Grant and funding opportunities for innovative companies in the Cambridge Norwich Tech Corridor

19th May 2019

Grant funding is vital to many businesses in the region, and here we highlight some of the programmes and competitions currently open to ambitious tech firms.

Funding for innovation and innovative companies

A new £40M Clean Growth Fund has been launched, with funding from Government and from one of the UK’s largest charity investors, CCLA. Clean Growth Investment Management (CGIM) are managing the fund, which makes investments into start-up companies developing clean energy solutions.


The government is launching a new effort to support green start-up companies across the UK, joint-funding a £40 million venture capital fund to supercharge the development of next generation clean, low-carbon technologies.

The Clean Growth Fund will contribute towards the UK’s plans to reach Net Zero by 2050 and will be accessible to UK-based companies driving green technology across the power, transport, waste, and building energy efficiency sectors. Potential examples of projects the fund could support include:

  • energy storage and smart grid systems to bolster resilience in the power system
  • renewable heating and ventilation technologies across homes and commercial buildings
  • bio-fuels and bio-energy systems

More Details

The Clean Growth Fund is funded by the BEIS Energy Innovation Programme and further details can be found at:

Further detail and information on the fund’s eligibility criteria and investment approach is available from CGIM’s Clean Growth Fund website and can be found at:



UK registered businesses can apply for a share of up to £2 million to develop digital health technologies in partnership with organisations from EUREKA countries.


Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, is investing up to £2 million to fund collaborative research and development (CR&D) projects focused on industrial research.

We will fund digital health and smart device projects that promote healthy ageing. They must meet one or more of these themes:

  • robotics
  • augmented or artificial intelligence
  • software as a medical device
  • wearables
  • medical devices
  • diagnostics
  • imaging
  • data analytics
  • sensors
  • apps

Projects must include at least one partner from one of the participating countries of the EUREKA Network. These countries are:

France, Spain, Belgium, Luxembourg, Canada, Malta, Turkey, Austria

Project size

UK applicants can apply for total grant of up to £500,000 for each project.

Closing date: 5th August 2020

Apply here



Future Flight aims to revolutionise the way people, goods and services fly. It will support the development of a novel integrated aviation system around freight-carrying drones, urban air vehicles to hybrid-electric regional aircraft.


Innovate UK is investing up to £30m in innovation projects as part of phase 2 of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) Future Flight Challenge.  The Future Flight Challenge is a four year, £125m ISCF programme.

Phase 2 will fund projects that develop integrated aviation systems and/or vehicle technologies that enable new classes of electric or autonomous air vehicles. These could include drones, urban air mobility vehicles or electric sub-regional aircraft. Solutions should be able to be integrated into a mature operational environment, ensuring safe and reliable operation in flight and on the ground.

This competition phase has 2 strands, both open to collaborations only.

Strand 1, the ‘fast track’ strand encourages applications from smaller businesses and organisations who traditionally do not work within the aerospace / aviation sector.


Strand 2 will focus on larger projects and encourage applications that seek to integrate technologies and systems.

The competition closes at midday UK time on 1 July. 

For more information on both strands, visit the Innovation Funding Service here.


A new drive to fund space-enabled technology and services that can strengthen the NHS response to coronavirus has been launched by the UK Space Agency.

Satellite data and drone technology can help meet challenges such as delivering test kits, masks, gowns and goggles, managing infectious disease outbreaks and supporting the health and wellbeing of the nation.

An initial £2.6 million is being made available to fund a number of projects to develop hi-tech solutions to these challenges, in a joint initiative with the European Space Agency (ESA) in support of NHS England.



The Seoul Institute of Technology  is looking for new mask designs and technologies as well as new ideas for personal protective equipment (PPE) to prevent the transmission of respiratory viruses such as coronavirus.

This Theoretical Challenge requires only a written proposal.


The Seeker is soliciting two levels of submissions for two different levels of awards: (1) full Theoretical Challenge level detailed descriptions and instructions for new masks and mask technologies and/or (2) Ideation level new ideas and concepts for PPE to prevent virus transmission. A total award pool of up to $60,000 is available with full awards for winning Theoretical level submissions of $20,000 each and partial awards for winning Ideation level submissions of $2,000 each.

