BIG Hot-House Research Innovation Funding FAQs

BIG Hot-House Research Innovation Funding offers businesses the opportunity to access the world-class knowledge and expertise of one of BIG South London’s partner universities and colleges to collaborate on a specific project.

It will enable a business to bring in new skills and the latest academic thinking to deliver a specific, strategic innovation project.

Who can apply?

Any businesses or third sector organisation from all commercial and industrial sectors are eligible to apply, with priority given to South London businesses.

Start-ups that have been in business for less than 18 months are not eligible.

What type of project can I work on with Hot-House?

Hot-House projects can include anything where there is a need for strategic innovative input and the active involvement of an academic partner.

From developing a new product or service, finding innovative solutions to a manufacturing, production, or processing challenge, or adopting and embedding a new technology. It can even be used to address sustainability issues or help develop a new service model or operational capacity.

How can working with a university benefit my business/organisation?

By teaming up with a local university or college, participating organisations can improve and develop their innovation capabilities to create new products, services, and business models to help them flourish and grow.

Participating businesses can tap into a broad range of expertise to accelerate business development, for example:

  • spearhead new projects
  • drive your business forward with highly qualified experts
  • facilitate the transfer of knowledge and technology
  • stimulate and enhance your R&D
  • develop innovative solutions to grow

Which universities can I work with?

You can work with any of the BIG partner universities listed below:

  • Kingston University
  • London South Bank University
  • Richmond upon Thames College
  • St. George’s University Hospital
  • South Thames College Group
  • St. Mary’s University
  • University of the Arts London
  • University of Roehampton

How much will it cost?

The project is part-funded by BIG South London, with the remaining costs to be covered by the University partner and host business or organisation, this can be in cash or in-kind.

BIG Hot-House can support up to 50% of the total eligible costs of the project up to a maximum contribution of £30k.

How can the funding be used?

The funding can be used for projects of a duration of between 3 to 12 months, and all projects must be completed by July 2023.

Eligible costs include:

  • associate employment costs
  • associate training and development costs
  • travel and subsistence (UK only)
  • essential equipment, consumables (non-capital)
  • HEI/FEC/RIO supervisory costs

Are there restrictions on what Hot-House funding will support?

Projects that might be considered standard business enhancements that would be part of day-to-day business modernisation (eg website development) will not be eligible.

Hot-House will not support activities that replace what could be achieved by using independent consultants and it will not replace solutions that are available ‘off the shelf’ (eg commercial software packages).

How do I apply?

Businesses and organisations can apply by contacting the university that you are interested in working with.

Do I need to find an academic partner before I apply?

Businesses wishing to discuss their proposal with a BIG South London partner university or college can contact the relevant liaison person listed for each university below:

What might a successful application look like?

A successful application will be able to clearly evidence:

  • the reasons why the partnership is required
  • the strategic need to be addressed
  • what new capability will be developed and how it will be embedded in the participating business
  • the predicted benefits to all parties
  • how it delivers high impact/growth/wealth/job creation
  • that the outcomes/benefits would not occur without the investment
  • the potential benefits will be likely to accrue and grow over time
  • outline the capacity and resource to exploit any outputs or outcomes of the project

When is the closing date for applications?

All applications must be submitted by 8th April 2022.

When will I find out if I’m successful?

All applicants will be contacted before Easter 2022 with the outcome of the evaluation process. Feedback and advice will be available to any proposals that have been unsuccessful.

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