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.
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.
Coronavirus Research Funding
UKRI Funding for ideas that address COVID-19
Funding for short-term projects addressing and mitigating the health, social, economic, cultural and environmental impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak. Open.
Funding for vaccine-related projects currently in preclinical phase of development. COVID-19 related projects will be fast tracked. Opens 15 June, deadline 5 August.
The U.S. Defence Health Program: Emerging Viral Diseases and Respiratory Health – Topics of interest includes multiple areas such as medicine, diagnostics, AI surveillance/modelling, health impacts etc. Deadline 12 June.
UK Space Agency (UKSA) UK space technologies to boost NHS Coronavirus response - This Open Call for Proposals, setup in cooperation with the UK Space Agency (UKSA), calls for activities to facilitate the quick integration and deployment of concrete and sustainable solutions to contribute to help alleviate the stress on the UK healthcare ecosystem provoked by the COVID-19 outbreak. Open.
Please visit the funders' web pages for the most up-to-date information about the status and deadline of funding calls.
Calls below updated April 2020.
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 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. Rounds open in March & December. (Open until 29 April 2020)
- BBSRC 'Stand-alone' LINK -Pre-competitive research funded 50:50 with industrial partners. Rounds open in March & December. (Open until 29 April 2020)
- EPSRC Prosperity Partnerships - Prosperity partnerships are business-led research partnerships between leading UK based businesses and their long term strategic university partners. (Closed)
- 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 October 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). Rounds open in June and December. (Closed)
- 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 doctoral studentships and training for business and policy are available.
Research Councils Doctoral Training Grants, CASE/Industrial CASE studentships including EPSRC Centres for Doctoral Training
- BBSRC Doctoral Training Partnership including Professional Internships for PhD Students (PIPS)
- BBSRC Modular Training Partnerships to fund the development of industrially-relevant short training courses at Master's level
- BBSRC Advance Training Partnership - postgraduate level training for employees working in UK agri-food industries
- Imperial’s Departments and Centre for Continuing Professional Development offer numerous training courses and can establish bespoke courses tailored to industry needs
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)
- AI Health and Care Award- 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)
- BBSRC Follow-on funding - For commercial activities before developing a full follow-on funding application. Rounds open in January & August. (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. Rounds open in January & June. (Closed)
- Collaborate to Innovate - Funding for working with SMEs to commercialise research. Opens in August. (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)
Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS): 5G Create Competition - Grants of between £250,000 and £5 million per project will be provided. Open to applications from consortia from the public, private, third, research or academic sectors (Open until 1 June 2020)
- 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 27 May 2020)
- 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. (To be announced)
- 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 (Open until 11 November 2020)
- 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 calls: Biosensing across wide areas and Support the national effort against Coronavirus. (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)
- 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
- ISCF Healthy Ageing Social, Behavioural & Design Research Programme - £9.5m (100% fEC) will be available to support world leading research that makes a significant contribution to the lives of people as they age. Call for research applications publishing in May 2020. (Open until June 2020)
- ISCF digital security by design: technology enabled business-led demonstrator, phase 1 - £5.8 million to collaborate on a digital security by design demonstrator project in which an additional technology ‘ingredient’ is required. (Open until 13 May 2020)
ISCF Transforming Foundation Industries Network Plus – The Network Plus will provide academic leadership across the sectors and organise networking activities such as workshops, events and communications, to build sustained engagement and collaboration. (Open until July 2020)
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:
- Knowledge Transfer Partnerships - Funding to a graduate to work at the collaborating company. (Rolling deadline)
- Innovation Scholars Secondments: Biomedical Sciences - Funding for researchers from any discipline wishing to spend up to 36 months (full or part time) on secondment in the biomedical sciences sector. (Open until 1 July 2020)
- Royal Academy of Engineering Chair in Emerging Technologies - Chair appointment to support world-leading researcher focusing on advancing the technology. Covering employment and research costs. (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. (Closed)
- Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 Industrial Fellowships - Funds to increase exploitation of ideas with commercial potential from BBSRC/STFC supported research. Round open in October. (Closed)
- 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. (Open until 28 April 2020)
- 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. (Open until 28 May 2020)
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:
- Microsoft AI & National Geographic Society: Artificial intelligence tools for a more sustainable planet - Grants ($5,000-100,000) to support novel projects that create and deploy AI tools to improve the way we monitor, model, understand, and ultimately manage Earth’s natural resources for a more sustainable future. (Open until 22 July 2020)
- Abbvie Open Innvoation Portal – An open innovation portal looking for innovation and new partnership opportunities in specific areas of therapeutic and technology focus that will make the most significant impact on the disease and its management. Programmes include compound toolbox and other open innovation concepts. (Rolling Deadline)
- 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: Grants4Targets Pharmaceuticals - The crowdsourcing initiative offers you financial support to validate your pharmaceutical target and help test your hypothesis. (Closed)
- 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)
- Daiichi-Sankyo: TaNeDS Global 2019 - The TaNeDS programme provides close partnership between academics and scientists in Daiichi Sankyo to tackle unmet medical needs. (Closed)
- 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 2020 - 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 2020)
- 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 for Biomedical Research Global Scholars Programme -
This program connects innovative thinkers from select academic institutions, including Imperial, with NIBR scientific sponsors to explore new and exciting research directions toward finding transformative medicines. Selected proposals receive up to $1M over three years. Funding is open to projects in a wide range of disease areas and enabling technologies. (Opening soon - contact the Medicine IPC team for more info).
- 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)
- 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 (Open until 30 June 2020)
- 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 next call for proposals is set to 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). (Open until 31 May 2020)
- 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)
- 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)
- Pfizer: Centers for Therapeutic Innovation - A research and development network initiated by pharma that uses an open innovation model to bring ideas to fruition. (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)
- Petronas: Petronas Technology Challenge - Issues challenges to the global community to seek innovative solutions and collaborations for their complex business challenges. (Closed)
- Shell: Innovative Collaborations - Shell is developing new technologies and solutions in collaboration with companies inside and outside the energy sector, academia and governments. (Closed)
- Samsung: Global Research Outreach (GRO) programme - University researchers are invited to propose novel research ideas and to work with their R&D teams to foster technological innovation. (Closed)
- 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 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. (Open until 10 May 2020)
- 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)
- Activate Start Up Programme - Provides business and technology expertise. (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 - 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. (Open until 30 April 2020)
- 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)
- 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 – open from May 2020 until July 2020).
Networking and prizes
- Pitch@Palace - a platform to amplify and accelerate the work of entrepreneurs. (Open until 9 June 2020)
- 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 - A grant award programme providing UK researchers to advance promising research into novel treatments for rare diseases. A unique opportunity for funding and personalised discovery and development support. (Closed)
- 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 (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 (Open until 10 January 2021)
- The EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award - Recognises entrepreneurs making a positive impact on their society and the economy (Open until 28 April 2020)
- The Green Alley Award - Looking for startups tackling waste use digital circular economy, recycling, and waste prevention. (Closed)
- The Royal Society Entrepreneur in Residence (EiR) Scheme - Aiming to increase the knowledge and awareness in UK universities of cutting edge industrial science, research and innovation, EiR provides 0.2FTE funding for 2 years plus travel and project costs for researchers with experience in managing university-business collaborations, entrepreneurship or coaching. (Closed)
- 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. (Closed)