This is a Theoretical Challenge that requires only a written proposal to be submitted. The Challenge award will be contingent upon theoretical evaluation of the proposal by the Seeker.

To receive either level of award, the Solvers will not have to transfer their exclusive IP rights to the Seeker. Instead, Solvers will grant to the Seeker a non-exclusive license to practice their solutions.

Submissions to this Challenge must be received by 11:59 PM (US Eastern Time) on May 21, 2020. Late submissions will not be considered.

Apply here

The aim of this competition is to provide help for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to develop innovative aerospace technologies. These will enhance your capabilities and increase your ability to win new business.


Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, is working with the Aerospace Technology Institute and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

Up to £10 million will be invested in NATEP (National Aerospace Technology Exploitation Programme) for aerospace innovation projects as part of the ATI programme. In this competition we are investing up to £2.5 million.

Your proposal must align with the priorities stated in the UK Aerospace technology strategy, Accelerating Ambition.

Upcoming Introductory Webinar: Tuesday 12 May, 14:00 – 15:00
Find out more about how to access the latest round of NATEP funding – Book your free place now

Project Size:
Your project’s total eligible costs must be between £100,000 and £300,000. The total project grant must be less than £150,000.

  • Competition opened: Monday 4 May 2020
  • Competition closes: Wednesday 17 June 2020 12:00pm

More details here

Grants up to £20,000 (up to 40% of total cost) for projects which reduce the carbon footprint of a business; could help businesses trying to reduce their regular costs in the light of Covid-19.

Key Points:

  • Grants pay up to 40% of costs (typically 30%. See below for details)
  • Minimum project spend, including the grant & private contributions: £2,000
  • Eligibility criteria apply (see here for details)
  • Applications must be endorsed by a BEE Anglia advisor
  • Grants will not support projects already committed to (e.g. where payment has been made, orders have been placed, work has started, etc.)

Register your interest here, call 01473 350 370 or email for further information.


The Future Fund will provide government loans to UK-based companies ranging from £125,000 to £5 million, subject to at least equal match funding from private investors.


The £500 million Future Fund has been designed to ensure high-growth companies across the UK receive the investment they need to continue during the crisis.

Delivered in partnership with the British Business Bank and launching in May, the fund will provide UK-based companies with between £125,000 and £5 million from the government, with private investors at least matching the government commitment. These loans will automatically convert into equity on the company’s next qualifying funding round, or at the end of the loan if they are not repaid.

To be eligible, a business must be an unlisted UK registered company that has previously raised at least £250,000 in equity investment from third party investors in the last five years.

The government is committing an initial £250 million in funding towards the scheme, which will initially be open until the end of September. The scale of the fund will be kept under review.

These convertible loans may be a suitable option for businesses that rely on equity investment and are unable to access the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

This scheme is not available yet. It will launch in May 2020.

For more details click here


Get funding for ideas that address COVID-19
Proposals are invited for short-term projects addressing and mitigating the health, social, economic, cultural and environmental impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak.

  • Project length: Up to 18 months
  • Closing date: none – apply at any time
  • Funding: 80% of the full economic cost (fEC) for Research Council funding. For Innovate UK funding, State Aid rules apply. Please see guidance here.
  • Award range: There is no specific budget for this call. We are interested in funding research of any scale that can demonstrate it will deliver impact in the project length
  • More details

UK Research and Innovation grants of up to 80% of the total project cost of initiatives to develop solutions to the consequences of the Covid 19 outbreak where a rapid path to funding is needed.

Researchers holding existing UKRI standard grants should in the first instance consider whether they could repurpose that funding to address the objectives of this call. You can apply to switch your existing funding here. Repurposing your existing grant is the quickest way to start the research.

Companies and organisations being funded by Innovate UK, who wish to re-purpose their grant for Covid-19 purposes, should approach their Monitoring Officer in the first instance; and progress any requests through the Project Change Request (PCR) system.

For help looking at the full range of Innovate UK funding, contact the New Anglia  Growth Hub.


Grants and support for 18-30 year olds who are self-employed or running their own businesses.


Grants can be used to maintain core business operations during the crisis, as well as meet any existing financial commitments, such as paying for essential equipment or settling invoices from suppliers. Additionally, grants will also support young people to diversify their business to respond to opportunities created by the crises. In conjunction with grants, the initiative will offer one-to-one support and guidance to any applicants who need it.

