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R&D Project

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

Leverage expertise from the academic base

Our R&D project fund supports Scottish-based businesses to do undertake research and development projects in partnership with one or more experts from universities or colleges. Our in-house engineers can also provide support, depending on requirements.

Typically lasting 6-18 months, R&D projects serve to improve industry’s competitiveness – 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.

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

R&D projects 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

To be eligible you must:

  • Be based in Scotland – or plan to establish a business here.
  • Demonstrate that economic benefit from the project will come to Scotland.
  • Work with a Scottish university or college.


After establishing your suitability for CENSIS support, we’ll help you create a detailed proposal covering deliverables, costs, benefits, risks, resources, and financial contribution. We can help identify an academic partner if you do not already have someone in mind.  We’ll also discuss State Aid with you and explore other types of support from the wider innovation support ecosystem.

CENSIS can meet 25-50% of the total eligible project costs. Funding is not provided directly to the company, but awarded to the academic partner for the work they undertake. A collaboration agreement between you and the university partner will be agreed. CENSIS can offer a template covering standard terms for IP as a guide as required.

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