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

Here you can find external funding and support opportunities for academics looking to work with industry or commercialise their research, and opportunities for startups and entrepreneurs

For internally managed opportunities please visit the Research Office's webpage.

Other resources include Idox GRANTfinder 4 Education, the Innovation Funding Service, and pages from the government and UK Research and Innovation

 

Please visit the funders' web pages for the most up-to-date information about the status and deadline of funding calls.

Calls below updated February 2021. 

Leverage funding for working with industry

Industry research partnerships

There are several sources of funding available that support collaborations between industry and academia:

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

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

  • Faraday Battery Challenge: Innovation R&D, Round 4 - £10 million in innovation projects across the Feasibility Study and R&D strands of the Faraday Battery Challenge to support innovation in the design, development and manufacture of batteries for the propulsion of electric vehicles. academic institutions cannot lead or work alone(Closed) 

  •  Expression of interest: transforming UK food systems for health and environment – Strategic Priority Fund - Collaborative projects led by academic institution with an industry, government or civil society partner on topics that bring together production, processing, manufacturing and food environments with expertise in healthier diets and consumption. (Open until 22 April 2021)
  • SBRI Competition - Assays for SARS-CoV-2 cellular immune responses - Organisations can apply for a share of £1.5million inclusive of VAT, to develop assay systems to define the magnitude and profile of cellular immune responses to SARS-CoV-2. (Open until 26 May 2021)

  • Smart Agri Hubs: Restart the economy around food systems - Smart Agri Hubs invites applications for its call to restart the economy around food systems. This supports hackathon type of activities that contribute to the restart of the European agri-food economy to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 crisis. (Open until 21 July 2021)

  • STFC Innovations Partnership Scheme: Funding to support the transfer to the marketplace of technology and expertise from STFC-funded research in the fields of nuclear physics, particle physics and particle astrophysics, astronomy and space science and accelerators and computing. The application must be supported by a collaboration with a non-academic partner. (Open until September 2021)

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 calls

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.

PhDs and Masters

Research council funding and opportunities for postgraduates delivered in collaboration with an industry partner. 

Industry fellowships and secondments

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

  • The Royal Society of Edinburgh Enterprise Fellowship - The award offers a tailored, equity-free support package of funding and training worth up to £100,000 for you to focus solely on developing your business proposal whilst being hosted at a UK university or research institute. (Closed) 

  • Royal Academy of Engineering Industrial Fellowships - Funds academic scientists who want to work on a collaborative project with industry on a collaborative project with an academic organisation. Round open at the end of the year. (Open until 8 March 2021)
  • Royal Academy of Engineering Enterprise Fellowships - A programme supporting entrepreneurial Researchers wishing to spinout a company, recent graduates wishing to create a company, and international PhD students based in the UK wishing to spin out or start up, providing £60k funding, mentoring and access to other support. Open until 8 March 2021)

  • Royal Academy of Engineering SME Leaders Programme – The programme delivered by the Academy's Enterprise Hub, provides supports for promising leaders of high-growth tech and engineering SMEs. (Reopens in March)

  • Royal Society Industry Fellowships - Funds academic scientists who want to work on a collaborative project with industry and for scientists in industry who want to work on a collaborative project with an academic organisation. For up to four years part-time project. Rounds open in February & August. (Closed)

  • Short Royal Society Industry Fellowships Funds academic scientists who want to collaborate with industry, and scientists in industry who want to collaborate with universities. For up to one year part-time. Rounds open in April & September. (Closed, reopens in April 2021)

Networks

 Grants for networking activities bringing together industry and academia.

  • EPSRC Network Grants - bring together researchers, industry and other groups to develop collaborations through workshops, visits and part-time coordinators. (Closed)

Research council and charity commercialisation awards

Early stage commercialisation awards

These awards help academics  to develop new technologies, supporting projects from  proof-of-concept  to  commercial readiness.

