Funding opportunity

Funding opportunity: Business and academia prosperity partnership: fifth round

Apply for funding to support an established research partnership between business and academic institutions.

Prosperity partnership programmes must:

  • address EPSRC’s delivery plan priorities, particularly for delivering economic and social prosperity
  • be business led, but co-created and co-delivered between the industrial and academic partners
  • support fundamental research with a technology readiness level of one to three.

This co-investment opportunity is part of the EPSRC Prosperity Partnerships strategy.

The industrial partners must match the funding provided by EPSRC for the partnership. EPSRC will fund:

  • most project costs at 80% full economic cost
  • studentships at 100% full economic cost.

Who can apply

Business organisations

Businesses can act as the ‘business lead’ if they are:

  • a UK based business or have UK based research activity
  • a business in the private sector driven by profit, or from an organisation with a commercial arm which generates independent revenue
  • able to contribute to the UK national prosperity through increasing their investment in R&D activities and subsequent product, service or technology development in the UK.

Business or organisations funded by government as their baseline revenue are not eligible as business lead.

At the ‘outline stage’, bids must be led by the business lead partner, although the submission of the documentation will be undertaken through the Joint Electronic

Submission system (Je-S) by the academic lead partner.

Businesses may only lead on one bid per round, but may be a contributor to other bids as project partner.

Academic organisations

Research organisations can act as ‘academic lead’ if they are eligible to receive research council funding:

  • UK higher education institutions
  • research council institutes
  • UKRI-approved independent research organisations
  • public sector research establishments
  • NHS bodies with research capacity.

Check if your institution is eligible for research and innovation funding.

Research organisations may be involved in more than one bid either as lead or as a partner. At the ‘full proposal stage’, bids will be submitted by the academic lead via the Je-S system.

Primary investigators

This programme has a ‘business principal investigator’ and an ‘academic principal investigator’. In Je-S, the principal investigator will be notified as the academic one, but all assessment stages will consider both principal investigators.

Check if you’re eligible for EPSRC funding as an investigator.

The suitability of both the business and academic principal investigator to lead the Prosperity Partnership will be assessed during the outline stage.

If you are currently restricted under the EPSRC repeatedly unsuccessful applicants policy, you may submit unlimited outlines, but you will only be able to submit one full proposal (as principal investigator or co-investigator) during the 12 month restricted period.

What we're looking for

Business-led, co-created, co-delivered

The EPSRC Prosperity Partnerships funding opportunity aims to fund business-led research that arises from an industrial need, with the work being co-delivered between the business and academic partners. The opportunity is aimed at supporting excellent, world leading fundamental research which has clear benefit to the businesses involved, resulting in accelerated impact arising from the new knowledge, innovations, or technologies.

Co-creation of the research programme is essential. EPSRC expects programmes funded through this opportunity to:

  • drive forward shared research challenges
  • demonstrate impact beyond the partners
  • provide benefits to the businesses involved.

The programme should contribute positively to the overall strategic partnership framework which exists between the parties.

It should be clear that both the business and academic researchers are making distinct intellectual contributions to the partnership.

Where an individual is discharging responsibilities within both a business and a research organisation (for example, as a consequence of being involved in university spin-outs) clarity on separation of duties and managing conflicts of interest is essential.

If the proposal is deemed appropriate for EPSRC support, a collaboration agreement will be requested before the grant is authorised.

Strategic considerations

The research challenges to be addressed in the Prosperity Partnership should:

  • be relevant to stimulating innovation aimed at tackling major problems faced by the UK and the world
  • drive capability in key technologies and scientific advancements.

EPSRC recognises that the specific outcomes will be unique to each project, but applicants should consider how they may:

  • deliver new or improved products or services,
  • drive efficiencies or cost reductions
  • enable expansion to new sectors or markets while also jointly authoring high-impact publications.

Ultimately, the project should be providing economic impact and prosperity which wouldn’t exist without the partnership.


