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Research and development or innovation

There are several useful research and development business support schemes and grants that can be used to help grow your business.

Horizon 2020

This scheme provides funding to support research that's ground breaking, improves European research standards or responds to challenges like climate change or food security.

Find out more on the Horizon 2020 website. 

Innovate to Grow

Enterprise Europe provide business support to SMEs in UK and Europe that want to use technology to help innovate and grow.

You can get help with:

  • finding funding for innovation
  • including writing a funding applications
  • developing and diversifying your products
  • planning new markets
  • exploiting and protecting intellectual property
  • and finding new markets for your products.

You can find out more on the Innovate to Grow website. The East Midlands Chamber of Commerce is the delivery partner for this scheme in this region and you can contact them by: 

  • telephone: 0300 123 3066 or 0333 320 0333.

Innovation vouchers

You can claim up to £5,000 towards the cost of expert advice if you are running an SME – or just starting up.

This funding encourages you to seek out fresh knowledge that can help your business to grow and develop. This could include seeking some advice on an innovative idea, learning more about using design within your business or how you should make the most of intellectual property.

You must meet criteria of it being the first time working with a provider and you need specialist help to meet a business challenge.

Find out more on the Innovation Vouchers website or contact them by: 

Productivity Through Innovation

Fully funded scheme that will pay for a graduate to work within your business from between 6 weeks to 12 months and assist with delivering a project for you that introduces new or improved products or services.

NTU will assist you through free consultancy from experts within their internationally renowned Nottingham Business School, Free technical support and access to their industry-standard facilities and attendance at free workshops and events, providing opportunities for peer support from like-minded businesses.

Find out more on the Productivity through Innovation website or contact them by:

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) is UK-wide programme, managed by Innovate UK on behalf of the major Research Councils.

Innovate UK will contribute up to 67% of the total project cost for SMEs and up to 50% for larger businesses. They work as a 3-way collaboration between an organisation, a university and a graduate who is supported by an expert academic team. The graduate will joins the organisation to drive the project forward.

Find out more on the Knowledge Transfer Partnerships website or contact them by:

Business consultancy

Access to academic expertise and Nottingham Trent University facilities for Research and Development ie technical support, product design or research.

Find out more on the Business Consultancy website or contact them by:

Catapult Centres

Catapult are a network of 10 world leading technology centres and a part of Innovate UK. They provide SMEs with expert advice to them develop new innovations and gain access to funding resources available across UK and can also help with intellectual property matters. 

Find out more on the Catapult Centres website. 

Research and Development Tax Credits

SMEs can claim for Research and Development relief if a research and development project seeks to achieve an advance in overall knowledge or capability in a field of science or technology through the resolution of a scientific or technological uncertainty - and so not simply an advance in its own state of knowledge or capability.

Find out more on the Research and Development Tax Credits website.

Patent Box

Patent Box enables companies to apply for a lower rate of Corporation Tax to profits earned after 1 April 2013 from its patented inventions and certain other innovations.

SMEs get tax relief and to be eligible the business must own or exclusively license the patents and must have undertaken a qualifying development on them.

Find out more on the Patent Box website. 

Legal advice on patents

Swindle and Pearson are intellectual property lawyers and they have a number of offices across Derby, Burton, and Nottingham.

SMEs can arrange to discuss their business ideas to ensure they are protected with various specialists. Initial consultations are free.

Find out more about legal advice on patents or contact Swindle and Pearson by:

Intellectual Property Office (IPO)

The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) can help with patent applications. Find out more on the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) website. 

Intellectual Property attachés

Advice on protecting a business’s rights in key international markets through our specialist attachés. Find out more on the Intellectual Property attachés website. 

British Library Business and Intellectual Property Centre and its network

The British Library Business and Intellectual Property Centre and its network of centres based at other libraries around the country can offer businesses impartial free advice; support around patents and copyrighting and protecting ideas and products and marketing them. The centres offer business support as well as a specialised intellectual property service.

Find out more about the British Library Business & Intellectual Property Centre and its network on their website. 

Ways to contact business support

The best way to contact us is through our online form so we have the right information to help you as quickly as possible. Contact us by: