Participation in a project


The Technology Strategy Board provides funding for research and development which is business-led. The principal objective of the support is to stimulate innovation activity, encouraging businesses to work with other commercial and research organisations to develop innovative products, processes and services with future commercial potential.

To support this business focus, the Technology Strategy Board aims to optimise the level of funding business receives whilst recognising the importance of the contribution of research organisations to R&D projects. We require, therefore, the following levels of participation:

  • at least 70% of the total eligible project costs are incurred by commercial organisations and
  • a maximum of 30% of total eligible project costs is available to research participants. Where there is more than one research participant, this maximum will be shared between them.

Please note: The above participation levels will not be varied unless otherwise specified in the competition scope.

Businesses may choose themselves to fund directly any higher levels of research organisation involvement in projects, but those additional costs:

  • will be considered to be outside the project
  • should not be included as eligible cost in the project for either participant
  • should not appear on any finance forms and
  • will not attract grant.

Please note: If a business applicant is participating in a project but is not requesting a grant, then:

  • their role and level of involvement should be described in the relevant sections of the application form as for other participants
  • their name should appear in the list of participants in the finance summary table with their total costs but with zero grant requested
  • they do not need to complete a detailed finance form
  • if the application is successful, they will not be included in the grant offer letter but the project description, costs and associated grants for other participants will be made public  to comply with government requirements on transparency of public funding. 

Research Organisations

The level of Research Organisation involvement will be for the project consortium to agree according to the scope of the competition, and the specific project aims and objectives. However, it must also fit with the business share of eligible costs as outlined above.

Where the Technology Strategy Board is specifically targeting transfer of knowledge from the research base to business, the level of total research organisation participation will be increased to 50% of the total project cost. In this case, the funding levels will be specified in the competition documentation at the outset and above.

Please note:

  • The level of total research participation is set at a maximum of 30% of total eligible project costs
  • If there is more than one Research Organisation, (University, non-profit distributing RTO, Catapult, PSRE, Research Council Institute, charity or public sector organisation undertaking research) in the project, the maximum 30% of eligible costs must be shared between them.
  • Eligible costs for JeS registered applicants means 80% of FEC

Public sector organisations and charities

Where charities and public sector organisations are doing research within a project, the work and dissemination plan should be described in the application and the eligible costs counted towards the research organisation participation levels set for the competition.

Research activity may be taken to be experimental or theoretical work or critical investigation aimed at the acquisition of new knowledge and skills or to research a new understanding for developing new products, processes or services.

Funding Example

The table below provides an example of the cost sharing aspect from a consortium perspective:

Example: Industrial Research; Total Cost of Project £750,000; 3 Partners (1 large business, 1 SME, 1 University)

Total eligible project costMaximum % of eligible costs which may be claimed as grantTSB GrantProject contribution
Large Business 350,000 50% 175,000 175,000
SME 200,000 60% 120,000 80,000
Research organisation 200,000* 100% 200,000 nil**
Total 750,000 495,000 255,000

*80% FEC.

** 20% FEC not to be shown as a contribution


The objective of Collaborative Research & Development is to assist industry, research communities and other organisations to work together on Research & Development projects in strategically important areas of science, engineering and technology, from which successful new products, processes and services can emerge.

In all collaborative projects there must be:

  • at least two collaborators
  • A business-led consortium, which may involve both business and research participants
  • evidence of effective collaboration

Effective collaboration can be evidenced, for example, through the distribution of work packages and added value created in the project from working together. Typically this would mean that no one partner would have more than 70% of the eligible costs, and we would expect to see the structure and rationale of the collaboration described in the application.

Please note: The lead partner in a project must be a grant recipient

Last updated on Wednesday 26 September 2012 at 09:53

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