To be eligible to apply, you must be a business owner aged 18 to 30, who set up their business in the last four years and don’t have any other source of income during the crisis.

If you set up your business with support from The Prince’s Trust in the last four years, you are still eligible for the fund if you were aged 18-30 at the time you received this support.

Entrepreneurs aged 18-30 who are not eligible for the fund but find their businesses to be affected by coronavirus can contact The Prince‘s Trust for support. Every young person who gets in touch will be offered personalised one to one support to connect with mentors or build their skills.

Find out how to apply here


Smart is the new name for Innovate UK’s ‘Open grant funding’ programme.

Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, is investing up to £25 million in the best game-changing and commercially viable innovative or disruptive ideas. All proposals must be business focused.

Applications can come from any area of technology and be applied to any part of the economy, such as but not exclusively:

  • the arts, design and media
  • creative industries
  • science or engineering

Whilst they welcome projects that overlap with the grand challenge areas this is not a requirement, as they are also keen to support projects in other areas.

Project Size:  Duration between 6 and 18 months and total eligible project costs between £25,000 and £500,000: can be single or collaborative. Duration between 19 and 36 months and total eligible project costs between £25,000 and £2 million: must be collaborative.
Closing Date:       27th May 2020: 12:00pm


Name:                     UK-Canada: Enhancing agricultural productivity & sustainability
Closing Date:       Wednesday 20 May 2020: 5pm


The UK and Canada are running a joint funding competition to support collaborative research and development (CR&D) projects, to develop new products, processes and services. Projects must target improvement to the productivity and sustainability of crop, livestock and aquaculture systems.

We want applicants to deliver integrated precision approaches and data driven solutions to support the transition to a net zero-emission industry by 2040.

Project Size:          The combined total funding sought (grant available) for all UK partners can be a maximum of £400,000 per application. NRC IRAP will provide a maximum contribution of up to $700,000 CAD to be shared between Canadian partners involved in the project.

Click here for more details

COVID-19 business support grants for Tech Corridor based businesses


Capital grant scheme for registered limited companies in the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority area,  to help businesses purchase equipment that will protect and/or generate new jobs.


In order to apply for this grant, both the applicant and the project must be eligible. Eligible applicants are Small to Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) in the CPCA area. These are discretionary grants and each application is judged fairly and on its individual merits.

For grants between £2,000 – £49,999, they will fund up to 80% of the total equipment costs. For grants between £50,000 – £150,000, they will fund up to 50% of the total equipment costs. The total cost of the equipment must be at least £2,600.

The CPCA area is Peterborough City, and the district council areas of Cambridge City, South Cambridgeshire, Huntingdonshire, Fenland, East Cambridgeshire, Rutland, West Suffolk, North Hertfordshire, Uttlesford, Lincolnshire – South Kesteven and South Holland, Kings Lynn and West Norfolk.

For more details click here


The Business Resilience and Recovery Scheme delivered by New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (New Anglia), will provide support to businesses in Norfolk and Suffolk that have been affected by the Covid-19 Coronavirus and are looking at ways to recover and strengthen their business performance.

There is a limited pot of funding available to support companies across the whole of Norfolk and Suffolk, so we’re looking for companies to bring forward investment projects that will have a significant impact on their business, and grant applications will be considered on “first-come, first-served” basis.

What will the scheme pay for?
> 50% grant towards capital costs involved in initial resilience and future recovery of businesses, up to £50k;

The scheme is operated across all districts and boroughs in Norfolk and Suffolk.

Funding Available
The Business Resilience and Recovery Grant Scheme commences with an initial allocation of £3.5m from the New Anglia LEP Growth Deal.

Maximum grant intervention through the programme will be 50% of eligible capital costs

More details here

A number of new COVID-19 business support schemes are being delivered directly through local authorities to support businesses through the challenging period of the COVID19 pandemic.

To read about the business grants being offered through your local authority, click here or contact the New Anglia Growth Hub on 0300 333 6536

For non Tech specific funds & grants including the Fisheries Response Fund, The LEAP small emergency fund loan programme for food businesses as well as Funding opportunities for charities, click here