Funding for innovation and R&D

We’ve a range of financial support to help you create new products, processes and services.

Innovation Vouchers

An Innovation Voucher offers you £5000 to ‘purchase’ specialist knowledge from one of 39 respected universities, colleges and research organisations throughout Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. This knowledge can help you to expand, improve or create new products, services and processes.

Technical Development Incentive

Technical Development Incentive support encourages you to engage in the innovation activities of product development, process improvement and the identification and protection of intellectual property. We can assist SMEs with funding of up to £15,000 towards the cost of technical service providers (test-houses, product development consultants, certification bodies, IP specialists etc) to implement innovative solutions.

New to R&D - Project Definition

If you have not previously carried out any R&D, have an idea for a new product or process that could help grow your business, and meet certain eligibility criteria, we can help. Project Definition assistance can help scope out a collaborative R&D project or assist in applying for external R&D funding, such as Innovate UK.

Support is available up to £50,000 to:

  • Investigate or plan your idea
  • Make and test a prototype
  • Experiment and refine your design
  • Handle intellectual property costs

Follow-on R&D - Grant for Research & Development

For businesses with an innovative idea for a new product, process or service we can provide funding.

Funding can help with:

  • Research or critical investigation aimed at producing new scientific or technical knowledge
  • Product or process development or improvements
  • Development of leading edge technology
  • Linking to a college or university to collaborate on strategically important projects
  • Digital Process Innovation

Case study | Find out how Display Note benefited from Research & Development support

Applications will only be accepted if:

  • You have discussed your proposed project with an Invest NI representative
  • You have been issued with the new Grant for R&D application form with an individual reference number

Please note that if both these conditions are not met, applications will be returned to you.

For further queries, please contact our Business Support Team, Tel 0800 181 4422. Read further information about Grant for R&D

HMRC R&D tax relief

HMRC R&D tax relief is a corporation tax relief that may reduce your tax bill. You may still be eligible for this relief if you meet the criteria for Invest NI funding. Your organisation can only claim R&D relief if you are liable for corporation tax. Grant for R&D is notified state aid, which means any project costs it supports will not be eligible for HMRC SME tax credits. However, you may still be able to benefit under the HMRC large company RDEC scheme.

For more information, contact your accountant or view the NI Corporate Tax office guidance.

Not sure that this support is right for you? Contact us and we can explore options for your business together.

Our support may be subject to some eligibility criteria.

You may also be interested in...

  • Horizon Europe

    Access the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme ever.

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