EPSRC seeks to foster greater collaboration and networking between researchers, business and civic bodies in order to deliver research and skills outcomes vital to the long-term prosperity of communities and regions of the UK.

While not an assessment criterion, we encourage applications to articulate how their partnership aligns and supports both industrial and civic ambitions or priorities.

Where applicable, applicants are also asked to demonstrate what place-based outcomes might be expected to arise from their projects, both in the short and longer term. These may include (but are not restricted to):

  • local and regional economic growth, skills development, job creation or retention
  • critical mass activities leading to increased private investment, including foreign direct investment, in a specific place
  • contributions to cluster development through knowledge diffusion, supply chain development, SME growth, generation, or growth of spin outs, and so on.

Responsible innovation

Applicants are expected to work within the EPSRC Framework for Responsible Innovation.

Applicants should consider and implement plans for responsible innovation throughout the research project, and include details of these plans in the application, including specific actions that will be taken.

International collaboration

Applicants planning to include international collaborators on their proposal should visit Trusted Research for guidance on getting the most out of international collaboration whilst protecting intellectual property, sensitive research and personal information.

Equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI)

Through productive collaborative partnerships the long-term strength of the UK research and talent pipelines can be enhanced, and to do so effectively all available talent must be harnessed. EPSRC expects equality and diversity to be an integral part, at all levels of research practices as a part of our funding portfolio.

One common approach is to reference institutional strategies and policies related to EDI and indicate that the Prosperity Partnership would be delivered in alignment with these activities. While these activities are important context, EPSRC are looking to understand the specific approach and activities of the projects in relation to management and decision-making processes.

We are committed to supporting the research community, offering a range of flexible options which allow applicants to design a package that fits their research goals, career, and personal circumstances. Therefore, these aspects should be strongly ingrained into the projects proposed for this opportunity.


EPSRC encourages cross-disciplinary research and recognises that many Prosperity Partnerships will be inherently so. EPSRC has supported many Prosperity Partnerships to date that build on a cross-disciplinary nature. In some cases, other parts of UKRI have also helped to support programmes.

The primary balance of research should build on EPSRC remit (at least 50%). Other UKRI disciplines may be included if they clearly strengthen the research programme. Below is a list of criteria that the business and academic leads should consider before applying:

  • the business and academic partners have a demonstrable, established, research-based relationship
  • there are clear plans to evolve this relationship via user-inspired shared research challenges
  • both partners are committed to the co-creation of a jointly delivered large scale research programme at technology readiness level (TRL) one to three
  • the business and academic partners are able to commit to leveraging EPSRC funding for the Prosperity Partnership with a matching cash contribution
    • a definitive list of eligible cash contributions is set out in the ‘Definitive list of eligible cash contributions’ section
    • no UKRI, public or government funding will be used as leverage and be able to clearly demonstrate an auditable transfer during the grant duration
  • the business lead partner is:
    • a business in the private sector driven by profit, or from an organisation with a commercial arm which generates independent revenue
    • in a position to contribute to the nation’s prosperity through increasing their investment in R&D activities and subsequent product development in the UK
  • the topic of the research programme is mainly in the EPSRC’s remit (multidisciplinary projects are welcomed and funding from other UKRI councils may be sought as long as more than 50% of the topics or work lies within EPSRC’s remit).

Matching contribution

EPSRC funding is at 80% full economic costs, with exceptions for studentship costs (100% full economic cost). In this opportunity, the funding provided by EPSRC must be matched by the business lead and project partner’s contributions with eligible cash contributions, as a minimum.

A definitive list of cash contributions can be found in the ’Definitive list of eligible cash contributions’ section. Any contribution from business or other project partners not included in the cash contribution list will count as ‘in kind’.

Single business bid

The total of the matching contributions should be provided by the business lead as a minimum.

Multi-partners bid

The combined contributions from the business partners must, at a minimum, match the EPSRC funding, with the majority of this matched funding coming from the business lead.

