Commercialisation: project funding

Our project funding directly supports knowledge exchange, translation and commercialisation initiatives. Funding is allocated for a specific, time-limited endeavour and plays a key role in advancing research commercialisation, whether for translational research, developing proof of concept or assessing market readiness.

Follow-on funding

Project-based ‘follow-on funding’ support translation and impact activities that arise from fundamental research projects. These can help bridge the gap between fundamental research and later-stage innovation funding.

Current schemes include:

MRC Developmental pathway funding scheme

The Developmental pathway funding scheme (DPFS) is the Medical Research Council’s (MRC’s) core translational research scheme.

It drives fundamental discoveries from MRC research boards and the wider community along the development pathway and into patient benefit or commercialisation.

Find out more about the Developmental pathway funding scheme (DPFS).

STFC Early and late-stage research and development scheme

These schemes are designed to fund particle physics, astronomy, and nuclear physics (PPAN) projects from initial research and development through to commercialisation.

They help technologies to reach levels of readiness and support working with industry where appropriate.

Early-stage research and development scheme (details from last funding round)

Late-stage research and development scheme (details from last funding round)

Innovation to Commercialisation of University Research (ICURe)

The ICURe programme funds research teams to accelerate the time it takes to get ideas out of the laboratory and to commercialisation.

It is a pre-accelerator programme designed to help explore the commercial potential of UK research.

ICURe programme website

BBSRC ICURe programme

The programme offers funding to research teams to determine whether there is a market for products or services that utilise bioscience-based research and technologies.

It is open to research teams in all UK universities, Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) funded institutes and approved public sector research enterprises.

Find out more about the BBSRC ICURe programme.

Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation

The Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation programme funds clinical trials and similar studies to test the efficacy of innovations to improve patient care. It is co-funded by MRC and National Institute for Health and Care Research. The funding supports translational research of new and repurposed interventions, including:

  • diagnostic or prognostic tests and decision-making tools
  • therapeutics or psychological treatments and medical devices
  • public health initiatives delivered in the NHS

Find out more about Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation.

Social sciences, Humanities and Arts for People and the Economy (SHAPE) Catalyst

The SHAPE Catalyst is a unique programme designed to support and equip the arts, humanities and social science researchers with the skills they need to explore the commercial application of their research.

An ESRC and AHRC collaboration, the SHAPE Catalyst will run from 2023 to 2026 with delivery partners the ARC Accelerator.

This unique commercialisation programme is open to UK researchers or teams with innovative, ambitious ideas from arts, humanities and social sciences disciplines that can sustain economic or non-economic impact through the commercialisation of research.

Visit the SHAPE Catalyst website to learn more about how this programme could help you build ventures from your research to deliver impact at scale.

Last updated: 23 January 2024

This is the website for UKRI: our seven research councils, Research England and Innovate UK. Let us know if you have feedback or would like to help improve our online products and services.