Funding and Opportunities
Funding and Opportunities
EIRA offered a range of majority-funded grants to help develop new products and services, as well as opportunities to work collaboratively with partners on important topics and issues for businesses.
We also provided opportunities for start-ups, students, graduates, and university staff.
EIRA funding was available for three years from 2018, and has now ended.
What support is available for my business?
EIRA does not currently have any funding available for businesses, start-ups or academics. However, you can see what funding streams were available by clicking below.
- Enabling Recovery Fund
Our Enabling Recovery Fund enabled businesses to respond to the issues caused by coronavirus, or support those looking to overcome current business challenges. Funds for Enabling Recovery projects are available up to £6k, for projects worth up to £7.5k. EIRA will fund 80% of the total value of the project, with companies funding the remaining 20%.
Applications were welcomed from SME businesses, but they must have been based within EIRA’s geographical remit of the East of England and require academic expertise to explore innovative solutions. Projects must be completed by March 2021.
Key dates for application are as follows:
Opening date for applications: 20th July 2020
Closing date for applications: 11th September 2020, midday
Innovation vouchers can provide your small or medium-sized business with up to £6k to engage with EIRA expertise, with the opportunity to foster a long-term partnership. Funds pay for our academic experts to provide you with tailored expertise.We can help you with:
- scoping or developing new products
- solving problems
- developing your employees
- carrying out a feasibility study
- scoping a new business idea
- improving business efficiency
- exploring other ways to stimulate your company’s growth
EIRA funds 80% of the total value of innovation vouchers, with companies funding the remaining 20%.
Research and Development Grants
Research and Development grants can provide companies of all sizes with £20-50k of funded support for collaborative R&D activity for projects.
We can help you with:
- feasibility testing
- development of a product or service
- identifying the next development required
- de-risking a complex innovation
- applying our expert knowledge to enhance your products
- expanding your current knowledge
- diversifying product range
- enhancing products from prototypes
- providing underpinning research evidence
- optimising organisational processes
EIRA funds 75% of the total value of Research and Development grants, with companies funding the remaining 25%.
i-TeamsOriginating at MIT and first implemented by the University of Cambridge in 2006, the i-Teams programme is a great way for you to bring fresh thinking and new ideas to your organisation. By combining a team of interdisciplinary students with industry mentors, participants work together to develop a product solution for issues affecting your business.
Hothouse EventsExplore business and academic collaboration for the topics most relevant to your organisation. Attending events hosted by BT at their Adastral Park R&D headquarters, or our partner institutions, provides opportunities to network with the wider business community and draw upon BT’s new interdisciplinary graduate research centre.
SME businesses based in the East of England can apply for an Innovation Internship with a student or recent graduate from one of our partner universities and colleges. The internship opportunity must either align with the three key EIRA themes of biotechnology, AI and digital creative, or contribute to an innovation that will have economic impact for the region. EIRA can help towards covering the cost of an Innovation Internship through the scheme, which is delivered locally by the institution in the region nearest to you.
What is available for early-stage businesses, student and graduate start-ups, or students?
Start-up MicrofinanceStudents and recent graduates from across the EIRA network can apply for a grant of up to £3k to help kick-start a business idea.
i-TeamsStudents and recent graduates from across the EIRA network can gain practical skills and experience through i-Teams. Originating at MIT and first implemented by the University of Cambridge in 2006, the i-Teams programme is a great way to bring fresh thinking and new ideas into a business. By combining a team of interdisciplinary students with industry mentors, participants work together to develop a product solution for issues affecting an organisation.
Innovation InternshipsStudents from EIRA partner institutions can apply for an Innovation Internship with a business based in the region. These internships are delivered locally by the institution, so contact your university or college’s Internships or Employability Teams for more info on how you can apply.
EIRA Enterprise AcceleratorWe will run a series of events for HE students from EIRA instutions to build entrepreneurial thinking and develop skills in areas such as idea generation, market research and pitching.
What opportunities are there for academic staff?
Proof of Concept Fund – now closed
The Proof of Concept Fund is now closed for applications. Due to the impressive range of applications the Grant Review Panel received, all funds have now been allocated.
The Proof of Concept Fund provided support for academic staff to develop an idea with a commercial focus. The fund helped academics apply to develop further their innovative idea, to produce more robust data or generate more data to support a patent application, test feasibility, and prove market potential.
Businesses will benefit in the future from the outcomes of this fund by accessing the new products or services developed.