It is expected that this majority should be around 80% as a minimum, though we are happy to discuss minor adaptations to this on a case-by-case basis.

Additional business project partners can complete the remaining matching contribution. The business lead can contribute with the total of the matching contributions and still have additional project partners’ contributions in addition to this.

All bids

Cash contributions from all partners can exceed the matching contribution. Indirect contributions, such as data, software, management time, facilities access are very welcome and can help show business commitment to the success of the project. However, they will not count towards the matching contributions.

Academic partner’s cash contribution (including the academic lead) does not contribute to the matching figure requirements.

No UKRI or other UK government money, as part of baseline funding or otherwise, may be used as part of the matching contribution.

EPSRC does not mandate a specific audit format for the business contributions to a project, however, a record must be produced and provided if requested. This must be able to demonstrate a continuous auditable cash transfer, or staff time-record, by the business partner per year in each year of the programme.

As an exception, student fees, stipends and some support costs related directly to the training of the student are not funded under the same full economic cost arrangements as for research staff on research grants. Student fees and stipends are covered at 100% full economic cost, so these need to be costed appropriately and considered for total matching of grant funding by the business partner.

EPSRC requires student fees and stipends, and the items of student support training costs, such as ‘travel and subsistence’, ‘conference costs’ and ‘consumables’, to be costed appropriately for the ‘outline application’. ‘Indirect’ and ‘estate costs’ are not applicable to studentships.

Definitive list of eligible cash contributions

The following is the definitive list of eligible cash contributions. These are in addition to providing an auditable cash transfer to the academic organisations.

EPSRC expects all the time of researchers, postdoctoral research associates, technicians, doctoral students and the project manager to be on projects within the Prosperity Partnership, though this does not have to be for the lifetime of the project (for example, 50% of time committed towards six months of work during the project). Exceptions where lower time is devoted to the project will need justification in terms of multidisciplinary and responsibilities distribution.

The appropriateness of the time devoted to the project will be assessed in the panel interview and peer review (at the full proposal stage).

Gross salary can be claimed as matched funding (that is, including indirect costs such as pension, National Insurance, taxes and so on), but not business overheads or profits. The salary of a single member of staff (researcher, PDRA, doctoral student or project manager) can be covered in partnership by the business lead and EPSRC funds in a ratio that best suits the project.

Researchers’ salaries

All or part of the pro rata, gross salary cost associated with researchers employed by universities (including co-investigators). The gross salaries of researchers employed by the business may also be claimed as long as they are working at least 50% of their time on the project.

Postdoctoral research associates’ (PDRA) salary

All or part of the gross salary cost associated with research associates employed by research organisations to work exclusively on the Prosperity Partnership.

Research associates can also be employed directly by the businesses in the partnership and claim the gross salary as a cash contribution as long as they are exclusively committed to working on the Prosperity Partnership.

Professional project managers’ salary

Pro rata gross salary cost of a professional project manager are an eligible cash contribution provided that they work at least 50% of their time on the Prosperity Partnership.

Technicians’ salary

Pro rata gross salary cost of technicians are an eligible cash contribution provided that they work at least 50% of their time on the Prosperity Partnership.

Software licenses

New software licences needed for the project and their maintenance cost for the duration of the grant. Software licences or intellectual property (IP) owned by the business which are already accessible by the partners will apply at marginal cost, not at market rate.

New equipment

Genuine new equipment purchases, please see ‘Equipment’ section. The equipment should be dedicated to the objectives of the Prosperity Partnership and their utilisation should be critical to deliver the activity.

The access doesn’t have to be restricted to the project members but EPSRC expect at least 50% of the time to be dedicated to the Prosperity Partnership project. All equipment should be appropriately justified.

Equipment produced by the business

Equipment produced by the business but only at the cost of manufacture, not market rate.

Access to equipment and facilities

Access to specific equipment and facilities critical to achieve the outcomes of the project. If the facility is based at the academic or business Lead, the contribution will be at the internal rate, not market rate.

