Accelerator funding

Accelerator funding is available to support academic staff, research staff and research students in creating impact from their work.

EPG funding has been replaced by Accelerator funding. There are now three funding streams for you to apply to:

  • Impact and Knowledge Exchange Accelerator
  • Commercialisation Accelerator
  • Policy Impact Accelerator

Accelerator funding aims to support the creation of social, cultural and economic impact through research-informed knowledge exchange

The dates for upcoming funding calls are available on the calendar. If all funding is allocated, deadlines may be withdrawn.

For more information about the application process, please visit the How to apply page.

Accelerator funding criteria

What does the Impact and Knowledge Exchange Accelerator support?

The Impact and Knowledge Exchange Accelerator supports a wide range of activity, including:

  • the enhancement of research and innovation culture and environment
  • impact and early-stage innovation generation
  • public and stakeholder engagement
  • exploitation of research outcomes for non-academic impact
  • proof of concept or prototype development or non-academic use
  • secondments to develop capacity and skills
  • impact and innovation fellowships and pre-disclosure commercialisation work

Projects may include more than one of the above activities.

What does the Commericalisation Accelerator support?

The Commercialisation Accelerator supports a wide range of activity that is more mature in its commercialisation development.

Examples of activity supported include: 

  • post-disclosure - for example, patent costs and IP protection
  • market assessment
  • customer discovery opportunities
  • third-party expertise
  • interim management
  • development of commercial strategies - including guidance on spinout formation

Projects may include more than one of the above activities.

What does the Policy Impact Accelerator support?

The Policy Impact Accelerator supports activities that seek to create or amplify routes to policy impact. 

You will receive guidance and support from the University's Policy Unit throughout the duration of your project.

Is there any aspects of work that the Accelerators are keen to support?

Accelerator funding can be used to support short-term secondment activity which should:

  • involve the secondment of academic or research staff into external organisations, or the secondment of industrial or other research-user personnel into the University to work alongside academics
  • comprise clear knowledge transfer with the potential to generate impact for both the academic team and the collaborating organisation
  • include a letter of support from any collaborating organisation, detailing their commitment to the project

What can’t Accelerator funding be used for?

Accelerator funding cannot be used to support research activities or dissemination to academic audiences.

Where is the Accelerator funding drawn from?

Accelerator funding is currently drawn from two sources:

  • The Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF) which is administered by Research England to support HEIs to work with businesses, public and third sector organisations, community bodies and the wider public. Activity that can help the country’s economic growth and productivity is currently a high priority and will continue to be so.
  • The EPSRC Impact Acceleration Account (IAA) which supports the creation of an exploitation culture and realise impact from research that resides within the research remit of the EPSRC.

If Accelerator funding is not available, there are plenty of other funding sources to explore. Some are outlined in our Sources of alternative funding document.