Innovation, research and development grants

UK innovation funding


There are many sources of support and funding in the UK that could help your business become more innovative, or help you with the development of new or improved product and services. 

Innovate UK support

Innovate UK supports business-led innovation in all sectors, technologies and UK regions. They are a key delivery body for the UK government's Innovation Strategy.

Innovate UK supports businesses through a range of interventions, including helping them:

  • to find the right partners
  • to access the right expertise and equipment
  • with financial loans and grants
  • by connecting them with investors

These interventions support the development of new products, services or approaches, across a range of technologies, in all sectors and industries.

Innovate UK grants and loans

Some of Innovate UK's investment is focused on specific opportunity areas for UK business innovation, such as:

  • net zero
  • health and wellbeing
  • advanced technologies
  • challenges and missions.

Other investment is 'open scope', available to support innovators in any technology or market so long as their idea has sufficient ambition and potential.

Find our more about how Innovate UK supports business innovation.

InterTradeIreland support

InterTradeIreland has a number of support structures in place for business innovation and growth, including among other:

  • the Business Explorer programme - providing SMEs with early stage guidance and support using innovation to tackle business challenges or develop new products or ideas
  • the Innovation Boost programme - helping to fund a high calibre science, engineering or technology graduate and partnering you with a third level institution with specific expertise
  • the All-Island Innovation Programme, a series of innovation lectures, masterclasses and annual conferences with international speakers 

Find out more about how InterTradeIreland supports business innovation.

Invest Northern Ireland support

To help your business compete successfully and function efficiently, Invest NI offers support across a variety of areas, including:

  • proof of concept
  • collaborative working
  • innovation and R&D
  • IP protection
  • knowledge transfer
  • technical advice
  • accessing further support, eg via Innovate UK or Horizon Europe programmes

Invest NI's support is tailored to your needs and includes advice, mentoring and finance. Find out more about the support offered by Invest NI.

Other support

There are numerous other publicly-funded and not-for-profit sources of support you may be eligible to apply for, including financial assistance and free or subsidised advice services. There may also be specific initiatives to help with particular areas of innovation and R&D.

Use our Business Support Finder to search for support and finance for your business.