Small business and scale up grant funding

17th November 2020

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


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:



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.



Innovate UK, major funding between £1m and £3m for SMEs in the food sector with high growth potential and the ability to transform their working to achieve net-zero.  Deadline 13 January 2021.

Innovate UK is looking for SMEs with high growth potential that aspire to transform food production towards net zero emissions by 2040.

You must develop precision technologies and data-driven solutions that make a significant step towards realising net zero food production systems by 2040.

Your proposal must demonstrate the ambition to finalise a late stage innovation with the potential to grow and scale your business through successful negotiation of investment from a lead investor associated with the competition. You must provide a coherent project plan which integrates into your business strategy.

NB: To secure grant funding you must also secure investment of at least twice the amount of grant through one of the lead investors associated with this programme.

Your project must:

  • have total eligible costs between £1 million and £3 million
  • start by 1 October 2021
  • end by 31 March 2023
  • last 18 months

Key dates:

2 November 2020:  Competition opens

10 November 2020:  Online briefing event: register to attend

13 January 2021 11:00am: Competition closes

More details




Grants from Innovate UK of £75,000 to £500,000 for R&D projects to advance or develop innovations in service robotics for industry.  There is also a feasibility strand, with funds up to £100,000.  Deadlines 20 November.


Innovate UK, is investing up to £6 million to support R&D projects to advance or develop solutions in service robotics for a more resilient future.

The aim is to encourage R&D investment in service robotics capabilities made in the UK.

The vision for the ISCF Robotics & Artificial Intelligence Challenge is to:

  • develop robotic solutions to make UK industries more resilient to future disruptions
  • increase productivity
  • open up new cross-disciplinary opportunities

They are looking for robotic solutions that exploit business opportunities in areas such as, but not exclusively:

  • healthcare
  • logistics, warehousing and transportation
  • agriculture and food production
  • construction
  • ‘general-purpose’ remote working
  • robotics that can contribute towards the UK’s Net-Zero greenhouse gas commitment.

This competition is part of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) Robotics and Artificial Intelligence (RAI) for Safer World Challenge.

2 strands are running in this competition at the same time:

Funding Type:  Grant

Project Size:  Your project’s total eligible costs must be between £75,000 and £500,000.

Closes:  20 November 2020, 11am

More details here

BEE Anglia

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

COVID-19 business support grants for Tech Corridor based businesses


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