Facilities refurbishment

Facilities refurbishment can be an eligible research organisation cash contribution if the upgrade will increase the capability of the facilities. This contribution must be justified in addition to any estate costs already factored in.

Business cash donation

Business cash donation which will be provided to the partner universities, for the universities to manage in line with the project objectives.

Top up stipends

Top-up of stipends for EPSRC funded doctoral students.


Extra training for EPSRC funded doctoral students to align with a business cohort of students.

Doctoral students

Fully funded doctoral students (fees, stipends and top ups) with up to a maximum of 20% of the matching contribution. Please note that business contributions towards industrial Collaborative Awards in Science and Engineering (iCASE) awards cannot count towards eligible cash contributions.

Doctoral studentship funds

Funds for doctoral studentships may be applied for as part of the resources requested from EPSRC for this opportunity, however they must not be on the critical pathways for success.

Inclusion of doctoral students presents an interesting and useful opportunity to:

  • place students in industrially relevant environments
  • draw together vibrant and balanced teams which combine doctoral and post-doctoral research
  • build leadership for the future in key areas of the economy.

Doctoral studentships must add value to the proposed research outlined in bids to this opportunity, whilst providing a clear opportunity for a distinct and independent course of enquiry for the student. Therefore, the research grant should:

  • still be viable without the studentship
  • have distinctive objectives that are not reliant upon the studentship.

Doctoral students supported through Prosperity Partnerships must be:

  • embedded within a high-quality research team
  • provided with the opportunity to develop their substantive research skills, as well as with broader professional development opportunities.

EPSRC also expects that other doctoral students will be aligned with a Prosperity Partnership, but funded from other sources, for example, by the business partner directly. These doctoral students would have the same training conditions and opportunities as those students funded by EPSRC.

Studentships supported through this opportunity will be four years in length, but the duration of the studentship must not exceed the length of the grant they are associated with.

Where doctoral studentships are requested, EPSRC expects to see requests for post-doctoral research associates. The studentships should not be the only research staffing resource on the application. Careful consideration should be given to the:

  • overall staff resource on the Prosperity Partnership
  • balance between the different types of staff resource available.

Please note, as an exception, student fees and stipends on research grants, and some support costs related directly to the training of the student, are not funded under the same full economic cost arrangements as for research staff (students fees and stipends are covered 100% full economic cost). These need to be costed appropriately and taken into account for total matching of grant funding by the business partner.

Studentship costings

The UKRI minimum stipend and indicative fee must be met, but enhanced stipends can be funded where this is justified in the application.

Student fees and stipends on research grants and some support costs related directly to the training of the student are funded by EPSRC. These support costs include such items as ‘travel and subsistence’, ‘conference costs’ and ‘consumables’ (indirect and estate costs are not applicable to studentships).

Funding available and timeframe

The full funding amount of up to £38 million will be split across two tranches of £18 million to £20 million each.

Tranche A grants will receive their EPSRC commitment shortly after the full proposal panel in November 2022.

Tranche B grants will receive their EPSRC commitment at the beginning of the 2023 to 2024 financial year in April 2023.

This two-tranche approach will allow the full funding amount of £38 million to be allocated from one round of peer review, reducing the overall length and bureaucracy of the process.

Proposals will be assigned to a tranche according to applicant’s preferences where possible. The choice of tranche will have no effect on the assessment of the proposal.

EPSRC funding is at 80% full economic costs, with exceptions for studentship costs (100% full economic cost).

Requested funds may include:

  • staff costs
  • equipment and other items required to carry out the project
  • costs related to impact
  • travel and subsistence
  • doctoral studentship costs.

ESPRC guidance on equipment funding.

How to apply

Expression of interest

Before submission of the full proposal, we would ask that applicants complete an ‘expression of interest’ before 16:00 on 16 November 2021.

Submit your expression of interest.

The expression of interest survey will allow EPSRC to monitor demand for the opportunity. It will not be used as part of the assessment and is not a commitment to apply.

