Within this page, you will find a whole host of funding opportunities that range from January 2021 to January 2022. A lot of information is included below, but should you have any questions on, do not hesitate to email us your queries (lowcarbonbusiness@derby.ac.uk).

Derbyshire Green Entrepreneurs Fund 

https://www.derby.ac.uk/business-services/funding-services-and-support/green-entrepreneurs-programme/

Derbyshire County Council has created a £2million funding pot to help support green economic recovery across the county. 

In collaboration with the University of Derby – as part of the council’s COVID Economic Strategy and climate change commitments – small and medium sized businesses with up to 250 staff and micro-business with up to 10 staff are eligible to apply for grants designed to kick-start the county’s carbon reduction and alternative energy agenda and boost local businesses in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Grants will be delivered through three separate funds: 

  • Green Entrepreneurs Demonstrator Fund – £1.2m set aside for a small number of high quality projects from entrepreneurs wanting to establish green, alternative energy or low carbon initiatives in Derbyshire to provide community heat and power schemes. The minimum grant available through this fund would be £100,000. Expressions of Interest must be registered by 4th June. 
  • Green Entrepreneurs Small Grant Fund – grants of £10,000 – £20,000 for new and existing businesses with game changing proposals in alternative energy, clean fuel and carbon reduction. £500k will be made available through this fund. The next application round opens in October 2021. 
  • Green Entrepreneurs Scholarship Fund – a training fund to support individuals to retrain with skills to enable them to enter the field of alternative energy. Grants totaling £100,000 will be made available through this fund. 

Innovate UK Smart Grants: Jan 2021 

UK registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £25 million from Innovate UK to deliver game-changing and commercially viable R&D innovation that can significantly impact the UK economy. But hurry the closing date is 26th May. 

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/innovation-apply-for-a-funding-award#business

Eligibility summary 

To lead a project your organisation must: 

  • be a UK registered business of any size or a research and technology organisation (RTO) 
  • be, or collaborate with, at least one micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME) 
  • carry out your research and development (R&D) project activity in the UK 
  • intend to commercially exploit the project results from the UK. 

https://www.ukri.org/opportunity/innovate-uk-smart-grants-jan-2021/?elqTrackId=EB4D01631364B43C68527849BEBA5FF1&elq=82df71f04f094342bef15e10dd2e6771&elqaid=1690&elqat=1&elqCampaignId=1012

Innovation Loans for SMEs 

Businesses can apply for loans for innovative projects with strong commercial potential to significantly improve the UK economy. 

Competition opens: Monday 26 April 2021 

Competition closes: Wednesday 2 June 2021 11:00am 

Innovate UK  has up to £20m available in Innovation Loans for SME businesses looking to scale and grow through innovation, developing new or improved products, processes or services. Loans between £250,000 and £1.6m are available to fund later stage research and development with a clear route to commercial success for suitable businesses. 

https://apply-for-innovation-funding.service.gov.uk/competition/899/overview

Driving the Electric Revolution: Supply Chains for Net Zero  

UK registered businesses of any size can apply for a share of up to £22 million for innovation projects focused on supply chain development for power electronics, electric machines and drives. 

Competition opens: Monday 8 March 2021 

Competition closes: Wednesday 30 June 2021 11:00am 

https://apply-for-innovation-funding.service.gov.uk/competition/861/overview?elqTrackId=66E93CD80C11BC22EBCB4B7789334E20&elq=127eae81ba8c44e0a62861e4f1f646d4&elqaid=1717&elqat=1&elqCampaignId=1041

Farming Innovation Pathways competition 

UKRI and Defra have today announced their R&D collaboration for an exciting new funding opportunity, Farming Innovation Pathways. 

The competition will be delivered through UKRI’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund Transforming Food Production, aimed at developing new and existing farm-focused innovations. 

Farming Innovation Pathways will ensure practical translation of leading research in agriculture. This can directly benefit farmers and support them to address the challenges of productivity, sustainability, and net zero emissions in UK farming. 

