Helping businesses secure and maximise R&D tax credits and grants

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R&D Grants

R&D grants can provide valuable funding for your innovative projects. Take advantage of Myriad Associates’ extensive experience to help you select the right grant to apply for and to greatly improve your chances of success.

R&D Grants

R&D Grants Explained

What are R&D Grants?

R&D grants can provide an essential source of match funding for your innovative project. However, applying for R&D grant funding can be difficult and time consuming. Grant funding is highly competitive and only the highest quality applications have any chance of success.

Sources of R&D grant funding include Innovate UK grants provided by the UK Government and the EU’s Horizon 2020 scheme.

An award winning R&D grant application successfully describes the commercial, technological and financial benefits of the project in a precise and compelling manner.

R&D projects must seek to resolve a technical uncertainty by undertaking risky or innovative research and development. R&D grants are often awarded to projects considered too risky for private sector investment.

Proposed R&D projects and costs must also be realistic with a clear commercial opportunity, and have the aim of creating new or exploiting significant growth within the market.

What R&D Grants are available?

UK companies and organisations can apply for a number of UK based government grants and European grant funding. The key sources of R&D grant funding are listed below:-

Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency, runs funding competitions which can help you develop your innovative idea and make it successful. Innovate UK funding competitions provide funding between £25,000 and £10 million and typically fund technical/market feasibility studies, proof of concept and development of prototype projects. You can find out more on our Innovate UK page.

Horizon 2020 is a European programme that has nearly €80 billion of grant funding available over 7 years (2014 to 2020). The goal is to ensure Europe produces world-class science, removes barriers to innovation, and makes it easier for the public and private sectors to work together in delivering innovation. You can find out more on our Horizon 2020 Main Scheme and Horizon 2020 SME Instrument pages.

EUREKA Eurostars is a European programme for innovative SMEs wanting to take part in collaborative research with partners across Europe and associated countries. Innovate UK manages the UK applications. You can find out more on our EUREKA Eurostars page. 

The R&D Grant Application Process

How do I apply for an R&D Grant?

Applying for a grant is a time-consuming and resource-intensive process. You need to be able to make a very strong case for your innovation, from both a technical and a commercial perspective, for your grant application to be successful.

Each grant application competition has its own rules and requirements. You need to ensure that your innovation meets the competition scope and that you are eligible to apply, so check the guidance for the competition you’re applying for.

Some grant competitions, such as the Innovate UK open competition, provide you with an application form with fixed-size text entry areas. For each question, you’ll need to provide answers to the questions using only the space provided.

For other competitions, such as the Horizon 2020 SME Instrument, there is an overall page limit for the application. You will need to provide the information required within the allowed number of pages, but you can decide how much information to provide for each section.

What type of grant applications are likely to succeed?

Your grant application is more likely to be successful if it:

  • Clearly and thoroughly articulates the business opportunity of the project – the project’s resulting products, processes, or services should have a growth impact for your business and lead to a significant return on investment (ROI).
  • Explains why your business is more likely to succeed with this innovation than a competitor would.
  • Demonstrates a clear understanding of the target markets, including potentially competing products and your concept for commercialisation.
  • Shows why your proposed product, process, or service is a radically new application that produces a step change impact.

Who evaluates a grant application?

Grant applications are usually examined by independent experts in the area of innovation identified in the application. The number of experts scoring the application depend on the grant awarding body.

How long does it take to receive a decision?

Each grant-awarding body has its own timelines for providing feedback and a decision on funding.

What happens if my grant application is successful?

If your application is successful, you will need to provide the information required by the grant awarding body, which may include further documentation and financial checks. Depending on the awarding body, you may be assigned a monitoring officer.

Funding is generally paid in arrears, once the required audits and reports are complete. Each grant awarding body has its own payment rules.

How Myriad Associates Can Help

Why choose Myriad Associates as your specialist R&D grant funding advisor?

Myriad Associates have an enviable track record with R&D grant applications. Using our grant application services can give you a significant competitive advantage over other grant applicants.

We assess your chances of success

We write your grant application

We prepare your financial plan

We submit your grant application

We help you comply with the conditions of your grant

We take care of your application from start to finish

Project Assessment – Our specialist consultants discuss all the relevant technical, commercial and financial details of your R&D project with you and assess your chances of success.

Workshop Session – We will take you through a workshop session so that we fully understand your project in terms of the technical problems and solution, commercial opportunities, market dynamics, project team and financial projections.

Grant Writing – We research, prepare, and write an award winning R&D grant application for your review and approval.

Submission and Feedback – We complete the on-line registration process and submit the web-based grant application on your behalf. Grant assessors provide feedback on both successful and unsuccessful grant applications, and we review this feedback with you to give you on-going advice and guidance.

Compliance and Monitoring – When your grant application is approved, we help you comply with all requests from the grant body’s monitoring officers.

You can download our information sheets on the Horizon 2020 main scheme, on Horizon 2020 grants for SMEs, and on Innovate UK grants.

It is also possible to claim R&D Tax relief for grant funded projects under the Large Company and RDEC (Research and Development Expenditure Credit) Scheme. Myriad Associates can help you navigate through this process so that you can claim your full entitlement to public funding.

(See also R&D Tax Credits)

History of R&D Grants

What's the history of UK Government funding?

From 2011 to 2015, the Technology Strategy Board (which changed its name to Innovate UK in 2014), provided grants to support enterprises working on innovative R&D projects that could lead to new products or services. Innovate UK provided grant funding for specific technology calls; however, Smart grants were specifically aimed at small and medium-sized enterprises. The Smart scheme provided funding from £25,000 to £250,000 and were available for projects exploring proof of market, proof of concept, and development of a prototype in all industry sectors.

In 2016, at the start of a new Spending Review period, Innovate UK announced that it would publish its new strategy for 2016 to 2020 alongside the National Innovation Plan. The 2016-2017 Delivery Plan for Innovate UK has innovation support programmes across four key sector groups (Emerging and Enabling Technologies, Health and Life Sciences, Infrastructure Systems, and Manufacturing and Materials), and the open programme for applications from any sector. Each year, there are two broad competitions in each sector group, as well as two open competitions.

What's the history of EU funding?

Horizon 2020 is the 8th Framework Programme from the EU and runs from 2014-2010, with a budget of €80 billion. The Framework Programmes until Framework Programme 6, which ended in 2006, covered five-year periods, but since Framework Programme 7 (from 2007-2013), programmes run for 7 years.

Framework programmes 6 and 7 were focused on technological research. Horizon 2020 focuses on innovation, delivering economic growth faster, and delivering solutions to end users.

The Horizon 2020 programme consists of three “pillars”, or main research areas: Excellent Science, with a budget of €24 billion, Industrial Leadership, with a budget of €17 billion, and Societal Challenges, with a budget of €30 billion.

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