Submitting an outline application

You should prepare and submit your proposal using the research councils’ Joint electronic Submission system (Je-S).

When adding a new proposal, you should select:

  • council ‘EPSRC’
  • document type: outline proposal
  • scheme: EPSRC outline
  • on the project details page, you should select the ‘Prosperity Partnership Round Five Outline’ call.

Note that clicking ‘submit document’ on your proposal form in Je-S initially submits the proposal to your host organisation’s administration, not to EPSRC. Please allow sufficient time for your organisation’s submission process between submitting your proposal to them and the closing date.

EPSRC must receive your outline application by 16:00 on 11 January 2022.

Guidance on the types of support that may be sought, and advice on the completion of the research proposal forms, are given in the EPSRC guidance for applicants, which should be consulted when preparing all proposals.

Four types of document should be submitted for the ‘outline stage’ application through Je-S:

  • outline document
  • outline budget
  • primary investigators’ CVs
  • cover letter.

Documents must be within the length limitation.

Outline document

Six pages maximum.

The document must be structured using the ‘outline document template’. You will be asked to describe:

  • existing partners’ relationship
  • vision and ambition, and national and regional importance
  • additionality and added value
  • applicants’ leadership and team track records, management and governance
  • benefits realisation plan
  • studentship training (if applicable).

The template includes guidance on how to complete each of its sections.

The length of each section can be tailored by the project leaders, but the final document can be up to six pages. When submitting through Je-S, select ‘case for support’ as the attachment type.

Outline budget

One page maximum.

This document must be structured using the outline budget template (DOCX, 22.1KB).

Specific details of matching contributions may not be available at this stage, therefore a 10% variation, in addition to a shift in the breakdown across headings, is accepted in the total of the project value from the outline stage and the full proposal stage. All contributions will be validated again at full proposal stage.

When submitting through Je-S, select ‘justification of resources’ as the attachment type.

Principal investigator CVs

One page per CV maximum.

Up to one page each for the business and academic lead principal investigators. This should convey the applicants’ ability to lead a programme of this size and number of stakeholders. Please include only information relevant to the Prosperity Partnership.

When submitting through Je-S, select ‘CV’ as the attachment type.

Cover letter

Will not be assessed. One page maximum.

When submitting through Je-S, select ‘other attachment’ as the attachment type.

The cover letter must include a confirmation statement from the Business Lead that they will be leading the project, dated, and signed by a relevant representative from the business.

Although EPSRC does not expect confidential information at this stage, project partners can highlight conflicts or information we should be aware of.

Submission guidance

You should attach your documents as PDFs to avoid errors. They should be completed in single-spaced 11 font Arial or similar sans serif typeface.

We recommend you start your application in good time. You can save completed details in Je-S at any time and return to continue your application later.

When you submit the application, it will first go to your host organisation for review. You should hear the result of your application within 26 weeks of submission by your host organisation.

For full advice on completing applications, see the Je-S handbook.

How we will assess your application

Assessment process

The EPSRC Prosperity Partnerships Fifth Round process will be in two stages:

  1. Outline stage.
    a. EPSRC internal panel.
    b. generalist interview panel.
  2. Full proposal stage, with prioritisation panel.

Outline stage: EPSRC internal panel

Outline applications will first be shortlisted by an EPSRC internal panel.

Outline stage: generalist interview panel

Successful shortlisted applicants will be invited to interview, which will be conducted by a generalist external panel. The panel will rank proposals.

Full proposal stage

The highest-ranking proposals from the outline stage will be invited to the full proposal stage. Proposals will be assessed by postal peer review and will be ranked via a prioritisation panel.

In the event of this opportunity being substantially oversubscribed, so as to be unmanageable, EPSRC reserves the right to modify the assessment process.

Assessment criteria for the outline stage: internal EPSRC panel (1a)

The aim of the internal panel is to sift projects based on their fit to the scope of the EPSRC Prosperity Partnerships opportunity, ensuring they are appropriate in nature, and have clear alignment to EPSRC-UKRI strategy.

