Guide

Find support for inventors

Attract funding for your invention

You may need some form of finance to get your invention to market. There are several sources of finance available, depending on your business needs:

  • bank finance
  • equity finance
  • venture capital
  • business angels
  • crowdfunding
  • financing from friends and family

Generally, investors are more willing to fund an invention once the prototype stage is reached. They are also more likely to consider your project if you prepare a business plan.

Government funding for inventors

Grants may be available that could help finance part of your project. Our guidance will help you find:

Another source of funding may be government’s funding competitions, such as through small business research initiative or other Innovate UK funding competitions.

You may also want to see how to access support from and work with UK universities and colleges, and learn about the support available for product development from Invest Northern Ireland.

Inventors can claim tax relief and credits on appropriate research and development (R&D) spending. See more on Research and Development (R&D) tax reliefs.

Innovation Vouchers

If you need external expertise to help with an innovation project, you may want to consider applying for Innovation Vouchers. The vouchers are worth up to £5000 and allow you to access skills and expertise from one of the 39 registered knowledge providers (eg universities and colleges) through the island of Ireland. Find out more about Invest Northern Ireland Innovation Vouchers.

In the video below, Ian Hawthorne - owner of Hawthorne Crafts - explains how his business benefited from an Innovation Voucher.