Funding Opportunities for businesses

Funding Options

Talk to our Enterprise Team
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We'll help you unlock funding to boost your business

Let us guide you through funding that's available. From innovation vouchers to Knowledge Transfer Partnerships, incentives and discounts are available to help you get our fresh thinking into your business operations.

Tell us about the business issues you're facing, and we'll guide you through the funding options we have available to help you drive innovation and improvement.

Innovate UK funding

Start a Knowledge Transfer Partnership with us

We're number 1 in the UK for the number of Innovate UK funded KTPs

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships are part-government-funded collaborations between universities and businesses.

Come to us with an issue and we'll identify one of our academic teams to work with you and recruit a high-calibre graduate who will be based in your company as an associate to manage the project.

KTPs can last up to three years and you could access around £150,000 through this program.

We have more KTPs than any other university in the East of England, helping more businesses in the UK gain a competitive advantage and ultimately improve their profitability.


Innovate UK Smart Grants

Innovate UK Smart Grants, are funding for game-changing and disruptive ideas no matter what sector for UK based companies.

To apply your business needs either:

  • an idea for a completely new product, service or process
  • a brand-new use or an unprecedented use for an existing product, service or process that take it above and beyond what’s currently available

If you think your business fits the bill, contact our Business Engagement team for more details. 



Essex funding opportunities


Corporate Partnership Fund

The Corporate Partnership Fund offers companies with an impressive scale (who are often excluded from certain grants due to turnover) up to £25,000 (excl. VAT) to work with experts from the University of Essex. The fund can be used to access consultancy or collaborative contract research projects from our world class researchers to help develop new products, solve problems or develop new training schemes. The fund can also be matched by the industry partner to create a larger budget.


  • Your project must have a research need that Essex can deliver (for example data science or plant yield innovation)
  • You should fall into larger company status and have the potential for broader collaboration with the University. Ideally, you will have multiple sites/office locations
  • The fund should not have been previously accessed by the same company.

University Innovation Vouchers

SMEs can get University of Essex innovation vouchers (.pdf) worth up to £10,000 to start working with us. This could go towards scoping and developing a new product, staff training, or stimulating growth. Contact us and we'll guide you through the application process. Your application will be reviewed by our business panel, and if accepted, you can reclaim costs of up to £10,000 once your project is complete. We assess applications based on the scope and value of the project, and on the potential of you working with us in the future.

Business Engagement Team 2021
Talk to our team

Get the best value for money when investing in new services. Let us help you make informed, evidence-based decisions, and reduce the risks of change and innovation in your organisation.