The internal panel members will use the submitted documents for the outline stage (outline document, outline budget and CVs, but not the cover letter).

Assessment criteria for the internal panel:

Existing relationship

Clear evidence of a well-established research-based relationship between business and academic lead partners with demonstrable benefits achieved to date.

Well considered plans for growing the relationship within and beyond the Prosperity Partnership. The existing relationship will be assessed relative to the Business Lead organisation. ‘Substantial’ or ‘long-term’ collaborations and partnerships may look different for a small or medium-sized enterprise (SME) or spin-out company than they do for a large multinational.

Vision and ambition, and national importance

An appropriate vision and ambition for a Prosperity Partnership. Evidence that the proposed business led research programme is positioned at technology readiness level (TRL) one to three.

Clear evidence of how the Prosperity Partnership will bring benefits to the UK economy and the research base, and address national and international strategies, including those of the business or businesses involved.

Outline budget

Outline budget which sets out the EPSRC funding and appropriate business and academic cash and ‘in-kind’ contributions to the programme.

Studentship training (secondary, where appropriate)

Quality of doctoral studentship training and experience, and appropriateness for alignment with the Prosperity Partnership.

Assessment criteria for the outline stage: generalist interview panel (1b)

The aim of the interview panel is to provide a recommendation to EPSRC on which proposals should be invited to full proposal stage.

They will rank proposals based on the assessment criteria set out here. In particular they will evaluate the:

  • robustness of the plans
  • shared vision and ambition
  • genuine and credible partnership between business and academic leads.

The panel will be composed of business and academic members across the broad remit of relevant sectors, who are either existing EPSRC Prosperity Partnerships grant holders or have significant experience of delivering successful business-academia partnerships.

Vision and ambition

A clear business-led vision and ambition, with a programme of work that has been developed in partnership in a co-created manner.

Evidence of how this vision will be achieved and how the partnership will contribute to regional, national and international strategies.

Coherence and relevance of the work packages in line with the vision.

Additionality and added value

Evidence of the additionality and added value of a Prosperity Partnership. Clear evidence of the buy-in from business partners and co-creation of the proposed business-inspired fundamental research programme.

Applicants’ leadership and appropriateness of the team

Appropriateness of the leadership team with evidence of joint working between business and the academic principle investigator.

Clear plans for joint leadership.

Applicants are able to demonstrate how they approached the design and makeup of the team’s skills and competencies in order to address the vision and ambition of the programme.

Impact (secondary)

Ability to clearly articulate how this Prosperity Partnership will deliver the benefits identified.

Clear plans to maximise translation and impact arising from the partnership.

Plans for ‘responsible research and innovation’.

Management and governance (secondary)

Appropriateness of the management and governance arrangements, commensurate with the scale of the programme.

Studentship training (secondary, where appropriate)

Evidence of joint plans for the group of doctoral students. Quality of doctoral studentship training and experience, and appropriateness for alignment with the Prosperity Partnership.

Moving forward after the outline stage

The panel interview will provide a recommendation to EPSRC based on a rank ordered list in quality priority order. EPSRC will make a decision on which proposals to invite to full proposal based on panel outcome.

If necessary, demand will be managed accordingly at this stage, with invites to submit a full proposal potentially balanced against the available budget to attempt to avoid nugatory effort.

Full proposals will be submitted by the lead academic research organisation via Je-S. Detailed guidance on preparing and submitting full proposals will be provided to those applicants invited to submit. Full proposals should include the following documents:

  • proposal form
  • case for support (track record, management and governance)
  • justification of resources
  • work plan
  • CVs of key personnel where relevant
  • project partner support letters
  • institutional support letters
  • equipment documents
  • contingency for equipment (upon invitation by EPSRC only).

The assessment criteria for the full proposal stage are:

  • quality of proposed research
  • importance
  • applicants, partnership, and appropriateness of team
  • resources and management
  • monitoring, evaluation and benefits realisation.

