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R&D Project

Home > Our services > Project types > R&D Project

Leverage expertise from the academic base

We have a project fund that can support Scottish-based businesses to do research and development (R&D) projects in partnership with universities and colleges.

CENSIS taps in to the rich seam of expertise within Scotland’s research community to help you tackle an industry-defined problem, maximising opportunities and generating economic impact.

Typically lasting 6-18 months, these our projects happen in partnership with you and one or more academic experts. Our in-house engineers can also play a part, depending on your requirements.

The objective of this fund is to support projects that improve industry’s competitiveness to help Scotland’s economy flourish – everything from creating a new product or process to adopting cutting edge technology in your business. It may also involve incremental improvement of an existing technology, perhaps to help you break in to a new market. At the heart of it all will lie your desire to increase the innovative capacity of your business.

Your idea must:

  • Show good commercial prospects including routes to market
  • Demonstrate innovation and technical risk
  • Make a positive economic impact to your business
  • Show a clear financial commitment from you

We work with companies of all sizes and in any location, however to be eligible for CENSIS funding, you must work with a Scottish university or college, be based in Scotland – or plan to establish a business here – and show that the economic benefit will come to Scotland.

Projects with the public sector are also possible, although if the project involves the development of a new product, it would normally require a private sector partner to exploit project outcomes.

We don’t issue funding calls for R&D projects. Your idea is handled on its own merits, not alongside a collection of competing proposals. To begin exploring with us, get in touch. No matter what stage your idea is at right now, we can help.

Shaping a collaborative R&D project

We’ll work with you to shape your idea and, if you haven’t already identified an academic partner, we can help you to source the relevant expertise from our Scottish HEI network.  After establishing your suitability for CENSIS support, we’ll help you create a detailed proposal covering deliverables, costs, benefits, risks, resources, and financial contributions. We’ll also discuss State Aid with you, and, because we consider your entire technology development requirements (not just the bit we can help progress), we’ll also  explore other types of support and  funding sources that may be helpful,  such as that offered from Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Innovate UK or any other suitable opportunity from within the innovation support ecosystem.

Once your project is completed, it is formally assessed by our business, technical and financial teams, drawing on their own expertise and knowledge of the supply chain. We’ll aim to do this quickly and issue a final decision, typically within 2-3 weeks of your proposal being submitted.

There’s no charge for helping you to shape your proposal.

Your R&D project gets underway

CENSIS is able to meet 25-50% of the total eligible costs of the project you work up and cost with your academic partner. Because of the way we are funded, we can’t give money directly to you, our funds are instead awarded to the academic partner to cover the work they undertake.

Projects are underpinned by a collaboration agreement that you and a university sign up to. We have a template covering things like standard terms for IP as a guide as required.  In general, our HEI partners are familiar with the terms and conditions we need to see included.


Post R&D project support

Support doesn’t end when a project begins. One of our Project Managers will be assigned to ensure deliverables and deadlines are met and the project comes in on time, on spec and within budget.

At the end, we’ll review lessons learned, and help you identify next steps.

Take a look at organisations we have worked with

If you would like to find out more about our work with businesses of all sizes, public sector bodies and universities, we have highlighted some of the challenges we have faced together with our clients.