17 August, 2021 in Industry News

Research and Development (R&D) Support Funds

Our team of R&D specialists can help ensure your business is receiving all the financial support it is entitled to. We help clients to develop R&D strategies that provide them with a plan to achieve their business objectives while boosting R&D activities.

Led by Shane Martin, our growing R&D team work with businesses in Northern Ireland, Ireland and the UK across all sectors to identify projects that are eligible for R&D tax relief.

With over 20 years’ experience working with and advising business across several sectors including manufacturing, engineering, construction, electronics, software and healthcare, Shane has been involved in some of the largest claims that have ever been submitted to HMRC, which has resulted in changes being made to HMRC legislation.

Our growing R&D team work with businesses in Northern Ireland, Ireland and the UK across all sectors to identify projects that are eligible for R&D tax relief.

At the moment there are four R&D support funds that your business may be entitled to. Below we have summarised these support funds and the required criteria for businesses who are deemed eligible.

For more information, get in touch with our team of dedicated tax experts who can guide you through each step to ensure your claim is successful.

Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging

As part of an Innovate UK Research and Innovation investment, innovation projects aiming to address widely known plastic packaging related problems, will have the chance to share up to £7 million in funding for ambitious R&D projects.

To be eligible, your project can focus on one or more of the following:

  • The minimising or reduction of plastic packaging
  • Packaging suitable for reuse, refill and online delivery
  • Sustainable solutions for film and flexibles
  • Food grade recycled polypropylene and polyethylene
  • Behaviour changes leading to less packaging waste or higher recycling rates
  • Solutions which address the UK Plastics Pact target for problematic or unnecessary single use plastic packaging items

For further information on how to enter, click here.

The competition closes on Wednesday 8 September 2021 at 11.00am.

Innovate UK Smart Grants: Launching 26 August

Innovate UK has announced a new round of Smart Grants for game-changing and disruptive R&D projects. Businesses can apply for grants to deliver ambitious R&D projects with significant potential for boosting the UK economy.

Projects can come from any area of technology and can be applied to any part of the economy, such as (but not limited to):

  • The arts, design and media
  • Creative industries
  • Science or engineering

All applicants must complete an equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) survey. EDI considerations are highly encouraged where appropriate in the proposal. Applicants are assessed on innovation merit, where innovation is defined as the potential for commercially successful exploitation of ideas.

Eligible projects must:

  • Include at least one micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME) as the lead or a collaborative grant claiming partner
  • Start by 1 April 2022 and end by 31 March 2025
  • And specific rules dependent on its duration
  • For projects with a duration of 6-18 months, it must have total eligible project costs between £25,000 and £500,000 and it can be single or collaborative.
  • For projects with a duration of 19 to 36 months, they must have total eligible project costs between £25,000 and £2m and must be collaborative.

For further information on Innovate UK Smart Grants, click here.

The competition closes at 11.00am on Wednesday 6 October 2021.

Automotive Transformation Fund – Open for Expressions of Interest

The Automotive Transformation Fund (ATF) is a funding initiative designed to focus on projects that look at batteries, motors and drives, power electronics, fuel cells or recycling. This initiative has been designed to support the large-scale industrialisation of an electrified automotive supply chain in the United Kingdom.

Up to £1bn of government funding is available through the ATF initiative in order to support R&D and capital projects within the automotive sector.

This scheme focuses on companies involved in:

  • Batteries (including cells)
  • Electric machines and drives
  • Power Electrics
  • Fuels
  • Upstream supply chain for any of the above
  • Recycling any aspect of the above

Round 13 of this funding has now opened for expressions of interest.

To be considered, companies must have projects which:

  • Look to transform the automotive industry through significant business or production expansion
  • Centred on a product, process or technology that you have already demonstrated and have confirmed as technically and economically feasible

Companies can apply for capital investment only or capital and associated R&D activity.

Proposals must prioritise the scale-up in areas mentioned in the Automotive Transformation Strategy for an electrified supply chain.

The application process is split into two steps. Firstly, applicants must first check their projects eligibility for funding through the ATF funding tool.

ATF will then contact eligible projects to provide guidance on how to submit a formal expression of interest (EOI) application. If your EOI application is successful, you will then be invited to progress to a full application for the ATF competition.

Click here for more information about the Automotive Transformation Fund.

The competition closes at 11:00am on Wednesday 18 August 2021.

Funding to Help SMEs Innovate in Aerospace

The NATEP programme creates opportunities for aerospace innovators to apply for R&D funding and mentoring in Autumn 2021 and Spring 2022. The Autumn funding call has now opened and successful applicants will be offered grant funding, in addition to technical and management mentoring.

To be eligible, projects must:

  • Be collaborative
  • Be industrial research
  • Have application (or potential application) within civil aerospace
  • Propose technologies in line with ATI’s Technology Strategy (or explain why they do not)

To lead eligible projects, you must be an SME, but can collaborate with academic organisations, charities, public sector organisations or research and technology organisations.

For further information on the schemes, click here.

The deadline to submit outline proposals is Friday 27 August 2021.

For further details on eligibility criteria and to begin your application, click here.

For further information on CavanaghKelly’s R&D services, click here.


To contact us today, click here.


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Whilst every effort has been made by CavanaghKelly to ensure the accuracy of the information here, it cannot be guaranteed and neither CavanaghKelly nor any related entity shall have liability to any person who relies on the information herein. Information given here is for guidance only. Detailed professional advice should be taken before acting on any information contained herein. If having read the guidance here, you would like to discuss further; a member of our team would be pleased to help you.