Industrial Partnership Awards (IPA) - BBSRC

Applying for an IPA

Industrial Partnership Awards (IPA) encourage and support collaboration between academic research groups and industry.

IPAs are academic-led, responsive mode grants that have significant industrial involvement and industry partners that contribute in cash at least equivalent to 10% of the full project costs.

Additional in-kind contributions from industry are welcome but do not count against the industry contribution. Funding is only available for organisations eligible for Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) support.

Applications are assessed by our research committees, alongside standard applications, using the same criteria. IPA projects are normally funded in preference to standard grants of equivalent scientific merit.

Before applying

The industry partner should either:

  • be registered in the UK
  • have a UK research and development or manufacturing site.

Where a suitable company cannot be found in the UK, an overseas company may be used. Such collaborations are judged on a case by case basis, and clear justification must be provided. You should email industry.collaboration@bbsrc.ukri.org prior to submission if you wish an overseas company to be an industrial partner under this scheme.

In order for an application to be eligible under the IPA scheme, industry partners must make a cash contribution that is at least equivalent to 10% of the balance of the project costs minus the industry contribution.

Example figures

Total cost of the whole project: £550,000:

  • industry contribution (cash): £50,000
  • outstanding balance of research council eligible costs (a-b) – this is the amount: £500,000
  • IPA – Yes or No: Yes – cash contribution is 10% of the balance
  • if successful, amount awarded by BBSRC (80% of that requested): £400,000
  • if successful, amount expected from institutional core funds (20% of that requested): £100,000

Total cost of the whole project: £550,000:

  • industry contribution (cash): £40,000
  • outstanding balance of research council eligible costs (a-b) – this is the amount: £510,000
  • IPA – Yes or No: No – cash contribution is less than 10% of the balance
  • if successful, amount awarded by BBSRC (80% of that requested): £408,000
  • if successful, amount expected from institutional core funds (20% of that requested): £102,000

Total cost of the whole project: £550,00:

  • industry contribution (cash): £70,000
  • outstanding balance of research council eligible costs (a-b) – this is the amount: £480,000
  • IPA – Yes or No: Yes – cash contribution is more than 10% of the balance
  • if successful, amount awarded by BBSRC (80% of that requested): £384,000
  • if successful, amount expected from institutional core funds (20% of that requested): £96,000

Applicants should describe the value of the partnership and its mutual benefits within the case for support.

Applicants should also include:

  • a letter from your institutions technology transfer office outlining the management of outputs from the proposed research including:
    • objectives of the collaboration
    • key tasks, contributions and responsibilities of the different partners
    • agreed routes for dissemination of emerging results and management of intellectual assets or intellectual property
    • any direct or indirect interest from the academic partner in the commercialisation of the project
  • a letter of support from each industry partner signed off by the budget holder (or equivalent) which outlines their involvement in the project including:
    • the companies interest in the proposed project
    • the companies contribution to the collaboration including justification of the value of in-kind contributions where included
    • agreed routes for dissemination of emerging results and management of intellectual assets or intellectual property
    • confirmation that if the application is successful, a collaboration agreement will be put in place between all partners before research commences in line with cross-research council research grant terms and conditions.

The preliminary terms of the agreement outlined in the letters will be reviewed and changes may be requested.

The plans set out in the letter will not be legally binding but should form a strong basis for collaboration agreement if the grant is awarded funding.

How to apply

Visit the standard research responsive mode funding opportunity page or the new investigator standard research responsive mode funding opportunity page to submit your application through the UKRI Funding Service.

For more specific guidance about applying to this scheme, please consult the grant guide.

The schemes are assigned when selecting classification on the application form.

Applications are processed alongside other responsive mode applications. Application deadlines are therefore the same as responsive mode applications.

Contact

Email: industry.collaboration@bbsrc.ukri.org

Last updated: 20 November 2023

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