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


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

View the full list of funding opportunities on the Innovate UK and UKRI websites. Innovate UK is organising a series of masterclasses in 2020 to help Northern Ireland businesses understand the process of applying for their funding.

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 >>

£30m 5G Create Testbeds and Trials (Closing date: 27 July 2020)
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 >>

APC 16: developing the UK’s low carbon automotive capability (Closing date: 8 July 2020)
UK registered businesses can apply for a share of up to £30 million for UK-developed late stage R&D, to support growth in advanced low carbon propulsion capability in the automotive sector. Find out more >>

UK Canada Quantum Technology Programme CR&D competition (Closing date: 29 July 2020)
UK businesses with Canadian partners can apply for a share of up to £2 million from Innovate UK for collaborative research and development projects. Find out more >>

Eureka: healthy ageing (Closing date: 5 August 2020)
UK registered businesses can apply for a share of up to £2 million to develop digital health technologies in partnership with organisations from EUREKA countries.

EUREKA GlobalStars Japan (Closing date: 10 September)
UK registered businesses can apply for a share of up to £1 million to develop innovative proposals with Japan and other EUREKA participating members. Find out more >>

Designing sustainable plastic solutions (Closing date: 16 September 2020)
Competition to win funding for early-stage, human-centred design projects to reduce plastics’ harm to the environment, increase productivity and grow the UK economy. Find out more >>


SBRI funding competitions

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

Using digital technology to support psychological therapies (Closing date: 16 September 2020)
Organisations can apply for a share of up to £345,000 (including VAT) to develop new solutions using digital technology to provide psychological support. Find out more >>

The Sustainable Innovation Fund (Closing date: 5 August 2020)
Organisations can apply for a share of up to £10 million to help UK businesses and the public sector recover from COVID-19 in a sustainable manner. Your solution must demonstrate the impact and potential of a clean growth led recovery and transition to net zero. 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.


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.