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 and have an endorsement 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

You’ll be able to apply during the following call dates:

  • 2 to 16 September 2019 (earliest start 4 November)
  • 4 to 18 October 2019 (earliest start 9 December)
  • 8 to 22 November 2019 (earliest start 22 January)

You'll be notified of the outcome around six weeks after the call closes.

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)