Small business and scale up grant funding
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
- Creative Industries Fund
£2.5 million fund to support innovative projects in the creative sector. Package includes ongoing support from Innovate UK EDGE and funding of up to £25,000 for innovation projects. Open to micro and small businesses who have not previously been awarded Innovate UK funding. Closes Wednesday 16th June 11:00am
- Innovate UK Innovation loans
Up to £20 million in loans available to SME late-stage projects with clear route to commercialisation and economic impact. Loans of between £250,000 and £1.6 million are available. Closes Wednesday 2 June 2021 11:00am
- Innovate UK SMART Grants
The current call closes 26 May 2021. Wide-ranging innovation funding opportunity, with different grant options from £25,000 to £2m depending on the length of project. Highly competitive funding.
- Energy Entrepreneurs Fund
Grants up to £1m for research and development projects looking at new technologies, products and processes in energy efficiency, power generation and storage.
- Clean Growth Fund
A new £40m Clean Growth Fund has been launched, with funding from the 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.
- Good Food Fund
A new business accelerator and venture fund backing healthier food and drink brands that help tackle childhood obesity.
- Ground Floor Grant Funding
Grants to help SMEs protect their intellectual property and fund new products and prototypes. Grants of £1,000-5,000 for IP and patent costs, or for prototyping.
- KEEP+ innovation grant funding
50% towards the cost of knowledge exchange between an SME and a university or other research institution. Can also enable the purchase of consultancy services for innovation activity from the academic or private sector. Funding temporarily paused but worth investigating.
Funding to enable Clean Growth
- Hydrogen Transport Hub: demonstration
UK registered businesses can apply for a share of £2.5 million to demonstrate how green hydrogen can be used to power transport solutions for end users. This competition will help the UK to understand how hydrogen can support the long-term development of the Tees Valley Hydrogen Transport Hub (HTH) and drive demand to decarbonise the transport system. Competition closes: Wednesday 16 June 2021 11:00am
- Automotive Transformation Fund Expression of Interest: Round 10
UK registered businesses can apply for a share of up to £1 billion for capital centric investment projects that help industrialise the electrified automotive supply chain at scale in the UK. Closes Wednesday 19 May 2021 11:00am
- Transitioning to Zero Emission Vehicles
Grant opportunities for EV infrastructure solutions, Zero Emission vehicle on-car innovation feasibility studies, and projects which address challenges of the transition to Zero Emission Vehicles.
- 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. Contact the programme for advice and support.
- Longer duration energy storage demonstration Innovation competition and Offshore Wind Demonstration programme launching spring 2021 – potential projects can register an interest online now. Part of the Government’s Net Zero Innovation Portfolio.
- Offshore wind manufacturing investment support scheme
Grants for the construction or extension of manufacturing facilities to produce wind blades, wind towers, cables, foundations and other key wind power components. Final deadline 30 May 2021, but earlier applications are advised.
- Workplace Charging Scheme
Government grants of up to £350 per socket to a maximum of 40 sockets per company available to encourage take-up of EV charging in SMEs.
Funding and support for businesses and specific sectors
- Brexit Support Fund
Up to £2,000 per UK SME for training to help them complete customs declaration and manage customs processes. Now open, final deadline 30 June but applying sooner is advisable.
Grants from £1,000 to £20,000 to part-fund the development of a new product or service in the construction and built environment sector. Alongside specialist sector support. Not primarily marketed in Norfolk and Suffolk but any companies can apply.
- The Prince’s Trust and NatWest Enterprise Relief Fund
Grants and support for 18-30 year olds who are self-employed or running their own businesses.
- Pay it Forward from Crowdfunder
Free to use crowdfunding service, helping businesses to source financial support.
Funding platform for ideas that bring local places to life. Waiving their 5% fee and relaxing their criteria to help grassroots projects
Region specific grants, funding and support
- Norfolk Community Renewal Fund:
Norfolk organisations can now bid for a share of the Government’s £220m UK Community Renewal Fund to support innovative pilot projects that boost the economy. Bids should seek a minimum of £250,000 UK Community Renewal Funding, with a preferred bid size of £500,000 plus. All successful projects must be complete and funding spent before the end of March 2022.
- East Suffolk Council Covid 19 Community Funds
Grants normally up to £2,500 for community projects supporting vulnerable people during the Covid 19 pandemic.
- The Business Resilience and Recovery Scheme delivered by New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (New Anglia)
The scheme has been established to support businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic and during the economic recovery. It will provide grants to support short-term business resilience projects and longer-term recovery and diversification projects.
- Innovation Grant Mentoring for businesses in Norfolk
Free support programme to help businesses in Norfolk apply for innovation funding.
DRIVE offers 12 hours of business mentoring to rural businesses in Norfolk and Suffolk, leading to a grant opportunity of £5,000 to £30,000 towards up to 40% of project costs.
- Go Digital
Support, advice and small grants for SMEs in Norfolk keen to improve their digital skills and services
- Digital Breckland
Grants for Breckland businesses to adapt to the changing high street, and a linked programme of workshops and training.
- East Suffolk Council Digital Advice Service
Support and mentoring for businesses to help them grow their business online.