Innovation & Enterprise


Knowledge exchange and innovation funding

If you’re planning a project where you’ll exchange ideas and experience with people outside academia, you could get funding support.

What is knowledge exchange?

Knowledge exchange (KE) is a process that connects you with communities beyond the university to exchange ideas, evidence and expertise. With its emphasis on an exchange of learning and ideas, it helps you put your knowledge to use for the benefit of society and the economy. You’ll then bring what you've learned back into the university.

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:

  • engage with businesses, public sector services, charities or the wider public
  • show how your project will contribute to society or the economy

Projects could include, among others: 

  • developing a partnership
  • running networking events 
  • designing and delivering workshops
  • informing public policy

What funding is available

You can apply for up to: 

  • £30,000 for a year for projects linked to EPSRC research 
  • £10,000 for six months for projects linked to STFC research 
  • £15,000 for six months for all other projects 

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 all proposals up to £15,000

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. 

For EPSRC-linked 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.

How to apply

  1. Read our guide (pdf) for advice on completing your application and details on the documents we’ll need to see. 
  2. Work out costs in Worktribe. For EPSRC-linked proposals you'll also need to complete the costing spreadsheet (Excel).
  3. Get letters of support from partner organisations, if needed. You can use our template (Word) if it helps.
  4. Complete the application form (Word).
  5. 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 funding team at knowledge.exchange@ucl.ac.uk

Funding sources

Innovation & Enterprise receives knowledge exchange funding from:

  • Research England, Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF)
  • Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), Impact Acceleration Account (IAA). Your project must be linked to a previous or current STFC grant.
  • Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Impact Acceleration Account (IAA). Your project must be linked to a previous or current EPSRC grant.

Related UCL funding

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Case study

Onya McCausland, Five Colours, Five Landscapes, 2018 © Onya McCausland and University College London. Photo by Anna Betts
Creating paints from coal waste: the arts and sciences join forces at UCL

When Onya McCausland visited a former coalfield in Lancashire, she found both a source of materials for her paintings and a potential business idea.