Innovation & Enterprise

Innovation, Creativity     & Enterprise

Funding opportunities

The University has specialist knowledge that could help your organisation develop forward-thinking solutions or ideas to create new products, services or processes and we have funding available that you can access to collaborate with the University.

Our expertise is world-leading and we have cutting-edge facilities making us perfectly positioned to provide innovative and creative solutions to you. We take time to understand your needs then match each project with the most relevant resources within the University.

Most funding schemes are highly competitive, and there is no guarantee of success; however drawing on our many years' experience interpreting rules and requirements, we are ideally placed to work with you to produce a high quality funding application.

The University has a long track record of successful funding applications and can provide practical experience of a number of schemes listed below.

For more information about potential project funding opportunities at the University of Kent, please get in touch with our dedicated team.

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Collaboration Voucher

Collaboration Voucher Funding for SMEs to Help Your Business Grow

The University is launching a new round of Collaboration Voucher funding aimed at supporting project collaborations between small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) with a view to building long term partnerships.

The voucher can provide a 50% contribution* towards the cost of a (£5-£10k) project, excluding VAT.

We hope that the initiative will stimulate new SME University collaboration and provide opportunities for fostering longer term partnerships.

Taking an innovative and creative approach to business engagement; the funding can be used for a range of projects such as scoping new products or services or improving existing ones, setting up or evaluating new systems and processes or developing frameworks and training to improve staff productivity.

Recent projects have included:

  • Market research and analysis for diversifying into new markets
  • New software development
  • Initial scoping and research for product development
  • Evaluating use of new ideas; use of scientific facilities and other resources

For a recent example of a project first initiated through the Collaboration Voucher funding scheme, please read our JSR Genetics case study. After initial collaboration, funded by the scheme, the partners successfully obtained significant financial support from Innovate UK (previously Technology Strategy Board) to advance and expand the project.

Please apply by completing our online application form or by downloading the MS Word version and returning to Please also read our Terms and Conditions.

National Innovation Voucher Scheme

UK businesses are able to obtain Government funding to help them develop and grow with the national innovation voucher scheme.

The scheme – managed by the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK, enables start-up, micro, small and medium-sized businesses to access up to £5,000 worth of advice and expertise from universities, research organisations or other private sector knowledge suppliers.

If you would like to discuss a potential project for either of these schemes please contact: Kent Innovation and Enterprise on +44 (0)1227 827376 or get in touch using our contact form for more information.

Horizon 2020

Horizon 2020

Horizon 2020 the new EU funding framework for Research and Innovation was successfully launched in January 2014 with a budget of €80 billion.

Please visit our dedicated Horizon 2020 webpage for further information.

Innovate UK

Innovate UK (previously Technology Strategy Board) is a business-led, government-funded organisation. A competitive scheme, it provides government departments or other public bodies with innovative solutions to specific problems.

Innovate UK issues regular funding calls for collaborative R&D projects in areas of strategic importance to the UK economy, from Advanced Materials to Healthcare to Sustainability (see the full Innovate UK focus areas grid here). In most cases, funding calls offer 50% of project costs (including academic fees). And new technology development is not the only type of project - proposals are welcomed by Innovate UK around user behaviour and developing new supply chains, for example.

Innovate UK also operate the Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI). A competitive scheme, it provides government departments or other public bodies with innovative solutions to specific problems. Working with the University of Kent, our academic expertise and facilities, SMEs can develop products and services to meet these requirements.

We have a track record of participating in successful bids to Innovate UK, with projects ranging from improving network security and pig genetics through to evaluating building energy efficiency. Get in touch to find out more.

Research Councils

While the bulk of Research Council funding is directed at University research, there is increasing emphasis on funding knowledge transfer and exchange activity.

This can take many forms, from disseminating University research results to a wider audience to commercialising innovative ideas and even placing a PhD student with a company.

Get in touch to find out more.


Smart is a funding scheme available to pre-start-ups, start-ups, plus small and medium-sized businesses. Grants are available for Proof of Market, Proof of Concept and the Development of Prototypes.

The University of Kent can offer the academic expertise and facilities to help your business submit a successful funding bid. Get in touch to find out more.

Kent Innovation & Enterprise - © University of Kent

The University of Kent, Rothford, Giles Lane, Canterbury, CT2 7LR, T: +44 (0)1227 827376

Last Updated: 22/01/2016