CURRENTLY CLOSED TO NEW APPLICATIONS

The spending commitment against all Advantage West Midlands projects is currently under review and we are not able to make any new Grant for Research and Development grant offers. We are seeking to identify how this important business support scheme may continue and exploring alternative funding possibilities. In the meantime, in order to avoid applicants investing time in preparing new bids whilst future funding is in doubt, this grant scheme is closed to new applications with immediate effect.

Solutions for Business

Supporting R&D in SMEs

This Solutions for Business product provides grants to help SMEs carry out research or development work that will lead to technologically innovative products or processes.

Who is it for?

Individuals planning to start a business, new start-ups or established businesses with an innovative proposal to either develop a pre-production prototype or to conduct research that moves a concept closer to commercial realisation.

What are the criteria?

• The enterprise must be an SME and within any size limits for one of the types of grant specified below
• The level of technological innovation, project risk and the IPR position
• The project must be carried out primarily within the West Midlands region
• It must be demonstrated that grant is necessary for the project to proceed
• Applicants must show how the balance of funding will be provided
• Management abilities and the skills of the project team should be evidenced
• Market need and commercial exploitation prospects should be demonstrated
• Wider issues such as environmental and social benefits will be considered.

Five types of grant

There are five types of grant available:

• Proof of Market Grant: to test the commercial potential of an innovative idea or new technology. Projects to last up to 9 months and available to any SME (having less than 250 employees and either less than €50m sales or less than €43m of asset value). Grants are 60 per cent of actual project costs and the maximum grant is £20,000.

• Micro Development Grant: small scale development projects lasting up to 12 months in Micro enterprises (those having less than 10 employees and either less than €2m sales or less than €2m of asset value). Grants are 45 per cent of actual project costs and the maximum grant is £20,000.

• Research Grant: to produce new scientific or technical knowledge, projects lasting 6-18 months in Micro or Small businesses (those having less than 50 employees and either less than €10m sales or less than €10m of asset value). Grants are 60 per cent of project costs. The minimum grant is £20,000 and the maximum £100,000.

• Development Grant: to develop a pre-production product or process prototype, projects lasting 6-36 months in an SME (those having less than 250 employees and either less than €50m sales or less than €43m of asset value). Grants are 40 per cent of project costs in Micro or Small businesses, and 35 per cent in larger (Medium) SMEs. The minimum grant is £20,000 and the maximum £250,000.

• Exceptional Grants: in strategically important sectors such as biotechnology and low carbon energy technologies, the research and development grants as otherwise described above, may have extended grant limits of £250,000 and £500,000 respectively. Potential applicants should contact us before commencing the preparation of an exceptional grant bid.

How do I apply?

We suggest that you first download and read the Guidance Notes for Applicants. The Application Form itself can also be downloaded and this, combined with the Appendices described in the guidance notes, forms a complete application. Send two unbound copies to the address below and we will aim to reach a decision within six weeks of receiving a complete application.

Applications should be submitted on standard forms to:
Richard Hanson 
Advantage West Midlands
3 Priestley Wharf
Holt Street
Birmingham B7 4BN

We are ready to receive applications at any time, there is no automatic entitlement to grant and we will assess your application against the scheme criteria and also utilise a national list of technical advisors. Everyone dealing with your application is committed to maintaining its’ confidentiality.
All financial support offered through Advantage West Midlands is provided in accordance with State Aid rules.

All financial support offered through Advantage West Midlands is provided in accordance with State Aid rules.

Your Advantage West Midlands contact

Richard Hanson
Grant for R & D Policy Manager
richardhanson@advantagewm.co.uk
T: 0121 503 3230

Richard Clift
Grants Case Officer
richardclift@advantagewm.co.uk
T: 0121 503 3274

Steve Hines
Grants Case Officer
stevehines@advantagewm.co.uk
T: 0121 503 3290

Stuart Parkes
Grants Case Officer
stuartparkes@advantagewm.co.uk
T: 0121 503 3246

Phil Langford
Grants Case Officer
phillangford@advantagewm.co.uk
T: 0121 503 3686