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

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. 

The Gates Foundation, Wellcome Trust and the Mastercard Impact Fund have put forward over $100M funding for the acceleration and evaluation new and repurposed therapeutics to treat patients with COVID-19 in the immediate term, and other viral pathogens in the longer-term. Open.

TRANSVAC Funding for vaccine-related projects
Funding for vaccine-related projects currently in preclinical phase of development. COVID-19 related projects will be fast tracked. Deadline 5 August.
£200k prize for code based solutions that provide crisis communication, remote education or community cooperation built using open source cloud technologyDeadline 31 July. 

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

Calls below updated July 2020. 

Leverage funding for working with industry

Industry research partnerships

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

  • BBSRC Industrial Partnership Awards - standard peer-reviewed research grants but with financial support (10%) from industrial partners. Rounds open in March & December. (Opens in December 2020)

  • BBSRC 'Stand-alone' LINK -Pre-competitive research funded 50:50 with industrial partners. Rounds open in March & December. (Opens in December 2020)
  • 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)

  • 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. (Open until 3 September 2020)

  • ATI Programme strategic batch: expression of interest August 2020 - The ATI Programme represents a £3.9 billion joint government and industry investment to maintain and grow the UK’s competitive position in civil aerospace. (Open until 19 August 2020)

  • Agri-tech catalyst round 10: agriculture and food systems, early stage - UK registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £2.5 million to work on agri-tech and food chain innovations in Africa. (Open until 21 October 2020)

  • IETF industrial energy efficiency and decarbonisation studies - This Industrial Energy Transformation Fund (IETF) competition is offering up to £30 million in 2 strands. Organisations can apply for a share of up to £30 million for grants to carry out feasibility and engineering studies into energy efficiency and decarbonisation. Academic institutions cannot lead or work alone. (Open until 28 October 2020)

  • IETF deployment of energy efficiency technologies in industry - Organisations can apply for a share of up to £30 million for grants for energy efficiency projects that reduce fuel bills and carbon emissions. Academic institutions cannot lead or work alone. (Open until 28 October 2020)

  • IUK Energy Catalyst round 8: clean energy access, feasibility projects -Organisations can apply for a share of up to £20 million to develop and demonstrate innovative solutions for clean, affordable and secure energy access in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia or South East Asia. (Open until 16 September 2020)

  • IUK Biomedical Catalyst 2020: round 1, early and late stage awards - UK registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £30 million to develop a product or process that is an innovative solution to a health and care challenge. Academic institutions cannot lead or work alone. (Open until 7 October 2020)

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

  • 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)

  • ISCF Transforming Foundation Industries Hub - The Transforming Foundation Industries ISCF Challenge will be investing up to £4.7m in a Research and Innovation Hub which will be delivered by EPSRC on behalf of UKRI. The aim of this Challenge is to enable the foundation industries (made of six separate sectors: metal, glass, ceramics, paper, cement and chemicals) to work together to address their common challenges of competitiveness and sustainability. (Open until 3 September 2020)

  • ISCF Manufacturing made smarter: digital supply chain, feasibility studies – Funding from Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund to help UK manufacturing supply chains to develop digital technologies to become more efficient, productive, flexible, resilient. These must encourage the use of digital approaches to better integrate and optimise the performance of supply chains Academic institutions and research cannot lead or work alone. (Open until 7 October 2020)

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:

  • Knowledge Transfer Partnerships - Funding to a graduate to work at the collaborating company. (Rolling deadline)

  • 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. (Opens in Winter 2020)

  • 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.  (Open until 25 September 2020)

  • 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)
  • 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. (Opens in October 2020)

  • 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. (Opens in August 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. (Opens in September 2020)


 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.

  • 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. Opens in January and April)

  • 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). (Open until 19 September 2020)

  • 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 7 October 2020)

  • 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 14 September)

  • 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. (Open until 20 August 2020)

  • 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)

  • Energy Catalyst round 8: clean energy access, feasibility projects Organisations can apply for a share of up to £20 million to develop and demonstrate innovative solutions for clean, affordable and secure energy access in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia or South East Asia. (Open until 16 September2020) 
  • 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. (Closed)

  • 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)

  • 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. (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)

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

  • 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 21 October 2020)

  • 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. (Open in October 2020)


  • Almirall - Innovative Therapies for Skin Diseases call - Looking to fund partnering opportunities with researchers working on new therapies for a range of dermatological conditions. (Open - Deadline 31 October 2020)

  • 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)

  • 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)
  • 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. (Deadline December 2020)

  • 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 - A research and development network initiated by pharma that uses an open innovation model to bring ideas to fruition. (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. (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). (Closed)

  • 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. (Closed)

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)


  • 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)



  • 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 (Open until 10 January 2021)

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. (Closed)

  • 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 16 August 2020)
  • 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. (Opens 8 Sept 2020 and closes 17 November 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).

  • 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)