seeking solutions to technical challenges facing the floating offshore wind industry on behalf of the Floating Wind Joint Industry Project (JIP). Open to private companies, not-for-profit organisations or academic institutions with a relevant technology, offering up to £250,000 grant funding (Closed)
  • FFWD - Or FastForward, a pre-accelerator programme that prepares startup teams for first funding and successful entry to leading accelerators (Rolling deadline)
  • Techstars  - Three-month mentorship-driven accelerator, providing $120,000 investment, hands-on mentorship and access to a network (Rolling deadline)
  • Launch 22 - Offers a communal workspace, a community of entrepreneurs, and support via expert mentors and workshops (Rolling deadline)
  • Seedcamp - Invests early in founders targeting large, global markets and solving problems using technology (Rolling deadline)
  • Bethnal Green Ventures - Invests in technologies to tackle big social and environmental problems aim to improve lives (Rolling deadline)
  • Entrepreneur First - Invests time and money in individuals, helping them to find a co-founder, develop an idea, and start a company (Closed)
  • Shell GameChanger - Works with startups and businesses on unproven early-stage ideas with the potential to impact the future of energy. It provides support, expertise and seed funding, while they maintain the independence to make their own decisions for growth (Rolling deadline)
  • ENGIE Open Innovation Calls - ENGIE launches calls for projects and calls for participation within its strategic businesses. After being chosen by a jury of experts, startups are coached by ENGIE and their expertise is promoted (Rolling deadline)

  • Honda Innovations - Drives transformative collaboration within all areas of Honda. Open innovations programmes Honda Xcelerator and Honda Developer Studio promote discovery of new technologies and business concepts (Rolling deadline)

  • Toyota AI Ventures Calls for Innovation - looking for entrepreneurs to solve problems in AI and robotics. (Rolling deadline)

Networking and prizes

Networking

  • Pitch@Palace - a platform to amplify and accelerate the work of entrepreneurs. (Open)
  • EPSRC Network Grants - bring together researchers, industry and other groups to develop collaborations through workshops, visits and part-time coordinators (Closed)

Prizes and awards

  • Harrington UK Rare Disease Scholar Award - Supporting promising research into novel treatments for rare diseases. (Open until 02.03.2020)

  • ENI Awards - Prizes for researchers and others making an impact in the energy sector, including the Advanced Environmental Solutions Prize and Energy Frontiers Prize below (Rolling deadline)
  • ENI Advanced Environmental Solutions Prize - Promotes technological innovation for action against water, air and land pollution, prevention of climate warming and pollution, rehabilitation and reuse of industrial sites (Rolling deadline)
  • ENI Energy Frontiers Prize - Promotes technological innovation and scientific knowledge in order to reduce carbon footprint (Rolling deadline)
  • Volvo Environment Prize - Rewards scientific discoveries or innovations that support sustainability and the environment (Closed)
  • The Green Alley Award - Looking for startups tackling waste use digital circular economy, recycling, and waste prevention (Closed)