Funding opportunities

Outlined below are the funding opportunities associated with our IAA scheme.

Commercialisation

The Commercialisation activity strand funds early stage commercialisation through two types of project; Proof of Market and Proof of Concept (PoC).

A rolling fund is available to enable activities to be undertaken to commercially assess EPSRC-aligned research for its validation in an identified market, with commercially relevant data to support this as an expected output.

The funding will operate on an open call basis and is subject to final approval by the IAA Operational Group.

The intellectual property must be 100% University owned; or the University has in advance already agreed rights to develop, exploit and share revenue arising from the technology.

To discuss eligibility and the application process for Commercialisation applications, please contact Amy Contreras.

Proof of Market (PoM)

Funding is typically up to £10k per application and will be made available to support the following indicative activities:

  • market research
  • competing technology analysis
  • small pieces of technical feasibility work
  • external IP reviews
  • obtaining an external commercial opinion
  • industrial networking activities and market visits (to establish market need)

Proof of Concept (PoC)

Funding of around £50k per project will be made available to support the following indicative activities:

  • technical development programmes to achieve commercially identified milestones (not proof of principle work)
  • further market validation of technology and competitive advantage
  • procurement of specialist consultancy services, where required to support the above activities

Business Engagement

The purpose of the Business Engagement (BE) activity strand is to provide match funding to support short-term commercially focused projects in order to share risk, demonstrate applicability of research and develop new relationships.

All BE projects must have at least one external, non-academic partner contributing to the project (either cash or in-kind). External partners could include national and international businesses, public and third sector organisations, or community bodies. This fund will not support academic-academic collaboration.

We are looking to seed new, sustainable relationships and partnerships with external organisations that can engage in ongoing collaborations with the University.

A new partnership is not a requirement for accessing funding, but where IAA projects are with an existing partner the applicant must demonstrate that the IAA project will bring about a step-change in the relationship.

BE funds can be used to support existing PhD students and staff employed by the University or to recruit new members of staff if necessary to meet the skill requirements of the role. Providing this can be achieved in an appropriate timescale for the implementation of the project.

  • Projects can be carried out on a full-time or part-time basis, depending on the nature of the work.
  • Projects may involve one or more researchers and will typically be up to 12 months in length.
  • There is no minimum or maximum IAA award value, but proposals are expected to be in the region of £30-60k.

The award could also be used as leverage for, or form part of, a longer-term project, in which case the external partner would be expected to fund any work beyond the initial funding period.

If you would like to discuss this funding and opportunity further please contact the Innovation Development Team.

Knowledge Transfer Secondments

The purpose of the Knowledge Transfer Secondment (KTS) activity strand is to provide academic/research staff with the opportunity to work with a non-academic partner at their site, or for a non-academic partner to work on a project at the University.

This will enable knowledge exchange and support the delivery of impact from the outputs of ongoing or completed EPSRC funded research.

We are looking to seed new, sustainable relationships and partnerships with external organisations that can engage in ongoing collaborations with the University.

A new partnership is not a requirement for accessing funding, but where IAA projects are with an existing partner the applicant must demonstrate that the IAA project will bring about a step-change in the relationship.

External partners may include industry, business, public sector/government organisations or third sector organisations. Secondments to academic establishments are not supported by this scheme.

  • The period of the KTS may be up to 6 months, and either full-time or part-time. Longer secondments maybe considered on a case by case basis given sufficient justification.
  • There is no minimum or maximum IAA award value, but proposals are expected to be in the region of £30-60k.

For outgoing secondments the secondee can be any member of academic/research staff. It is critical that the secondment does not impact on the delivery of the secondee’s existing commitments and this should be managed with the current sponsor (e.g. via project extension) or Head of School.

For incoming projects, PIs must discuss secondment preparations with their Faculty HR team to ensure arrangements are put in place prior to the start of the project, e.g. access to buildings and systems necessary to carry out the project.

If you would like to discuss this funding and opportunity further please contact the Innovation Development Team.

COVID-19 Funding

Additional funding provided by UKRI has enabled the University’s Impact Acceleration Account to open a rolling call for projects with the potential to contribute towards understanding and addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.

The overall objectives of the EPSRC IAA COVID-19 Call are as follows:

  1. To provide rapid and flexible funding to support translational activities that will contribute towards understanding and addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.
  2. To provide follow-on funding to progress projects addressing the COVID-19 pandemic which have previously been awarded internal/external funding.

There is limited funding available and the expectation is that COVID-19 projects will be relatively small, although no upper limit on requested funding has been imposed. For longer/larger projects applications may be made to the IAA standard schemes.

Eligibility:

  • All projects will be exclusively focused on translational activities that will contribute towards understanding and addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The project should have the potential to deliver economic, environmental and/or societal benefit to UK organisations or citizens outside academia.
  • The lead academic must be an academic member of staff employed by the University of Leeds.
  • NOTE: In line with advise from EPSRC the rules requiring work supported by the IAA to have a link to previously EPSRC funded research have been relaxed for projects that aim to address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic; the project being within the remit of EPSRC is sufficient for this call.

If you would like to discuss this funding and opportunity further please contact the Innovation Development Team.