This is the first competition of its kind following the UK’s departure from the EU. It will pave the way for research and development (R&D) to turbocharge future innovation in the agricultural sector. 

https://www.ukri.org/news/ukri-and-defra-to-launch-farming-innovation-pathways-competition/?elqTrackId=BD0EFE6AFC60E17C49E93622A8740425&elq=82df71f04f094342bef15e10dd2e6771&elqaid=1690&elqat=1&elqCampaignId=1012

Virgin Money – Sustainability-linked loans (SLL)

Virgin Money is launching sustainability-linked loans (SLL) for all UK companies. The SLLs, available in late Spring 2021, will reduce the cost of finance for those businesses whose core activities proactively help the economy transition to a more sustainable model. Virgin Money is the first bank in Europe to offer such loans in commercial banking.  

The methodology behind this was created by Virgin Money in partnership with Future-Fit Foundation and is delivered through a series of conditional questions, assessing current Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) performance and helping businesses to prioritise and take action to make further progress. The outcome provides companies with an objective assessment of the negative and positive ESG impacts associated with their business activities, which are a necessary step toward reaching the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals. 

https://www.virginmoneyukplc.com/resources/cea2bf90-8b50-450d-871d-4a273f836818/Virgin+Money+Sustainability+Benchmarking+Tool+case+study.pdf

Advanced Propulsion Centre’s Technology Developer Accelerator Programme (TDAP) has just opened for Expressions of Interest.

As a recap to what the programme is and does:- 

  • Apply for up to £135,000 of grant matched funding, backed by the Department for Business Energy & Industrial Strategy 
  • About TDAP 
    • TDAP supports micro, small and medium-sized businesses developing cutting edge automotive technology, products and services 
    • Since 2017 – TDAP has supported 31 SMEs with over £5 million in funding  
    • An 18-month programme that supports participants from concept idea to viable market proposition 
    • Successful applicants will get expert technical and industry support throughout the process 
  • What previous participants say: 
    • Marcel Fowler, New Motion Labs, TDAP Wave 2: ‘Having a good idea is only a fraction of what makes a business. The experts helped us to understand how we could build a business around that and progress towards commercialisation.’ 
    • Haroon Ihsan, Alsitek, TDAP Wave 2: “The APC’s network of suppliers, vehicle manufacturers and potential customers is what really helps to open doors in the automotive industry.’ 
    • Dr Yura Sevcenco, Reaction Engines, TDAP Wave 3: ‘By the end of the project we will have gone from a single proof of concept to validation in a relevant environment with partners that are recognised internationally.” 
  • Find out more by visiting www.apcuk.co.uk/technoloygy-developer-accelerator-programme 

DEFRA Nature Based Solutions funding 

This new fund will grant up to £100,000 to environmental groups, local authorities business and other organisations for the purpose of investing into nature projects which tackle climate change, improve water quality or create and restore habitats.

This funding will create a pipeline of projects for the private sector to invest in and develop new funding models that can be replicated everywhere, displaying the UK’s leadership in nature finance in the run up to COP26 later this year.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-10-million-fund-to-drive-private-sector-investment-in-nature–2

Novel Routes to Green Hydrogen Production – EIC Funding Application Open 

The European Commission is accepting applications for five Challenges launched under the Pathfinder stream of the European Innovation Council (EIC), the Commission’s primary tool for identifying and supporting breakthrough technologies and significant innovations with the potential to scale up internationally and become market leaders. 

The EIC supports all stages of innovation and predominantly provides financial support under three main instruments: 

  • The EIC Accelerator – to support companies (SMEs, start-ups, spin-outs and in exceptional cases small mid-caps) to bring their (usually high-risk/high-impact) innovations to market and scale up. 
  • The EIC Pathfinder – for advanced research to develop the scientific basis to underpin breakthrough technologies. 
  • The EIC Transition – for transforming research results into innovation opportunities, and to validate technologies and develop business plans for specific applications. 

Alongside Open Funding calls with no predefined thematic priorities, the EIC utilises a challenge-driven approach to provide funding to address specific technological and innovation breakthroughs. 

The first five Pathfinder Challenges have now opened for applications, which include:

Novel Routes to Green Hydrogen Production – Developing novel processes and technologies to produce green H2, at different scales (from small to large) and capturing cross sectorial coupling and system integration opportunities. 

For the Pathfinder stream, submissions may generally be made by consortia of at least three different independent legal entities established in at least three different eligible countries (EU Member States and Associate Countries), of which at least one must be an EU Member State. However, the specific eligibility criteria for the Challenges vary, so applicants should consult the criteria of the individual calls for details. 

Proposals to all five Calls must be submitted via the Funding & Tenders Portal by the 26 October 2021 deadline