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).


The British Business Bank and PwC Raise have published a three part webinar series to support smaller businesses to scale-up.  Covering investor readiness, valuations and term sheets, these webinars are now available to view on demand. Please see the links below should you wish to share them with any small businesses that may be considering a fundraise. For further information you can visit the webinar webpage here.

Investor Readiness

Pwc Logistics WebEx Enterprise Site – Replay Recorded Meeting


Pwc Logistics WebEx Enterprise Site – Replay Recorded Meeting

The Term Sheet Explained

Pwc Logistics WebEx Enterprise Site – Replay Recorded Meeting

D2N2 Govt. Funding Tracker

D2N2 Launches New Funding Tracker | D2N2 (d2n2lep.org)

The D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership has launched a new interactive tool to track UK government funding announcements.

The tracker has been developed to help partners, policymakers, and others to navigate the complex and evolving landscape of government funding more easily by collating information on funding in one place.

Start up loans and more from the British Business Bank

In the Autumn 2021 Spending Review, the government announced its plans for spending over the next three years from 2022/23. This included a number of measures to support smaller businesses to be delivered by the British Business Bank.

The government confirmed that throughout the three years from 2022/23 it will continue to provide the British Business Bank with the resources to help drive sustainable growth and prosperity across the UK, and to enable the transition to a net zero economy, by supporting access to finance for smaller businesses. Find out more…https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/press-release/autumn-budget-and-spending-review-2021/?dm_i=45HG,16KRS,6V5GVG,5F64H,1

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. 



Entrepreneurs offered post-COVID funding through new Vision Derbyshire partnership

This new grant scheme announced in Derbyshire is aimed at providing support for start-up businesses and entrepreneurs, to aid the county’s economic recovery. There has been an increase in people starting up new businesses following the 18-month long COVID-19 pandemic, including 2,000 new businesses based in Derbyshire. For more information on this scheme, visit:

Entrepreneurs offered post-COVID funding through new Vision Derbyshire partnership – Destination Chesterfield | Destination Chesterfield

East Midlands Chamber Funded Support and Programmes

Support focused on helping SME businesses transition to a more environmentally sustainable way of working. National and regional funded support and programmes currently available to SMEs:

Funded Support and Programmes – East Midlands Chamber (Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire) (emc-dnl.co.uk)

“Your Finance Options for Growth” – 10.00am on Thursday, 7th October 2021

Are you working with businesses that are currently looking at their finance options for growth?

If so, please join the Midlands Engine Investment Fund in partnership with D2N2 Growth Hub for an interactive webinar exploring finance options for growing your business on Thursday 7 October 2021. And also invite your client businesses.

To register please use the following link – https://www.meif.co.uk/event/your-finance-options-for-growth-with-d2n2-growth-hub-and-midlands-engine-investment-fund-meif/.

After an initial introduction the webinar will be split into three Breakout Sessions, each covering a different topic:

  • Breakout Session 1: Start-up funding for scale-ups hosted by John O’Donnell, Business Finance Manager at D2N2 Growth Hub
  • Breakout Session 2: Debt funding for growth, hosted by Dr Sophie Dale-Black, UKN Director, North of England and the Midlands at British Business Bank
  • Breakout Session 3: Equity funding for growth, hosted by Lewis Stringer, UKN Senior Manager, East and South-East Midlands at British Business Bank

Each session will feature an expert panel, including fund managers from the Midlands Engine Investment Fund, together with other experts in access to finance. The sessions will last for half an hour and questions from the audience will be encouraged to make these sessions as interactive as possible.

The sessions will be repeated in the second half of the webinar to give you the opportunity to attend another session and to learn more about either start-up funding for scale-ups, debt or equity funding for growth.

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. 


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. 


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. 


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 


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. 


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.


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