STFC’s Science Programmes are interlinked with universities, our national laboratories, international partners, CERN, ESA, ESO, ILL, ESRF and the Diamond Light Source. Through these we promote innovation and routinely engage with industry by either engaging in commercial partnering (through our Business Development Team) or by raising awareness of direct supply opportunities (through our External Innovation Programme).
We run a wide range of innovation support mechanisms to maximise the opportunities for innovation and commercialisation. Please use the diagram below to find out more.
Our external innovation funding schemes, IPS and CLASP, support the flow of technology from STFC-funded research towards commercialisation with innovation partners in academia and industry. The projects we support must be led by an STFC funded research group, either in a university or one of STFC’s laboratories and can be in collaboration with industry. Some schemes are open to all sectors whereas other calls may be focused on providing solutions to particular challenge areas. We help researchers to explore the commercial potential of their research, to acquire business skills to develop it, and to take it towards commercialisation. This we do through dedicated proof-of-concept support for both our Laboratories and universities (Follow-on Funding), Enterprise Fellowships, and Impact Acceleration Accounts.
STFC is also a partner in the Rainbow Seed Fund, an evergreen venture capital fund for some of the leading UK publicly funded research organisations. It is independently managed by Midven and provides capital to commercialise the partners’ research.
We can also help industry and academics to connect through our Innovations Club events and newsletters.
Our global challenge funding schemes provide a top-down “challenge led” route to increasing the rate of discovery and development of new technologies and science based solutions to meet the need of society in the global challenge areas of energy, environment, healthcare and security.
By focusing on the key global challenge areas where STFC’s skills, knowledge, technology and facilities can deliver significant impact, our global challenge schemes help to maximise the impact, both economic and societal, of investment through STFC’s national laboratories, subscriptions and grant funded programmes.
We are at the cutting-edge of technology development and are driven to transfer technology into innovative new products and systems.
Our technology is divided into technology domains with individual technologies close to market readiness and others at an early stage of development. In some cases our technology can be delivered as bespoke systems (through our Business Development Team) or we can license intellectual property (IP) or spin-out the technology based on the IP developed at the national laboratories (through our Innovations Team).We also transfer technology from our partners CERN and the European Space Agency (through our Business Incubation Team).
STFC’s major facilities are unparalleled within the UK and are envied around the world, combined with world-class expertise they can offer the ultimate development tool for technical products requiring a deeper understanding of materials chemistry, engineering physics, pharmacology or biochemistry. These facilities are commercially available and we offer a collaborative R&D scheme to encourage the use of them in areas of mutual academic and industrial interest (through our Business Development Team).
The campuses are thriving eco-systems for collaboration between researchers and industry of all sizes. Building upon our major, internationally leading and long-term investments in the research base, they are home to around 200 SMEs and have attracted the presence of a number of high profile multi-nationals including IBM, Siemens and Unilever.
Through the campuses, industry can join growing sector and technology-based clusters, access a wide range of funding and networking opportunities, and benefit from access to facilities, expertise and business support from STFC and other campus organisations.
We work closely with local angel networks and venture capital funds to connect industry to financial opportunities. Through initiatives such as UKIF (the UK Innovation Forum) and networking events such as business breakfasts and our Technology Entrepreneurs Forum (TEF), we are helping build communities of entrepreneurs to provide management for emerging opportunities.
Global Challenge Schemes:
Innovation funding schemes: