Innovation & Enterprise


Access innovation funding

Find the scheme that’s right for your project, with information about what can be funded and where the funding comes from.

There are many sources of funding that support innovation. Here you’ll find details about the schemes that encourage connections beyond academia. Whether you want to arrange a secondment, test an idea, set up a partnership, or kick-start a business, your journey begins here.

What can be funded?

We support projects from all disciplines and departments. Our funding is used to exchange ideas and expertise, or accelerate the impact of research, by building links with industry, public sector services and the wider public.

The types of activities we can finance include the following:

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships

Collaborate with a UK-based business, charity, or public sector organisation on a strategic innovation project. We can help you apply for funding through the Knowledge Transfer Partnership programme. [Applications open.]

Knowledge exchange initiatives

Exchange ideas and experience with people outside academia for the benefit of society or the economy. Apply for up to £20,000. [Applications open from 14 October to 8 November 2024.]

Innovation networks

Scope and establish an innovation network to engage with multiple external stakeholders, nurture partnerships, and form an interdisciplinary community. Apply for up to £30,000. [Applications open from 14 October to 8 November 2024.]

Outward secondments

Put your research into practice outside the academic sector with a secondment. Apply for up to £20,000. [Applications open from 14 October to 8 November 2024.]

Proof of concept / early stage commercialisation

Test, de-risk or show the potential of your commercial idea. Apply for up to £30,000. [Applications open from 14 October to 8 November 2024.]

Doctoral student internship support and impact projects

Access funding for training, an internship with a non-academic organisation or, if you've completed your doctoral studies, a short post at UCL to engage in impact-focused activities. Open to UCL-registered doctoral students who have been funded by the EPSRC or BBSRC. [Applications open from 14 October to 8 November 2024.]

Applying research in industry

Work with an industry partner to move your research towards use or commercialisation. Apply for up to £100,000 Discovery-to-use funding for projects linked to EPSRC-funded research. [Applications currently closed.]

Sources of funding

We receive grants from a number of organisations:

  • Research England provides funding through the Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF) to strengthen our engagement with businesses, charities, government and other organisations. It can be used to support a broad range of knowledge exchange projects.
  • UK Research and Innovation provide funding through Impact Acceleration Accounts (IAAs) to boost the economic and social impact of UCL’s research. Grants are specifically available for projects in the AHRC, BBSRC, EPSRC and STFC portfolios. 

Come and talk to us

If you want to discuss your project and what scheme is right for you, please get in touch with the knowledge exchange team. First time applicants are particularly encouraged to speak to the team for advice on writing their application.

Other sources of funding

You might also be interested in:

Case studies

Islington youth councillors with the UCL Empower Islington Research Team
UCL collaboration with London partners leads to better mental health support for young people

Two knowledge exchange projects, drawing on expertise from UCL and partners, are helping young people co-develop the mental health support they need most.

A map of Bloomsbury, London, with building coloured in different colours
UCL mapping project for a sustainable London expands around globe

Londoners stand to benefit from a more sustainable city with the help of an innovative mapping project which started at UCL and is now expanding to include other cities and countries.

A tube of brown coloured paint
Transforming coal waste into vibrant paints through UCL collaboration

UCL artist Onya McCausland developed a range of paints from waste generated by de-commissioned coal mines, working with UCL Innovation & Enterprise and the Coal Authority.