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 (PoM) and Proof of Concept (PoC).

A rolling fund enables activities to be undertaken to commercially assess STFC funded 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

Funding of up to £10k per application is typically 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

Funding of around £50k per project is 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 & 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 with external, non-academic partners. The aim is 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 or staff employed by the University. The funds can also be used to recruit new members of staff to meet the skill requirements of the role, providing this can be achieved in an appropriate timescale for the implementation of the project.

  • Projects will typically be up to 12 months in length, can be carried out on a full-time or part-time basis (depending on the nature of the work), and may involve one or more researchers.
  • 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.

Contact us

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

Knowledge Transfer Secondments

The purpose of Knowledge Transfer Secondments (KTS) 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 on-going or completed STFC 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.

  • Secondments may be up to six months and either full-time or part-time. Longer secondments will be considered on a case by case basis.
  • 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 (eg via project extension) or Head of School.

For incoming projects, PIs must discuss secondment preparations with their Faculty HR team to ensure correct arrangements are put in place prior to the start of the project (eg access to necessary buildings/systems).

Contact us

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