Innovate

We love ideas. Especially the ones no-one else has thought of. That’s why we work with companies, large and small, to help them tap into the support, funds and expertise available to them to allow them to develop their ideas and innovate their ambitions.

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“The University of Dundee has helped us to maintain our position as market leaders in our field.”

Brian Frame, Managing Director, Rautomead

You may want to test the feasibility of an idea to find out whether it will work. You may want to create a new product, process or service, or improve an existing one through research and development. Or you may want to work with us, either individually or as part of a consortium, to develop innovation projects collaboratively.  

Whatever your aims, we have a wide network of funding bodies and organisations including:

  • Innovate UK
  • Funding bodies tasked with economic growth such as Research Councils
  • Bridging organisations such as the Catapults, Scottish Innovation Centres and pooling initiatives such as SUPA and SULSA.
  • Defence organisations such as Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) and US Office of Global and Naval Research (USG-N)
  • World and European initiatives such as the EIT competition for innovation communities 2018
20th in the world for impact on society

Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2019

Top 100 in the world for research quality

Natural Index 2019

There are a number of supportive opportunities available to you and specific ones are outlined below. We can help identify which initiative is best for you. We can also help you improve your competitiveness, efficiency and market reach by developing your ideas, products, systems and services - ultimately impacting favourably upon your bottom line.

We know that every business and commercial aspiration is unique. That’s why we listen to your needs and help identify the best support, funds and expertise available to innovate your ambitions.

“Rautomead Ltd in Dundee is a small to medium enterprise which has become the world’s leading and most experienced supplier of continuous casting technology for non-ferrous alloys. Much of this innovation has been driven by close links to local research institutions such as the University of Dundee.”

Brian Frame, Managing Director, Rautomead

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There are many innovation opportunities available in collaboration with us.

Innovation Vouchers

If you are an SME looking to develop new processes and systems to improve efficiency and introduce new products and services, you can unlock up to £1000 to access academic expertise and knowledge from external organisations such as Interface.

“With the help of the University of Dundee and Interface, we now look forward to the next phase of development.”

Brian McCormack, McCormack Innovation Ltd

“The Scottish Funding Council Innovation Voucher was an excellent support mechanism to develop the partnership with McCormack Innovation.”

Professor Robert Keatch, University of Dundee

Innovate UK

If you are looking to develop an innovative product, process or service, you may be able to get funding of between £25,000 and £10 million.

Innovate UK runs grant funding competitions that can help you develop your idea and make it successful. They are open to innovation projects led by a UK-based business or research and technology organisation, with funding awarded to the winners.

Innovate UK is part of UKRI (UK Research & Innovation) and is tasked with driving forward the innovation needs of UK industry in key priority areas based on thematic and open funding calls.

They achieve this in various ways, including the Catapult network and industrial loans to companies, but predominantly by funding collaborative research and development (CR&D) programmes.

Innovate UK is the main delivery partner for Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund calls. You can use the Innovation Funding Service on the gov.uk website to search and apply for innovation funding.

Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund

Through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF), the government is bringing world-class research and businesses together to take on the major industrial and societal challenges of our time.

The ISCF is a core pillar in the government’s commitment to increase funding in research and development by £4.7 billion over 4 years to strengthen UK science and business. ISCF opportunities are challenge-led, focussing on important industrial and societal themes within the 'Grand Challenges' - AI & Data, Ageing Society, Clean Growth, and Future of Mobility.

Competitions are announced periodically. Business-led competitions are typically delivered by Innovate UK and can be found via the Innovation Funding Service. Additional opportunities may be facilitated by the other UKRI (UK Research and Innovation) councils.

We have dedicated resource to support the development of bids for ISCF. If you are interested in engaging with us on an ISCF project, please contact us.

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships

If you are a business, public or third-sector organisation, you can get funding to bring in new knowledge and expertise through a Knowledge Transfer Partnership.

The Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) scheme helps businesses to innovate and grow. It does this by linking them with a university and a graduate to work on a specific project.

Each KTP is a three-way partnership between a business, an academic institution and a graduate. The academic institution employs the recently-qualified graduate who works at the company. The graduate, known as the ‘associate’, brings new skills and knowledge to the business.

A KTP can last between 12 and 36 months depending on the project and the needs of the business. It is part-funded by a grant. The amount businesses need to contribute is different for SMEs and larger companies.

Here are a few benefits associated with a KTP:

  • 0.5 days of academic support per week
  • Full time highly qualified Associate
  • Access to expertise not available within the company
  • Access to University facilities
  • Development of new products and improvement of existing products
  • Improving/refining existing processes
  • Introducing new processes and service
  • Increased profitability / reduction in costs
  • Substantial grant to project (67% for SMEs and 50% for large companies)
  • Long-term relationship with University
“The work we have done with the University of Dundee through PhDs, KTP sponsored associates and undergraduate studentships, has helped to drive our growth and train the next generation of engineers.”

Brian Frame, Managing Director, Rautomead

Read more on gov.uk:

Contact us to learn more about KTPs.

Scottish Enterprise Grants

If your company is looking to research and develop a new product, process or service – or significantly improve an existing one – Scottish Enterprise offer R&D grants which can give you a range of support for your project.

The SE R&D Grant supports businesses developing new products, processes and services to improve company competitiveness. Projects typically last 6 to 36 months, and the grant can cover up to 35% of the project costs.

Horizon 2020

Horizon 2020 is the largest ever European funding programme for research and innovation. It has a budget of 79 billion euros and will run throughout 2020.

Horizon 2020 aims to:

  • ensure that Europe produces world-class science
  • remove barriers to innovation
  • make it easier for public and private sectors to innovate together

SMEs can get EU funding and support for innovation projects that will help them grow and expand their activities into other countries in Europe and beyond:

Innovative training networks bring together universities, research centres and companies from different countries worldwide to train a new generation of researchers. For example, with the European Industrial Doctorate the researcher spends at least 50% of their time with a non-academic partner, developing skills inside and outside academia that respond to public and private sector needs:

Find more EU Research and Innovation opportunities on the ec.europa.eu website.

iCASE Studentships

You may be eligible to apply for one of our outstanding students to work with your organisation for a minimum of 3 months at no expense to you.

“The research activities performed with the University of Dundee has enabled us to secure high-quality talent from the graduate programmes at the UoD allowing us to increase our total permanent staff from local talent.”

Brian Frame, Managing Director, Rautomead

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