A range of funding opportunities and competitions are available through Invest NI, Innovate UK, the Small Business Research Initiative and Horizon 2020.


COVID-19 related funding and opportunities

£20m Innovate UK Fund – Business-led innovation in response to global disruption during Covid-19 pandemic (Closing date: 17 April 2020)
UK registered businesses can apply for a share of up to £20 million to respond to new and urgent needs in UK and global communities during and following the Covid-19 pandemic. Find out more >>

UKRI Funding – Ideas that address COVID-19 
Proposals are invited for short-term projects addressing and mitigating the health, social, economic, cultural and environmental impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak. Find out more >>

EIT Headstart Funding for COVID 19 Solutions (Closing date: 14 April 2020)
Calling digital health start-ups with valuable COVID-19 solutions. Through Headstart, EIT Health will award up to €50,000 to companies with the potential to enable the community and health systems to fill in the gap until COVID-19 vaccines are ready. Find out more >>

National hotlines for organisations to offer their capabilities in helping to tackle COVID-19:

Invest NI

Invest NI Innovation Vouchers
What could a £5,000 Innovation Voucher do for your business? An Innovation Voucher provides funding to small and medium sized businesses to work with an expert Knowledge Provider from a university, college or other public sector research body bringing new knowledge to help businesses innovate, develop and grow. Find out more >>

Innovation, research and development grants
Invest NI can offer funding support to eligible businesses looking to plan or undertake R&D projects. The funding can help you to plan, develop and test your ideas; build and test a prototype; create and refine your concept design; and secure intellectual property.  Find out more >>

Innovate UK and UKRI funding

Innovate UK is organising a series of masterclasses in 2020 to help Northern Ireland businesses understand the process of applying for their funding. Find out more >>

£30m 5G Create Testbeds and Trials
Up to £30m of funding is available to explore and develop new use cases and sustainable business models for 5G applications and services. This funding competition is open to all sectors, including Creative Industries, Utilities, Health and Social Care and Logistics. Find out more >>

£98m Healthy Ageing Challenge 
As part of the UK government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, the Healthy Ageing Challenge asks industry and researchers to develop products and services to support an ageing society. Up to £98 million will be invested in research and innovation that supports people as they age. Over the coming years, there will be a series of opportunities for UK-based businesses and researchers. Find out more >>

Demonstrators addressing cyber security challenges in the Internet of Things (Closing date: 15 April 2020)
UK businesses can apply for a share of up to £4 million for collaborative R&D projects addressing major cyber security challenges in the Internet of Things. Find out more >>

ISCF digital security by design: technology enabled business-led demonstrator (Closing date: 15 April 2020)
UK businesses can apply for up to £5.8 million to collaborate on a digital security by design demonstrator project in which an additional technology ‘ingredient’ is required. Find out more >>

Innovate UK Smart Grants: January 2020 (Closing date: 22 April 2020)
Opportunity to apply for a share of up to £25 million to deliver ambitious or disruptive R&D innovations that can make a significant impact on the UK economy. Find out more >>

April 2020 expression of interest: ATI Programme (Closing date: 22 April 2020)
The ATI Programme provides funding for industrial research and capital projects to encourage innovation in UK civil aerospace. Find out more >>

5G enabled road and rail transport trials in the West Midlands (Closing date: 15 May 2020)
UK businesses can apply for a share of up to £2.5 million to support development of 5G enabled transport innovations. Find out more >>

UK-Canada: enhancing agricultural productivity and sustainability (Closing date: 20 May 2020)
UK businesses with Canadian business partners can apply for a share of up to £2 million, from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, for innovative projects that enhance productivity and sustainability of crop, livestock and aquaculture systems. Find out more >>

EUREKA collaborative R&D: advanced materials (Closing date: 30 June 2020)
UK registered businesses can apply for a share of up to £1 million for advanced materials R&D projects partnering with EUREKA country organisations, including South Korea. Find out more >>

GCRF demonstrate impact in developing countries (Closing date: 6 May 2020)
Organisations can apply for a share of up to £9.3 million to demonstrate market-creating innovations in lower income countries and emerging economies. Find out more >>

SBRI funding competitions

The Small Business Research Initiative supports a range of competitions with public sector organisations and departments.

SBRI: Monitor and visualise domestic pollution to safeguard health (Closing date: 15 April 2020)
Organisations can apply for a share of £100,000 including VAT, to develop an air quality monitor to provide information and advice on pollutants in the home. Find out more >>

Horizon 2020 funding

There are also opportunities for funding through the Horizon 2020 programme which focuses on European projects in research and innovation.

Other funding

£200,000 Road safety grants programme (Closing date: 14 May 2020)
The Road Safety Trust has launched its 2020 major grant programme under the theme ‘How can technology be used to reduce road offending and improve road safety?’. Grants are available for up to three years and can range up to £200,000. Find out more >>

More information

Find out more about funding opportunities on the Innovate UK website, Invest NI website and NI Business Info website.

If your business is located within the Belfast City Council area, you can also receive support and advice from the council’s Economic Development Team at belfastcity.gov.uk/business.