Pre-announcement: business and academia prosperity partnership

Apply for funding to support an established research partnership between business and academic institutions.

Prosperity partnership programmes must:

  • address EPSRC’s delivery plan priorities, particularly for delivering economic and social prosperity
  • be business led, but co-created and co-delivered between the industrial and academic partners
  • support fundamental research with a technology readiness level of one to three.

This co-investment opportunity is part of the EPSRC prosperity partnership strategy.

The industrial partners must match the funding provided by EPSRC for the partnership. EPSRC will fund 80% of the full economic costs (fEC) with exceptions for:

  • equipment, at 50% fEC
  • studentships, at 100% fEC.

Who can apply

Businesses and their established academic partners.

Businesses can act as the business lead if they meet all the following criteria:

  • based in the UK or have UK based research activity
  • in the private sector driven by profit, or from an organisation with a commercial arm which generates independent revenue
  • in a position to contribute to UK national prosperity through increasing their investment in R&D activities and subsequent product development in the UK.

Research organisations can act as the academic lead if they are eligible to receive research council funding.

Find out about eligible research organisations.

What we're looking for

EPSRC is seeking to fund world class business-led research partnerships in low technology readiness programmes that will deliver economic, social and cultural prosperity for the UK.

Prosperity partnerships support existing, strategic, research-based partnerships between business and universities. They are an opportunity for co-investment in large-scale, long term, user-inspired basic research programmes at technology readiness levels one to three.

These partnerships must clearly address EPSRC’s delivery plan priority framework and, in particular, those aligned with delivering economic and social prosperity for the UK.

Prosperity partnerships programmes must build on the strategies of the business(es) and universities involved, and clearly articulate how the partnership will enable these to be delivered.

All prosperity partnerships must generate value in some form for the UK. For instance, we anticipate that businesses will have an active research base and research and development presence in the UK, or clear plans to grow this in-line with the prosperity partnership.

As a co-investment funding opportunity, business and university partners are required to commit substantial cash contributions to the programme, by matching the financial investment made in each award by EPSRC.

How to apply

When the opportunity is launched, proposals should be prepared and submitted using the Joint Electronic Submission (Je-S) system.

At the outline interview stage, bids must be led by the business lead partner although the submission of the documentation will be undertaken through Je-S by the academic lead partner.

This programme has a business principle investigator (PI) and an academic PI. In Je-S, the PI will be notified as the academic one, but all assessment stages will consider both PIs.

Full information will be given on this website when the opportunity is launched.

Contact details

The opportunity is managed by EPSRC’S Business Engagement and Partnership team.

For initial enquiries, please contact:

Additional info

This is round five of the prosperity partnership scheme.

Prosperity partnerships have become EPSRC’s flagship approach to co-investing with business in long-term, use-inspired, basic research.

The scheme was launched in 2017 and, as of February 2021, there are 29 projects across three rounds of prosperity partnerships in operation, with the results of the fourth round to be announced shortly.

A total of £262 million will have been invested by EPSRC, businesses and universities across the four rounds.

Prosperity partnerships have:

  • anchored private investment in the UK research base
  • enabled businesses to undertake riskier, long-term research in partnership with academia
  • delivered new and improved products, services, or process efficiencies that build on internationally-leading research achieved in partnership.

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