Collaborative research and development (R&D) activity is encouraged via the Business Innovation Fund, with larger grant amounts (£50,000) available at a higher (50%) intervention rate where joint working between the applicant company and a Research Organisation (see the definition in the Grant Guidance) takes place.
There are a number of potential benefits in taking such an approach, for example, harnessing the strengths of each of the parties involved to bring about project success. Equally, consideration should be given to the ownership of Intellectual Property (IP) used and generated via the project amongst the parties to the collaboration. Guidance on IP is available here.
If you are considering a collaborative project a formal agreement will need to be put in place between the two parties involved (applicant company and Research Organisation), which will cover important points such IP ownership. Some example agreements have been developed as part of the Lambert Toolkit and can be found here.
There are a variety of Research Organisations that may wish to collaborate with a company on an R&D project, including some based in the West of England:
- Bath Spa University
- High Value Manufacturing Catapult at the National Composites Centre
- Institute for Advanced Automotive Propulsions Systems (IAAPS)
- University of Bath
- University of Bristol
- University of the West of England
- Catapult Network
Specialist expertise across a range of sectors is also available through the Knowledge Transfer Network which also acts to help connect companies with Research Organisations.