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Small Business Research Initiative

The Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) programme is designed to help early stage, high-technology Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) gain greater access to Research and Development (R&D) opportunities supporting the future procurement needs of Government Departments. Please note that the opportunities do not offer grants or loans but are competitive R&D contracts

The SBRI aims to create opportunities for businesses to engage with a specific department need and to prove their technology or idea. Successful companies will gain a lead customer for development and will receive a contract for the full cost of demonstrating the feasibility of their technology, leading to subsequent prototype development. This provides a route to market and establishes credibility for further investment. It is particularly suitable for small and medium-sized enterprises and early stage companies.

Who can apply?

The SBRI programme is open to all businesses, although it is likely to be particularly beneficial to SMEs.

SBRI funded opportunities

The figures for Government funded civil R&D contracts awarded to SMEs under SBRI for 2007/08 show that £47.7m were won by SMEs which equates to 11% of the baseline R&D budget.


The SBRI programme is administered, marketed and delivered by the Technology Strategy Board. R&D procurement opportunities available under the initiative are notified on the Technology Strategy Board website at:

Other opportunities for small businesses to supply to Government

Other public sector contract opportunities for the supply of goods and service are advertised at - this website consolidates access to lower value contract opportunities (typically under £100,000) from across the UK public sector - both central and local government.

Research Councils support for small businesses

The Research Councils support the Government's aim to create R&D intensive SMEs and seek to raise awareness among SMEs of the benefits that the research base can offer. For further details see

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