Innovation & Enterprise


Discovery-to-use funding

Work with a non-academic partner and move your research from its early stages towards a practical use that benefits society, with EPSRC IAA funding.

Who it’s for

You’ll have a UK-based partner organisation on board who can help you apply your research in their sector. 

What projects could qualify

Your project must increase the impact of EPSRC research outputs by working towards putting your research into industrial use. You'll need to supply the research grant numbers.

Your proposal will need to:

  • show how it maximises the impact of EPSRC-funded research
  • feature research that’s ready to move towards a practical use
  • show how both partners will share their expertise
  • make a measurable difference to both partners, for example by generating a new business startup or developing long-term partnerships

The types of activities you can get funding for include:

  • extending the use of an industrial technology 
  • improving an industrial process or product
  • developing a prototype
  • developing a tool that tackles a social issue

What funding is available

This scheme is now closed.

This page will be updated when receive notification from the EPSRC about funding for 2020-21.

If available, you'll be able to apply for amounts between £10,000 and £100,000 for projects lasting a minimum of 3 months, and running between 1 April 2020 and 31 March 2021.

Your external partner must make a cash or in-kind contribution. The minimum level is 25% (with the other 75% coming from the EPSRC IAA 2017-20). Projects with reduced contributions may be given priority where the partner is a governmental, charity or other not-for-profit body or an SME, and the project is deemed to be highly impactful.

How to apply

  1. Read our guide (pdf) for advice on completing your application and details of the documents we’ll need to see.
  2. Read our guide to using the new web application form (pdf), and what information you'll need to have to hand before starting.
  3. Prepare the costing spreadsheet (Excel).
  4. Fill in the web application form on our online portal. (You'll need your UCL login.)

After you’ve started to fill in the web application form, you can save and return to it as many times as you need before submitting.

You can use the application template (Word) to share information with co-investigators or other colleagues but please note that emailed applications will no longer be accepted

If you’d like to discuss your project or the application process, contact the funding team at knowledge.exchange@ucl.ac.uk

If you have any feedback on the new online application form, please send to knowledge.exchange@ucl.ac.uk so we can improve the process.

After you apply

  1. Your proposal will be assessed by the Knowledge Exchange team to make sure it matches the funding criteria. 
  2. If it does, at least three members of innovation-engaged UCL staff will review it. Your application will be assessed on its suitability for the scheme, feasibility, and potential for impact.
  3. For applications over £15,000, the Innovation & Enterprise Funding Committee will consider the application and make a recommendation to the Vice-Provost (Enterprise) on whether to award or decline. She’ll make the final decision. For applications up to £15,000, the Knowledge Exchange team will make the final decision.

Funding source

  • Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Impact Acceleration Account (IAA) 2017-20