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Funding Sources

Follow-on and Proof of Concept Funding

Successful research often leads to innovations that need to be further developed in order to reach fruition. Warwick Ventures can help you win appropriate development funding, and we would like to tell you about two schemes that are currently open (or about to open) to applications:

Follow-on Funds help researchers to bridge the funding gap between traditional research grants and commercial funding by supporting the very early stage of turning research outputs into commercial propositions. After completing the follow-on work, the prospective business idea should be in a much stronger position to secure further support from venture capital or seed funds.

Below you'll find a list of follow-on funds ordered by their closing dates. Our experience of these schemes in that we need to write significant parts of the application, covering IP protection, freedom to operate and future commercialisation plans, if you are to have a chance of success. This means that we need to be informed of your interest as early as possible, and have at least two weeks to prepare our sections of the bid. We are very happy to do this and have found that really well prepared applications have a good chnace of success (50% or better). We look forward to hearing from you!

Research Council   Further Information
Wellcome Trust
Health Innovation Challenge Fund
  www.wellcome.ac.uk/HICF
NERC   www.nerc.ac.uk
BBSRC   www.bbsrc.ac.uk
MRC   www.mrc.ac.uk
Wellcome Trust   www.wellcome.ac.uk
EPSRC   www.epsrc.ac.uk
The Research Councils Follow-on Fund

This provides small grants to allow the outcomes of their research funding to be translated into application. These schemes have been running for several years, and Warwick has had a number of successes in winning these grants. The BBSRC are advertising their latest round of funding, and offering grants of about £100k. More on www.bbsrc.ac.uk/business/commercialisation/follow_on.html The parallel EPSRC scheme is also about to open again, and more information can be found on www.epsrc.ac.uk/ResearchFunding/Opportunities/KT/FollowOnFund.htm Warwick Ventures have assisted in all previous applications, so do contact us if you think that this scheme might help you.

Advantage Concepts Fund

This is a new fund, running only in the West Midlands with about £4 million per year to spend. We expect it to open for applications by mid-September. It is aimed at small companies as well as universities, and provides grants of up to £30k to support patenting, market research, business plans and prototypes. More about the scheme on www.advantageconcepts.co.uk This scheme will be more appropriate where the research phase has been largely completed, and an attractive commercial opportunity has been identified. Warwick Ventures can help you with the application.


    Funding for Environmental Projects:

    Entrepreneurship and ideas funding

    Incubators Programme (Carbon Trust)
    The Carbon Trust can refer potential candidates, who have real commercial and technical promise, into their co-funded incubators. The incubators will provide strategic and business development consultancy, advice on corporate finance, mentoring for the management team, energy-related market research and guidance on technical support.

    Venture Capital (Carbon Trust)
    If you have a technology that has commercial potential, can demonstrate its feasibility and have potential co-investors in place then you may be of interest. Typically, they invest between £250k-£1.5m per deal as a minority stakeholder alongside private sector investors on the same terms.

    Invention and Innovation (NESTA)
    These awards help turn original ideas into new products and services. They offer individuals the opportunity to access early-stage funding (much earlier than other investors) as well tailored packages of added-value support.

    Renewables and energy technology funding

    Energy Crops Scheme (Defra)
    Grants for growers of energy crops who have an energy end-use for the crops (e.g. a biomass power station or a community energy scheme).

    The UK Cleaner Coal Technology Programme (DTI)
    This programme provides support for Research and Development for Cleaner Coal technologies, and makes financial contributions in partnership with UK industry and other funding agencies.

    Clear Skies (DTI)
    Grants for not-for-profit organisations and householders for renewable energy installations.

    Energy Efficiency Loans (Carbon Trust)
    Energy-Efficiency Loans are designed to save you money when you replace your existing equipment with a more energy-efficient version. So, if you're a small or medium-sized business, you could borrow £5,000 to £100,000* at 0% fixed interest to fund the purchase of equipment such as lighting, boilers or insulation.

    Innovation Programme (Energy Saving Trust)
    The Innovation Programme provides funding and support for local authorities and housing associations, along with their project partners, to promote and implement innovative approaches to reducing carbon emissions from domestic housing?in their local areas.

    Community Energy (Energy Saving Trust)
    Provides grants from a ?50 million fund to encourage community heating (often known as district heating).

    Core Technology Ventures Services
    CTV will consider investing in viable fuel cell applications and technologies.

    ENERGIE (European Commission)
    The ENERGIE Programme is organised around two areas of research and development: Cleaner Energy Systems Economic and Efficient Energy for a Competitive Europe.

    Energy efficiency funding

    Enhanced Capital Allowances (DTI)
    100% first-year capital allowances for businesses investing in energy-saving plant and machinery, low carbon dioxide emission cars and natural gas and hydrogen refuelling infrastructure, or water conservation plant and machinery.