  • ADDF-Harrington Scholar Program (New therapeutics in Dementia) - Up to $600,000 research funding for researchers working on novel therapeutics in the hit-to-lead optimisation stage for Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia, particularly of interest are those related to targets focused on epigenetics and proteostasis. The program comes with dedicated support from a team of industry veterans with capabilities that include medicinal chemistry, pharmacology & toxicology, and business development. (Open until April 23 2021)

  • AI Health and Care Award (NIHR)- supports AI technologies across the spectrum of development, from initial feasibility to evaluation within clinical pathways in the NHS and social care settings, to the point that they could be nationally commissioned. Including screening, diagnosis, decision support and system efficiency. Applications may be submitted by an SME, an NHS Trust or service provider or a Higher Education Institution, later stage projects must be collaborative. (Closed)

  • Artificial Intelligence for Multiple Long-Term Conditions (Multimorbidity) call (AIM)-  supports research using data science and AI methods, combined with expertise in clinical practice, applied health and care research and social science, to systematically identify new clusters of disease and the identification and subsequent prevention of multiple long-term conditions (multimorbidity). (Rolling deadline)

  • BBSRC Follow-on funding - Supports the translation of BBSRC funded research into practical application, including commercialisation, aiming to bridge the funding gap between BBSRC-funded research and the point at which other non-BBSRC funding becomes available.  (Open until 6 October 2021)

  • British Heart Foundation Translational Awards - Supports the development of cardiovascular technologies from the proof-of-concept stage to being ready for the commercial market. Rounds open in January & June. (Open until 13 September 2021) 

  • CRUK Therapeutic Discovery Programme Awards  - Funds programmes of research  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 Therapeutic 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 – annual deadline in Summer)

  • Innovate UK Smart Grant - The industry-academia collaboration scheme requirement to have at least one SME partner. All proposals must be business focused, rather than pure research. Applications can come from any area of technology, science or engineering and be applied to any part of the economy. (Open until 26 May 2021)

  • Innovate UK Women in Innovation Awards - £3 million and a package of business support to help inventions by women and young people like clean energy solutions and healthcare services. (Closed)

  • Ministry of Defence Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) Open Call for Innovation - The Open Call is looking for innovative ideas to improve the defence and security of the UK. Your idea could be a concept, product or service, at various levels of maturity. Current call for Telexistance technology ideas that allow a human user to operate in an environment without physically being there. (Multiple calls, rolling deadlines)
  • 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)

Direct support from industry

Funding and resources from industry

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: 

Artificial Intelligence/Technology

  • Google Cloud research credits - Google Cloud research credits can advance your research by giving you access to computing power that will make the next big thing possible. Support projects from modelling the outbreak of COVID-19 to predicting sepsis and discovering new planets. (Rolling Deadline) 

  • Agilent Early Career Professor Award - USD 50K award for research over two years, which can be used to purchase equipment at 50% discount. Level is for staff equivalent to Imperial’s lecturer position, ten years post PhD. (Closed)

Biotechnology

  • Apollo Therapeutics Fund - Provides committed translational funding and drug discovery expertise for novel therapeutics. (Rolling deadline – contact IPC FoM/FoNS IPC team for more details)

  • 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)

  • Bayer Innovate with us portal - Multiple open programmes to partner or receive funding. (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)
  • Corteva Open Innovation – research funding for collaboration with Corteva focus areas such as traits, plant breeding, enabling technologies, digital solutions and crop protections. (Multiple calls with rolling deadlines)
  • Gilead: Kite External Research Program support for collaborative and investigator sponsored research that advances medical and scientific knowledge in cell therapy. (Rolling Deadline)

  • Gilead: Investigator-Sponsored Research Grant Program -  grants primarily in Gilead’s therapeutic areas of expertise; HIV, liver disease, haematology, oncology, cardiovascular, inflammation. (Rolling Deadline)

  • Johnson & Johnson Innovation: QuickFire Challenges - Crowdsourcing competitions designed to inspire the best science and technology to solve the biggest healthcare challenges. Multiple challenges available. (Rolling Deadline)

  • Merck: Research Grants 2021 - Funding for innovative projects in the following areas: drug discovery (oncology and autoimmune disease), bioreactor design for cultured meat, next generation machine learning, fighting new emerging viruses. (Open until 31 August 2021)

  • Merck: Future Insight Prize – EUR 1,000,000 annual prize for innovative solutions to a different global challenge each year, 2021: Food generation, 2022: CO2 conversion. (Rolling deadline)

  • Merck: Biopharma Speed Grants – EUR 30,000 funding for Pre-clinical researchers in the fields of oncology, immuno-oncology, autoimmune disorders and drug discovery technologies. (Rolling deadline)

  • Novartis Institute of Biomedical Research’s Global Scholars Program (NGSP) – awards of up to $1M over three years for projects aligned with Novartis’ interests in the areas of autoimmunity, cardiovascular/metabolic, Immuno-Oncology, Musculoskeletal Disease, Neuroscience, Oncology, Opthalmology, Tropical Diseases and Platform Technologies. For more information on how to apply please contact stephanie.morris@imperial.ac.uk. (Open until 14 May 2021)  

