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


Businesses can apply for a share of £800,000 to look at innovative designs for products, services or business models that make plastic use more sustainable.


Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, has up to £800,000 from the Plastics Research and Innovation Fund, to invest in business projects that seek to better understand the behaviour of customers and users and use that understanding to create innovative design concepts.

Projects must develop design concepts that do not rely on single-use plastic using customer and user research. They could look at redesign of existing goods, services or business models or design of entirely new ones. The design concept should prioritise reuse of products and extending the life of products over recycling.

If a project is looking at ‘design for recycling’ then it must be compatible with existing recycling technology and infrastructure.  Design could include contributions from engineering, materials science, service design, circular design and systems thinking.

Click to Apply:

  • the competition is open, and the deadline for applications is at midday on 16 September 2020
  • businesses of any size may apply
  • we expect projects to range in size between £20,000 and £80,000 and last between 3 and 6 months

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


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.


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, 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.

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.


Innovate UK is working in partnership with The Prince’s Trust to find young people from across the UK with great business ideas.  The aim of the Young Innovators Awards is to find young people with great business ideas who have the potential to become future leaders in innovation and successful entrepreneurs.


The Award includes:

  • tailored business support including but not limited to media and communications including branding, business planning strategy, confidence, growing your networks, funding and finance options for example introductions to investors and pitch training, financial planning and more
  • a living allowance for 2 days (15 hours) per week throughout the duration of the award
  • a £5,000 grant to cover project costs including travel to meet customers/partners, attending relevant training courses, equipment, hiring office space and IT support.

Costs must be agreed with your Innovation Champion.

We are looking for business ideas that are innovative, so they must:

  • address a problem
  • be different
  • be significantly better than what is currently on offer including from existing businesses

Closing date: 2nd September

Find out how to apply here

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