    Innovation Programme (Energy Saving Trust)
    The Innovation Programme provides funding and support for local authorities and housing associations, along with their project partners, to promote and implement innovative approaches to reducing carbon emissions from domestic housing?in their local areas.

    ENERGIE (European Commission)
    The ENERGIE Programme is organised around two areas of research and development: Cleaner Energy Systems Economic and Efficient Energy for a Competitive Europe.

    SAVE (European Commission)
    The SAVE Programme is the principal focus of the European Community's non-technological action on energy efficiency.

    Research and development funding

    Energy & Environment Research Programme (DTI)
    Programme of scientific and economic analysis to inform energy policy, support for research on sustainable development and environmental research.

    The UK Cleaner Coal Technology Programme (DTI)
    This programme provides support for Research and Development for Cleaner Coal technologies, and makes financial contributions in partnership with UK industry and other funding agencies.


    Proof of Concept Funding:

    NHS NEAT: The NHS NEAT programme is inviting outline proposals for proof of concept studies in applied research to develop products and interventions for improved health and social care for disease prevention and treatment. See www.nihr-ccf.org.uk for further details.

    BBSRC, EPSRC*, NERC and PPARC have announced the second call for proposals to the new Research Council Follow-on Fund; to enable the commercial potential of ideas arising from Research Council supported research to be demonstrated. The Fund will support activities essential to securing commercial opportunities such as licensing, seed or venture finance through further scientific or technical development.

    It is intended to commit up to £2m through this call and it is expected that grants awarded through the Fund will be typically in the range of £25-50k up to a maximum of £60k over 12 months.


    Applications for this funding must go through the University Technology Transfer office.

    For more information and relevant documentation, please see:

    * EPSRC has capped the total amount available to the University of Warwick at £61k, for more information please discuss with Warwick Ventures.

     

    Biotech Funding:

    The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Central Commissioning Facility (CCF) commissions research for a number of the NIHR and Department of Health’s research programmes. The method of commissioning and the associated processes varies between programmes. Follow the links for additional information on the type of call operated under each programme, the dates of calls, registration of intention dates and final submission dates.

    All research projects commissioned through the CCF will be subject to the standard Department of Health research contract. By submitting your application to the CCF you are agreeing to be bound by the terms of this contract in the event of funding being offered.

    Research for Patient Benefit (NIHR)
    The Research for Patient Benefit Programme is a responsive funding programme open to researchers in the NHS. RfPB is a continually open responsive mode programme which operates three competitions per year. To obtain an application form, applicants must submit a registration of intention to submit (ROI) an application by the specified dates. Completed applications must be submit by competition deadlines in order to be considered at the next regional funding committee meeting.

    Policy Research Programme (NIHR)
    The Policy Research Programme commissions research to meet Department of Health research needs identified in the course of policy work. It does not commission research in response to spontaneous proposals. Much of the commissioning is done via open competitive tender particularly for strategic initiatives and high cost projects.

    Programme Grants for Applied Research (NIHR)
    Programme grants are prestigious awards aimed at attracting the top researchers. They have replaced programmes of research previously supported by the Priorities and Needs (PNF) component of NHS R&D Support Funding for NHS Providers. Programme grants are allocated competitively to NHS trusts to enable them to tackle areas of high priority or need for health. The application process is in two stages, with peer and expert panel review. Successful organisations are monitored annually to ensure that continued funding is justified.

    Research for Innovation, Speculation and Creativity (RISC) (NIHR)
    The Research for Innovation, Speculation and Creativity (RISC) Programme is a responsive funding programme open to all researchers in the NHS in England. RISC does not seek to name specific topic areas and welcomes applications on a wide range of issues. To obtain an application form, applicants must first submit their project title online. Completed applications must be submitted by the competition deadline in order to be considered at the funding committee meeting. RISC calls are held annually and are initiated by advertisement.

    New and Emerging Applications of Technology (NEAT) (NIHR)
    The programme covers all areas of health and social care where new or innovative technological approaches can be developed. Projects meeting national research priorities are particularly welcome. The annual budget is £2 million and the programme is open to all research providers in the academic and NHS communities. NEAT calls are generally annual and consist of feasibility studies and project grants.

    NHS Healthcare Technology co-operatives - call for outline proposals (NIHR)
    The Department of Health is announcing a Call for a jointly-funded initiative between DH, DTI, EPSRC and MRC to pilot Healthcare Technology Co operatives (HTCs), a recommendation of the Healthcare Industries Taskforce (HITF) in their Report 'Better healthcare through partnership: A programme for action', published in November 2004. The closing date for submission of Outline Applications is 2nd October 2006.

    HTA Clinical Trials (HTA)
    Ongoing funding opportunity - outline proposals accepted at any time