  • 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, reopens in Autumn 2021)

  • 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)

  • Pfizer: Centers for Therapeutic Innovation - 2021 call for Proposals -  Call for proposals for new targets in a range of different diseases areas in Oncology, Inflammation/Immunology, Rare Disease and Internal Medicine. Successful applicants will receive funding and support from Pfizer’s internal drug discovery expertise. For more information on how to apply please contact rachel.harvey@imperial.ac.uk. (Open until 24 May 2021)

  • Rare Disease Research (RDR) Challenges - Selection, evaluation and funding of projects in a 2-stage process. Challenges must be solvable in a short time period of 30 months with first milestones/deliverables at M18. (Closed)

  • InnoCentive platform: Open Innovation calls from multiple companies - Crowd sourcing platform - Helps innovative organizations solve their important technology, science, business, AI and data challenges by connecting them with a global network of expert problem solvers. (Rolling Deadline)

  • Innovative Medicine Initiative: Funding opportunities - An EU public-private partnership funding health research and innovation. IMI's current call for proposals feature topics on cancer, tuberculosis, psoriasis, drugs based on proteins, and vaccines. (Rolling Deadline)

  • Sanofi Genzyme: Type 2 Innovation Grant - Research grants (up to 80,000 EUR) are available for innovative projects that aim to improve the lives of people with Type 2 immune-mediated diseases, including atopic dermatitis, asthma and chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps (CRSwNP). (Deadline 31 May 2021)

  • Takeda: Innovators in Science Award in Gastroenterology- The 2022 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. (Open until 27 May 2021)

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)
  • Bayer: Grants4Targets Pharmaceuticals - The crowdsourcing initiative offers you financial support to validate your pharmaceutical target and help test your hypothesis. (Closed)

  • 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)

  • Cyclica Academic Partnership Program (CAPP)  in-kind access to Ligand Design or Ligand Express AI-augmented drug discovery platforms for generation of novel compounds with desired ADMET properties for specific targets interest, and screening of existing compounds for mechanisms of action, ADMET predictions, or repurposing opportunities. For more information please contact rachel.harvey@imperial.ac.uk(Rolling Deadline) 

Energy

  • ENI Awards 2020 - Prizes for researchers and others making an impact in the energy sector, including the Advanced Environmental Solutions Prize and Energy Frontiers Prize below:

  • 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)

  • 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. (Closed)

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)

  • Volvo Environment Prize - Rewards scientific discoveries or innovations that support sustainability and the environment (Closed)

Startup and entrepreneur programmes

Training and startup accelerator programmes

  • 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 - An Imperial-led accelerator programme offering PhD students and early-career researchers support to turn ideas for medical technologies into ventures. Over 6 months researchers are provided with funding, training, mentorship and access to industry partners. The current round, delivered in partnership with GSK Consumer Healthcare Next and Beyond, is focused on understanding and treating pain.  (Closed)
  • Carbon Project Floating Wind Joint Industry Project - 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. (Open)

  • Innovate UK iCure - Offers university researchers with commercially-promising ideas up to £35k to ‘get out of the lab’ and validate their ideas in the marketplace. (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. (Open until 14 February 2021)
  • 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 - In partnership with Toyota Research Institute (TRI), we’ve identified key technology challenges in areas like artificial intelligence, automated driving, and robotics — and we’re looking for entrepreneurs to solve those problems via an open innovation call. Open to startups in this space. (Closed)

  • The EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award - Recognises entrepreneurs making a positive impact on their society and the economy (Closed)

  • The Green Alley Award - Looking for startups tackling waste use digital circular economy, recycling, and waste prevention. (Closed)
  • EDF Pulse expansion – EDF Pulse Expansion, the EDF start-up incubator, that invests in startups and innovative projects to achieve the energy and digital transition. (Closed but register your interest)

  • Royal Society Chemistry – Emerging Technologies Competition -  the Royal Society of Chemistry’s annual initiative for early stage companies and academic entrepreneurs who want to commercialise their technologies to make a global impact. Each year they welcome applications from entrepreneurs who are developing technologies that have a strong chemistry component and fall within one of the following categories; Health, Food & Drink, Energy & Environment and Enabling Technologies (Closed, opens 22 February 2021).

  • EIT Digital Accelerator - 12 month programme of international business growth services to help businesses scale up in European marketsFor european tech scaleups providing digital solutions in manufacturing, retail, urban living, wellbeing, technology and finance. (Rolling deadline) 

  • Pitch@Palace - a platform to amplify and accelerate the work of entrepreneurs. (Closed)