Innovation & Enterprise


Early stage commercialisation funding

Test, de-risk or show the commercial potential of your idea through knowledge exchange funded by Research England.

Who it’s for

You could be in an academic or professional service department, working in any subject discipline.

What projects could qualify

Your proposal will need to:

  • build on research and teaching at UCL
  • show how both partners will share their expertise through knowledge exchange
  • work towards a defined commercial outcome, for example licensing your IP
  • have a social or economic benefit 

The types of activities you can get funding for include:

  • commissioning external consultants, advisors and service providers
  • paying for design, prototype development and manufacturing

You’ll need to have a recommendation from UCL Business (UCLB) to apply. You can arrange this through a UCLB business manager - you can find them on the main UCLB website.

What funding is available

You can apply for up to £30,000 for a maximum of 12 months.

When to apply and timings

Applications are currently closed while we update our systems.

Applications for amounts up to £15,000 will be considered over the summer from mid-June. You’ll be able to apply for larger amounts from September.

Dates will be published here shortly.

For proposals over £15,000 

  1. Apply during a funding call.
  2. Your proposal will be assessed by the Knowledge Exchange team to make sure it matches the funding criteria. 
  3. If it does, the Innovation & Enterprise Funding Committee and at least three members of UCL staff will then review it. 
  4. They’ll pass their recommendation to the Vice-Provost (Enterprise) on whether to award, decline or suggest you submit again. She’ll make the final decision. 

You’ll hear back from us around six weeks after the funding call closes.

For proposals up to £15,000 

You can apply at any time. It’ll take us at least two weeks to get back to you and another two weeks before your project can start. 

If your application coincides with a funding call, it’ll be considered at the same time as those above £15,000. 

How to apply

  1. Your first step is to get in touch with the UCLB business manager for your department. Find them on the main UCLB website.
  2. Read our guide (pdf) for advice on completing your application and details on the documents we’ll need to see. 
  3. Work out costs in Worktribe.
  4. Get letters of support from partner organisations, if needed. You can use our template (Word) if it helps.
  5. Complete the application form (Word).
  6. Email your application and supporting documents to knowledge.exchange@ucl.ac.uk

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

Funding source

Innovation & Enterprise receives knowledge exchange funding from:

  • Research England, Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF)