Innovation & Enterprise


Early stage commercialisation funding

Test, de-risk or show the commercial potential of your idea with funding from by Research England.

Who it’s for

UCL academic staff working in any subject discipline can apply.

What projects could qualify

Your proposal will need to:

  • build on research and/or teaching at UCL
  • 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 work with UCL Business (UCLB) before applying. We’ll then ask them to review the application after submission. You can find your UCLB business manager on the UCLB website.

What funding is available

Funding calls are currently closed while we await confirmation of further funding.

We expect to announce further calls in 2020 when our funding is renewed.

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. Get in touch with the UCLB business manager for your department as early as possible (at least a week before submission). Find them on the main UCLB website.
  3. Read our guide to using the new web application form (pdf), and what information you'll need to have to hand before starting.
  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

  • Research England, Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF)