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Details on the major EU and UK Grant Funds

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The following questions and answers may help you.


  • How much can I get? +

    The amount of grant depends upon the purpose for which it is given. The main purposes and potential amounts of grant are as follows: -

    Capital Grants for Investment

    In reality these grants are more concerned with the protection or creation of employment. Grant levels range between 10% and 20% of overall project costs (up to 40% for SMEs), alternatively, between £2,500 and £7,000 per job created.

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  • Eligibility and the main criteria for obtaining grants? +

    The key eligibility tests and criteria that must be met are given below.

    1) The purpose(s) for which the grant is being offered must be met by your project. The purpose may be very tightly defined e.g. ‘basic research into imaging technology for medical devices for blood screening’; or broad as in ‘increase productivity and/or employment’.

    2) The size of your business. Some grants are only available to businesses of a certain size e.g. small or medium size businesses (SMEs). Often, even when open to businesses of any size, SMEs may receive favourable terms or special treatment.

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  • The following are the main purposes for which grants are given +

    (this list is indicative not exhaustive)

    Grants for Capital investment, job creation and productivity

    Grants for capital investment either from the United Kingdom or the European Union are almost invariably connected to the creation or sustaining of employment. It is therefore essential that you specify how many new jobs are to be created or, as a minimum, how many old jobs will be protected. Capital grants are usually only available where there will be regional or national benefit as a result of the project.

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  • Do you always need a consultant to apply for grants? +

    No. In the majority of cases a consultant is not necessary. Thus grants for export, training, consultancy and most other services may be applied for quickly and easily without assistance. However, in the case of grants for capital investment and research & development the application procedures are complex, and, more importantly, the rules applied by the issuing bodies are not transparent.

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Backround to grants

  • How many grants are there and what are they worth? +

    For the United Kingdom we have some 1,850 different grants on the databases provided by UK national organizations or European Union sources.

    In addition, there are some 3,000 "grants" provided by local councils, economic development units, LEPs and other specific local bodies.

    Nobody, to our knowledge, has ever calculated the total value of grants available . However   the following schemes running from 2014-2020 have budgets as follows: the European Union Research & Development Programme ‘Horizon 2020’ - 82 billion euros; the Connecting Europe Facility-19 billion euros ; Erasmus+ - 13 billion euros; LIFE 3 billion euros plus many more. 


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  • What is a grant? Is it free money? +

    No, under no circumstances. A grant, in the strict sense, will be an outright gift of cash, but it is given on condition that agreed criteria, particularly purposes and objectives, are met.

    "Grants" may also be taken to mean: -

      • Soft loans which will have, typically, an interest rate rebate and/or a capital repayment holiday and/or a reduction in collateral requirements.
      • Subsidized services or the provision of free information and advice.
      • Tax credits e.g. for rate relief or R&D are also a form of grant.
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Size of Business

  • Is company size important +

    Is size important or why do the large companies seem to get most of the money?

    The large companies get most of the money because they have specialist departments that do nothing other than chase grants. Furthermore, their projects are naturally larger and therefore attract publicity.

    In fact almost all grants, particularly those from the European Union, have specific clauses that favour small and medium size enterprises

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  • So what constitutes a small or medium size enterprise? +

    Annoyingly the definitions used still vary from scheme to scheme, but the European Union schemes and most UK Government schemes adopt the EU definition which came into force on 1 January 2005 which takes account of employee numbers, turnover and annual balance sheet total. In summary: -

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Industry qualifications

  • What difference does the industry I am in make? +

    Certain industries or types of industry tend to be excluded from the grant system, thus banks, estate agents and insurance or financial service industries are typically not eligible.

    Often, but by no means always, businesses which have a purely local impact e.g. individual retail shops, local builders, local service companies are excluded from the national grant system. Such businesses may well benefit specifically from local grants from economic development units, enterprise agencies and other local initiatives.

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  • Can you only get grants if you are in specific locations? +

    No. Location is rarely of importance. "Grants" for research & development, export, training, consultancy and advisory services are available throughout the United Kingdom regardless of location.

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News Flash: Latest

First of a kind deployment of innovation


Innovate UK are using a novel scheme to assist businesses, particularly SMES to break into markets with novel disruptive technologies in specific sectors.

Contracts covering up to 100% of the cost of demonstrating new technology are available to SMEs operating in the fields of

  • solutions for affordable, sustainable and secure energy delivery
  • solutions for connected transport through the integration of multimodal transportation systems
  • integrated solutions to systemic challenges in urban areas
  • resilience of infrastructure and cities to environmental and societal pressure.

Contracts in value between £250 K and £5 million are available.

Read more ...

Energy Catalyst, (Round 4) Early Stage Technical Feasibility Grants

The ENERGY CATALYST, an ‘Innovate UK’ grant, supports both businesses and research organisations, including academia, that are UK based or are moving there to respond to challenges across the energy sector. It will fund projects delivering innovative solutions that address ALL the elements of the energy trilemma namely:

  • Reducing Emissions
  • Improving Security of supply
  • Affordability

Key Objective:
It will help stimulate and support innovation at all stages through to commercial readiness. Thus The Energy Catalyst can fund projects from early concept stage through to pre-commercial technology validation, based upon innovation that incorporates, for example:

Read more ...
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