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

16th September 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


Feasibility funding and  industrial research projects sought which tackle energy efficiency in the production line.


This Industrial Energy Transformation Fund (IETF) competition is offering up to £30 million, split across 2 strands, to fund feasibility, engineering studies and deployment.

Strand One:  In the feasibility strand, projects must undertake a feasibility or an engineering study (experimental development) to develop either an energy efficiency or a deep decarbonisation project that enables possible subsequent deployment.

In this strand, industrial businesses of any size can apply, either on their own or in collaboration with other organisations. The lead applicant must operate at an eligible site in England, Wales or Northern Ireland at which the study is carried out.

Strand Two: The other competition strand, IETF deployment of energy efficiency technologies in industry, will fund projects that deploy energy efficiency technology.

Funding type:  Grant

Project Size:   Strand One: The total eligible project costs for experimental development (engineering studies) must be at least £100,000. For feasibility studies they must be at least £60,000.

  Strand Two:  The minimum grant companies of any size can receive is £250,000.

Closing Date:  28 Oct 2020 11:00am

More details: strand one,  strand two 


Grants up to £500K for major feasibility studies into digital technologies which could transform UK supply chains, and major R&D grants between £500K and £1.5m for major digital supply chain optimisation grants. 


Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, is to invest in 2 competitions to drive digital innovation in UK manufacturing supply chains. The funding is from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF).

Your project must help UK manufacturing supply chains to develop digital technologies to become more efficient, productive, flexible, resilient. These must encourage the use of digital approaches to better integrate and optimise the performance of supply chains.

This competition comprises of 2 strands running at the same time. The strands are:

Funding type:  Grant

Deadline:  7 October 

More details


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


Innovate UK, as part of UK Research and Innovation, is offering 10 Women in Innovation Awards to female entrepreneurs across the UK. The winners will receive a £50,000 grant and a bespoke package of mentoring, coaching and business support.


The aim of this competition is to find women with exciting, innovative ideas and ambitious plans that will inspire others. The awards are for female founders, co-founders or senior decision makers working in businesses that have been operating for at least one year.

Applicants must be confident, with the support of an award, that they can make a significant contribution to a pressing societal, environmental and/or economic challenge through their innovative project.

The competition is split into 2 phases. In phase 1 the written application will be assessed by independent experts. In phase 2 the shortlisted applicants will be interviewed by a panel of experts.

Funding Type: Grant

Project Size:  Each award will provide £50,000 of funding. Projects must start by 1 April 2021 and will last for one year.


More details

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.


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.

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