Submissions to this opportunity will count towards the EPSRC repeatedly unsuccessful applicants policy.

Intellectual property

Given that strategic partnership arrangements should already exist between partners, EPSRC expects that collaboration agreements and arrangements for the management of intellectual property (IP) will be in place ahead of the submission of a full proposal.

EPSRC will not specify terms for collaboration agreements or IP arrangements but expects any agreements to recognise the significant amount of public funding being invested in the programme.

Applicants may wish to consult the Lambert Toolkit guidance published by the Intellectual Property Office.

Guidance for reviewers

The panels will be run in accordance with EPSRC review policy and principles.

Panel members will have access to the opportunity document and the documentation submitted to EPSRC (outline document, outline budget and CVs but not the cover letter). Panel members will be asked to refer to the assessment criteria as described earlier and the reviewer forms will reflect this.

Guidance on journal-based metrics

As part of our commitment to support the recommendations and principles set out by the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), UKRI reviewers and panel members are advised not to use journal-based metrics, such as journal impact factors, as a surrogate measure of the quality of individual research articles, to assess an investigator’s contributions, or to make funding decisions.

The content of a paper is more important than publication metrics, or the identity of the journal, in which it was published, especially for early-stage researchers. Reviewers and panel members are encouraged to consider the value and impact of all research outputs (including datasets, software, inventions, patents, preprints, other commercial activities, and so on) in addition to research publications.

We advise our peer reviewers and panel members to consider a broad range of impact measures, including qualitative indicators of research impact, such as influence on policy and practice.

Contact details

Ask about this funding opportunity

Business Engagement Team


Richard Kirk, Portfolio Manager


Get help with applying through Je-S

Telephone: 01793 444164

Opening times

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Additional info

Responsible innovation

Responsible innovation creates spaces and processes to explore innovation and its consequences in an open, inclusive and timely way, going beyond consideration of ethics, public engagement, risk and regulation.

Innovation is a collective responsibility, where funders, researchers, interested and affected parties, including the public, all have an important role to play.

EPSRC is fully committed to develop and promote responsible innovation. Research has the ability to not only produce understanding, knowledge and value, but also unintended consequences, questions, ethical dilemmas and, at times, unexpected social transformations.

We recognise that we have a duty of care to promote approaches to responsible innovation that will initiate ongoing reflection about the potential ethical and societal implications of the research that we sponsor and to encourage our research community to do likewise.


Business lead

The primary business partner in the partnership. Other businesses can collaborate in the partnership as project partners, but the majority of the matching contribution is expected from the business lead, see ‘What we’re looking for: Matching contribution’ section.

Academic lead

The primary academic partner in the partnership. If the project is successful the grant will be awarded to this lead academic partner, and they will manage the funding and project on behalf of all academic partners. A research organisation may lead in more than one bid, and bids may be comprised of more than one research organisation.

Matching contribution

Minimum figure (against the 80% full economic cost awarded by EPSRC) that must be matched with commercially generated revenue by the business lead with eligible cash contributions. See more details in the ‘What we’re looking for: Matching contribution’ section.

Cash contribution

Contributions that will count against the matching contribution. A definitive list of cash contributions can be found in the ‘What we’re looking for: Definitive list of cash contributions ’section.

The majority of this cash contribution must come from the business lead. It is expected that this majority should be around 80% as a minimum though we are happy to discuss minor adaptations to this on a case-by-case basis. Other partners may contribute the remaining cash contribution.


Any contribution from business, academic or other project partners not included in the definitive list of eligible matching cash contributions.

Total project value


  • full economic cost
  • matching contributions
  • cash contributions top up.

To be used in the outline budget document only.

Overall value of the project

Total value of the programme includes:

  • full economic cost
  • matching contribution
  • cash contribution top-up
  • in-kind contributions.

To be used in the outline budget document only.

Supporting documents

Templates and examples

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