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Many businesses choose to work with Ulster University through a direct paid-for consultancy option and our team can provide quotes and guidance on this service.

Funding programmes such as Innovation Vouchers run by Invest NI and Enterprise Ireland can help SME's access university expertise via a voucher worth up to £5,000/ €5,000 to deliver innovative solutions.

Help is also available for longer term projects of strategic, innovative and research focused development.

The Knowledge Transfer Partnerships programme offers up to 60% funding for SMEs and up to 40% for larger organisations in the UK.

InterTradeIreland's Innovation Boost (formerly known as Fusion) programme offers up to £56,000 in funding for cross-border projects.

Funding Opportunities

  • Innovation Vouchers

    Ulster University have collaborated on over 600 consultancy  projects across Ireland, funded through innovation vouchers.

    SMEs in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland can apply for vouchers worth up to £5,000/€5,000 to enable them to access Ulster University's wide range of expertise and facilities.

    The Innovation Voucher Scheme, run by Invest NI and Enterprise Ireland, is designed to help you tap into specialist knowledge in order to develop forward-thinking solutions, ideas to expand and improve or create new products, services and processes.

    You do not need to be an Invest Northern Ireland or Enterprise Ireland client company to apply and businesses can be awarded up to a maximum of three innovation vouchers (terms and conditions apply).

  • Knowledge Transfer Partnerships

    A Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) programme provides funding for partnerships that address business challenges in any sector and any discipline – as long as they meet the KTP funding criteria.

    Government funding is available for KTP (up to 60% for SMEs and up to 40% for larger organisations) through Invest NI and Innovate UK.

    Business of all sizes in most industries and commercial sectors can take part.

    In 2018 an additional £30m was allocated to the KTP programme as part of the Government’s Industrial Strategy.

    This substantial uplift in funding meant increasing the number of new projects from 300 to 500 nationally.

    Invest NI also demonstrated its continued support by approving £4.9M KTP funding for the next five years.

    In April 2019 a new injection of Innovate UK funding was allocated to KTPs aimed at boosting productivity particularly in the lower performing regions identified as Northern Ireland and Wales.

  • Innovation Boost (formerly known as Fusion)

    InterTradeIreland’s Innovation Boost scheme can help by providing support and funding for a science, engineering or technology graduate to work on a project for your company.

    The graduate is employed by you and is based at your company throughout the project with mentoring from an experienced university academic or researcher and InterTradeIreland Innovation Boost consultant.

    These projects are similar to Knowledge Transfer Partnerships but as InterTradeIreland Innovation Boost is all-island programme, the university which you are partnered with must be based in the opposite jurisdiction to your business.

    12-month support package

    Worth £39,000/€47,400 - typically in the area of process improvement.

    18-month support package

    Worth up to £56,000/€67,900 - typically in the area of new product/service development

Success Story

Ulster University Business school and two Ulster Rugby players have partnered to produce Northern Ireland’s first South African ‘boerewors’ or sausage. The funding to work with the University’s Business School was provided by an Innovation Voucher from Invest Northern Ireland.

Read article about this success story

Start up Technology

TechstartNI supports innovative technology start ups in Northern Ireland with staged development funding and proof of concept grants.

R&D grants from organisations such as Invest NI help and Innovate UK can also help support business with finance for research and development.

Our research team also work closely with businesses on joint projects and access funding from appropriate Research Councils/Charities to support sector specific projects.

Student Project Support

The Science Shop is an initiative run jointly by Ulster University and Queen's University and provides support for community organisations and social enterprises across Northern Ireland.