Finance your research

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Are you eligible?

You need to be based in Scotland or planning to set up in Scotland to be eligible. Most sectors are eligible and applications from traditional industries, hi-tech businesses and the service sector are equally welcome.

We also welcome defence projects aimed at UK-approved defence export markets, or R&D projects for the UK defence market (subject to some restrictions) and defence-related R&D where there is a primary civilian application.

Your project

Your project must represent a significant innovation for the company concerned and significant risks should be associated with the challenge of developing a new product, process or service.

It’s got to be new. We don’t support projects where the work has already started or commercial contracts are in place. We’ll need to understand why you need our support to make this activity happen, as well as what might happen anyway if support isn't available.

The selection process will take into account:

  • The nature of the R&D
  • The creation or safeguarding of R&D jobs
  • Links into other local companies, perhaps for materials or specialist knowledge
  • Global market opportunity
  • Intellectual property
  • The wider impact for society, including factors such as environmental impact, sustainability and health and safety. We will not support projects which will have a known adverse effect on the environment and/or society.

You must also demonstrate that:

  • There are good commercial prospects for the end product, process or service, with realistic and effective routes to market. Evidence of potential commercial interest would be beneficial.
  • You have the necessary management and technical expertise and resources, either in-house or brought-in, to make the project a success. The R&D grant aims to help grow R&D capacity within Scotland’s businesses, so it is not possible to support projects where the majority of the R&D activity is being undertaken by third parties.
  • Financial assistance under the R&D grant is essential, and both the project and the business are financially viable