Working with business:

Industrial Partnership Awards

Call status: Open
Application deadline: as per next responsive mode

Science-led, responsive mode grants where an industrial partner contributes in cash at least 10% of the full economic cost of the project. Additional in-kind contributions from industry are welcome but they neither count against the industry contribution nor the total cost of the project. (See FAQs for example calculations.)

Applications are assessed by our Research Committees, alongside standard applications, using the same criteria. IPA projects are normally funded in preference to standard grants of equivalent scientific merit.

Before applying

The company partner should be registered in the UK or have a UK R&D or manufacturing site. Where a suitable company cannot be found in the UK, an overseas company may be used. However, such collaborations are judged on a case by case basis, and clear justification must be provided. We strongly encourage you to contact us (contact details below) prior to submission if you wish an overseas company to be an industrial partner under this scheme.

Applicants should describe the value of the partnership and its mutual benefits. Applicants should include a letter from their university's Technology Transfer office stating that should the IPA be funded, a collaborative agreement will be put in place with the industrial partner before commencement of the project. The letter should:

Please consult the FAQs in the downloads section for calculating grant costs and contributions.

How to apply

Visit our 'Apply for funding' section to submit your application through our electronic submission system.

For more specific guidance about applying to this scheme, please consult the FAQs (see downloads).

The schemes are dictated when selecting classification as follows:

Applications are processed alongside other responsive mode applications. Application deadlines are therefore the same as responsive mode applications. Responsive mode deadlines can be found on our application deadlines page (see related links).

Case studies

Extending the shelf life of packaged salad

Measuring photosynthesis of spinach in a drought trial. Image: Hazel Smith, University of Southampton
Measuring photosynthesis of spinach in a drought trial.
Image: Hazel Smith, University of Southampton

Researchers at the University of Southampton used their Industrial Partnership Award to work together with Vitacress, one of the biggest producers of packaged salads, to understand what keeps salad leaves fresh. Their results are now being used in plant breeding programmes and within Vitacress' own practices to produce salads with a longer shelf life.

"Developing high quality, nutritious, sustainable salad leaves is really important for Vitacress; it's a key part of their business," says Professor Gail Taylor from the University of Southampton, the lead researcher on the project. "They need science to achieve that, and the science we've done has plugged directly into the business."

Read the full case study at our IPA and ‘stand-alone’ LINK schemes cultivate academic-industry partnerships page.

Research into the body clock leads to drug discovery programme

Using their Industrial Partnership Award, researchers at The University of Manchester and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) discovered the mechanism by which the body's internal clock controls inflammation in the lungs. As a result of this project and its success, the researchers have formed a pioneering three-way collaboration between academics, the NHS and industry to find new treatments for inflammatory conditions such as asthma and rheumatoid arthritis.

The human macrophage has an internal biological clock. Image: GSK
The human macrophage has an internal biological clock.
Image: GSK

"The IPA enabled the University and GSK to explore a novel and rapidly developing area of biology in the best environment for the experimental work needed, but with the industry link bringing insight into potential therapeutic outputs," says Professor Stuart Farrow, Director of the Respiratory Therapy Area at GSK, who is currently on secondment to The University of Manchester.

Read the full case study at our IPA and ‘stand-alone’ LINK schemes cultivate academic-industry partnerships page.