Delivering innovation

Business, rather than the Technology Strategy Board, is the source and delivery agent of innovation. We offer a range of programmes and tools, each with different strengths, to support businesses on the innovation journey.

Funding for Research, Development and Demonstration projects ranges from small proof -of-concept grants and feasibility studies through to large multi-partner collaborative R&D and demonstration projects. The businesses we support range from pre start-up, start-up and early stage micro businesses, to large multi-nationals. There are different models depending on the specific needs of companies, sectors and technologies.

We also provide academic-business knowledge transfer opportunities, open innovation networking platforms, the route for UK businesses to access European support for innovation and technology and opportunities for innovative businesses through our growing network of Catapult centres.

Please click on the titles below to find out more about our suite of programmes and tools and how we may be able to help your business.

Last updated on Thursday 30 August 2012 at 11:40

  • Biomedical Catalyst logo
    Biomedical Catalyst – working with the Medical Research Council, we provide responsive and effective support to SMEs and academics looking to develop innovative solutions to healthcare challenges either individually or in collaboration.
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  • Catapults logo
    Catapults - a new network of physical centres designed to advance innovation in specific fields. Catapults enable business to access the best research and technical expertise, infrastructure and equipment to accelerate commercialisation. Each centre focuses on a field of technology or technology application in which the UK has particular academic and business strength.
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  • Collaborative R&D logo
    Collaborative R&D aims to help companies tackle technical or societal challenges by working collaboratively to create new products and services, and encourages knowledge exchange and supply chain development. Collaborative R&D co-funds innovative projects which involve partnerships between businesses and between business and academia.
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  • Collaboration Nation logo
    Collaboration Nation – Each year the Technology Strategy Board hosts a series of Collaboration Nation events. These events enable companies that have been successful in various TSB competitions for feasibility funding to showcase the results of their projects to their peers and others with a view to finding new partners to collaborate with and new sources of funding.
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  • _connect logo
    _connect is an online business networking and open innovation portal. It is home to the Knowledge Transfer Networks and a wide range of other special interest and networking groups managed by the Technology Strategy Board.
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  • Demonstrators
    Demonstrators help to accelerate the introduction of new products, systems and services by enabling demonstration, testing and validation in the real world and on a large scale. We invest in business-led demonstrator projects through competitions in defined priority areas.
  • European and international activities logo
    European and international activities - support for businesses to access EU programmes for R&D and innovation, for example through National Contact Point experts who can advise companies on how best to apply to specific programmes. We also support SME participation in Eurostars and fund business involvement in a number of other EU programmes.
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  • Eurostars
    Eurostars aims to help UK high-tech SMEs to develop partnerships with SMEs and knowledge and supply chain partners elsewhere in Europe, to develop their networks and to build up the knowledge to participate in large EU programmes.
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  • Feasibility studies logo
    Feasibility studies aim to help companies – either singly or in collaboration with others - to assess the potential of ideas in specific thematic areas. Success may position a project well to enter larger programmes funding collaborative R&D, such as those supported by the Technology Strategy Board and the EU.
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  • IC Tomorrow logo
    IC Tomorrow Based in London’s Tech City, IC tomorrow aims to stimulate innovation and economic growth in the digital sector, by breaking down barriers and opening doors for a new generation of entrepreneurs.
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  • Innovate UK logo
    Innovate UK brings businesses together with each other and with researchers to explore opportunities, form collaborations and develop projects. We also support a range of third party innovation events with similar aims.
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  • Innovation and Knowledge Centres
    Innovation and Knowledge Centres - IKCs operate at an earlier stage than Catapult centres. They offer a shared space and entrepreneurial environment in which researchers, potential customers and skilled professionals from academia and business can work side-by-side looking at how the emerging research can be applied and the potential routes to market.
  • Innovation Platforms
    Innovation Platforms bring industry, academia and government together to focus on a specific challenge such as vehicle emissions or disease diagnosis. They enable UK business to see the long term view and offer a programme of support to develop new solutions, products and services to address the challenge and in the process build UK economic growth.
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  • Innovation Vouchers
    Innovation Vouchers - Innovation vouchers enable innovative SMEs to access knowledge from external providers with whom they have not previously engaged. An innovation voucher should stimulate a company to explore opportunities for bringing new knowledge into their business, enhancing their ability to develop innovative products and services.
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  • Knowledge Transfer Networks and _connect logo
    Knowledge Transfer Networks - These networks accelerate business innovation by enabling people to share knowledge, ideas and opportunities within and between specific sectors. The networks are hosted on the Technology Strategy Board's online community, _connect, at
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  • Knowledge Transfer Partnerships logo
    Knowledge Transfer Partnerships aims to stimulate business innovation by drawing on the expertise in UK universities, colleges and other knowledge providers, and transferring knowledge by placing a recently qualified individual into a company, working on challenging projects to deliver innovations and to improve the competitiveness of the business.
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  • Launchpad
    Launchpad aims to support the development and strengthening of clusters of high tech companies. Small and medium sized companies enter competitions to receive funding for innovative projects in specified theme areas.
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  • Micro and Nanotechnology centres logo
    Micro and Nanotechnology centres A regionally dispersed network of MNT facilities, which together form a broad national portfolio of services and capabilities in the key areas of micro and nano-technology.
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  • Missions
    Missions – entrepreneur missions organised in conjunction with UKTI, in which a group of innovative and often early-stage UK companies travel to countries strong in innovation and enterprise, such as the USA, to make new connections and meet potential collaborators, investors, suppliers and customers. The missions focus on priority areas such as digital, healthcare or clean technology.
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  • SBRI logo
    SBRI (Small Business Research Initiative) provides business with public sector procurement contracts to research and develop new products and services to address public sector challenges. SBRI encourages public sector organisations to take the lead customer role helping to develop and de-risk innovative solutions for which it might be the potential future purchaser.
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  • Smart logo
    Smart provides pre start-ups, start-ups, micro businesses and SMEs with access to finance in the form of grants to enable them to assess potential markets and invest in R&D and innovation.
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