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Develop products and services

When developing products and services, you should consider all the options available to you including business grants, support from Universities and intellectual property.

Business Grants

The Specialist Network Grant (SNG)

This is available to organisations located in Notts/Derbys and SE Midlands. SMEs operating in Life Sciences/Health sectors who can demonstrate that the event can contribute to supporting innovation in their business may be able to access a grant worth up to £3,000 or 50% eligible project costs. This money can be used towards flights, accommodation and registration costs associated with attending a conference in the UK or overseas. This grant will closes in March-23 and so any conferences/events would need take place before Mid-March 23. 

Aerospace Unlocking Potential Project

Grants between £1000 and £100,000 are available which can cover up to 40% to 50% of project costs to develop new technologies, products or services within the Aerospace sectors or direct supply chain. This can be used to purchase equipment, machinery, software, consultancy, R&D materials, and the cost of a graduate. You will also receive technical support from the Precision Manufacturing Centre at Nottingham University. This project will close in December 2022.

Horizon Europe Funding

Horizon Europe is the EU’s research and innovation funding programme. It has a budget of €95.5 Billion and runs until 2027. If you are a UK based researcher, innovator or organisation, then you can apply to most Horizon Europe funding opportunities on the same terms as EU based applicants.

Innovate UK Edge

If your company is innovation driven and growing and you want to take it to the next level, then we recommend you contact Innovate UK Edge. They have a team of experienced innovation and growth specialists who can help you. They provide a bespoke support service to help local businesses find and access the resources they need to innovate, exploit, and internalise their products and services. They are key part of the UK Innovation Agency’s investment to drive economic growth across the UK and they work with industry sector specialists that can support all types of businesses.

Innovate UK KTN

If you are looking for experienced input into your idea, product, service, research, or challenge, then KTN can help you. They have connections spanning business, government, funders, research and the third sector. They also deliver the ‘Knowledge Transfer Partnership’, a national programme that brings together new skills and the latest academic thinking to deliver specific, strategic innovation projects, through a knowledge based partnership. They can work with any established business including social enterprises, but not start-ups.

Solid Edge for Start-Ups

The Solid Edge for Start-ups program provides eligible start-ups with free access to a complete solution for product development, including CAD, CAM, and CAE software. This is open to small or medium enterprises (SMEs) operating for less than 3 years, that are registered at Companies house.

Catapult Grant Scheme

For ambitious growth focused SMEs that need sector specific advice and support to commercialise their innovation, improve efficiency and make business operations more sustainable, or to investigate market gaps. This grant will support market analysis, cost modelling, business case support, or the creation of industry relevant research and development (R&D) project plans. It is a 100% grant which can be used towards eligible R&D projects up to a maximum of £15,000. This scheme closes in March 2023.

Support from Universities

Energy for Business

Energy for Business is a low-carbon innovation project from Nottingham University. They help SMEs with product research and development, business support and have some capital funding/grants to help you take the leap into becoming a low carbon business. SMEs can get up to £10,000 or 40% of eligible project costs. Minimum projects to be considered are £2500 up to a maximum of £24,999. Closes 30 June 2023.

Productivity through Innovation

Nottingham Trent University, the University of Nottingham and University of Derby offer this high impact programme to support SMEs with productivity improvements, by introducing new or improved processes, products, or services. You can also get fully funded consultancy advice and workshops from industry experts, as well as funding towards graduate and postgraduate placements working on your business improvement projects helping you with strategic planning and providing operational insights in areas such as business continuity, supply chain development, future markets research, product development, reducing waste, digital technologies, and digital marketing strategies. This scheme will close at the end of January 2023. 

  • closes: January 2023

Nottingham Trent University:

University of Nottingham:

University of Derby:

Precision Manufacturing Centre

The Precision Manufacturing Centre can offer SMEs a fully funded technical business support service to help SMEs with their manufacturing design and research needs. You can get help with producing prototypes, undertaking ultra-precision complex engineering, measurement reporting, microscopy and get advice on IP. Find out more about the PMC on YouTube. 

Food Innovation Centre

The University of Nottingham offers free support through workshops, collaborative research, and development (R&D) projects and consultancy services for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). This is to help companies develop new products, processes, and services, and to expand their existing internal and external supply chain capabilities. This support will close on 30 June 2023. 

The INSTILS Project

Develop your products and services with the help of the ERDF-funded INSTILS project – delivered by Medilink East Midlands. This project offers high quality advisory support and the opportunity to attend a variety of events, as well as grants for networking, innovation, and medical technology trials. This is a partnership project with the East Midlands Academic Health Science Network, The University of Nottingham, and Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust. This project closes at the end of June 2323.

Research and Development (R&D) Tax Credits

Small and medium sized enterprises can claim for R&D 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.

Intellectual Property

IP Audit Plus

Allow you to gain a clearer picture of your IP assets, so you can manage your own IP and develop an effective plan to grow your business safely. It is particularly relevant for businesses identified as having potential to grow. You can access a grant worth up to £2500 which is available when you apply for an IP audit worth £3,000.

IP Access Grants

The government will pay £5000 to help SME’s protect and commercialise their IP as part of a new strategy to support post covid-19 pandemic recovery. This is an extension to the IP Audits Plus and is available to SMEs that have completed an IP Audit between April 2020 and March 2022 and need help implementing recommendations. You can use this grant to prepare a patent application (Which would cost £4000), but you can’t use it to pay for the official filing fee.

Intellectual Property Office (IPO)

The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) can help with patent applications, IP business events, examples of IP case studies, valuing IP, licensing and much more.

Intellectual Property attaches

Intellectual property specialist attaches can provide advice on protecting a business’s rights in key international markets.

British Library Business and Intellectual Property Centre

The British Library business and intellectual property centre provides entrepreneurs and SMEs with free access to databases, market research, journals, directories and reports worth thousands of pounds. There is a programme of free and low-cost events and workshops on a range of topics including business planning, marketing, and intellectual property.

Patent Box

Patent Box encourages companies to keep and commercialise intellectual property in the UK. It allows companies to apply a lower rate of Corporation Tax to profits earned from its patented inventions. Companies must elect to the Patent Box to apply the lower rate of Corporation Tax, which is 10%.