Business Expertise

Funding Opportunities

Talk to our Enterprise Team
Plant growing to show investment

We'll help you find the best path for your business

Let us guide you through funding that's available to help boost your business. From innovation vouchers to Knowledge Transfer Partnerships, incentives and discounts are available to help you get our fresh thinking into your business operations.

Tell us about the business issues you're facing, and we'll guide you through the funding options we have available to help you drive innovation and improvement.

Research and Development funding

Start a Knowledge Transfer Partnership with us

This successful UK-wide scheme supports UK businesses that want to be more competitive and productive by accessing university expertise. Sponsored by Innovate UK, Research Councils and other bodies, Knowledge Transfer Partnerships help by addressing a specific issue, such as new product research and development or developing new operational processes.

University innovation vouchers

SMEs can get University of Essex innovation vouchers (.pdf) worth up to £10,000 to start working with us. This could go towards scoping and developing a new product, staff training, or stimulating growth. Contact us and we'll guide you through the application process. Your application will be reviewed by our business panel, and if accepted, you can reclaim costs of up to £10,000 once your project is complete. We assess applications based on the scope and value of the project, and on the potential of you working with us in the future.

Data analytics innovation vouchers

These vouchers can help if your business needs academic expertise to help you understand your data, and if you have fewer than 250 employees and a turnover of less than £25.9 million. You may have a specific data project you want to tackle, or you may want to up-skill your analysts. We'll guide you through the application process when you contact us. You can get up to two data analytics vouchers a year, for a maximum of three years. These vouchers are funded by the ESRC, through our ESRC Business and Local Government Data Research Centre. Our Institute for Data Analytics and Data Science also supports businesses by helping to understand and analyse data.


The South East Creatives (SECCADS) programme supports the creative, cultural and digital sectors across Thurrock, Essex, Kent, and East Sussex. SECCADS is funded by the European Regional Development Fund and match-funding from public and private sectors. The University of Essex is a partner in the programme, providing two main areas of support, both fully funded through SECCADS:

You can access a talented pool of students, and graduates from the last 3 years.  We don’t dictate exactly what an internship should look like, this may simply be the opportunity for the intern to gain a better understanding of the business environment or could involve the development of more comprehensive project specific skills.

The University of Essex is home to a world class centre in data science. We have expertise in understanding how numbers, their use, analysis, manipulation and interrogation, can help your business grow. Through support from SECCADS the University offers small business access to a range of academics, including workshops, bespoke mentoring support and webinars, direct to your business.

To apply you must be an SME and engaged in the Digital, Creative or Cultural Sectors. To discuss these opportunities further please contact

Other research and development funding

Innovate UK offers a huge range of schemes and resources to support businesses. Also, Horizon 2020 is an EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation with nearly €80 billion of funding available, so if you're considering European funding for a project we can help you explore your options. The UK's Research Councils also support a range of collaborative research projects in the UK, across all industry sectors.

Recruitment funding

If you’re an SME looking to expand, we may be able to help you get funding to take on a talented Essex graduate as an internship through our partnership with Santander Universities. We also have specific funding available to enable internships where finance may be a barrier for your business or organisation; please contact us to find out more.

A drone flying over a field
Innovation for business

Get up to £100,000 per project through a Knowledge Transfer Partnership.  Innovate UK are looking for ambitious businesses who want to make a clear strategic step and address a significant challenge. Our KTP programme can give your business a competitive advantage. 

Discover more
Get in touch
Get in touch
Any questions about business funding? Contact our enterprise team