1. Public Investment
Funding competition: The AHRC and EPSRC Immersive Experiences Research Call
Open Programme Round 3
Infrastructure Systems Competition Round 3
Experiment in urban data or the Internet of Things in 2017
SME Instruments from Horizon 2020
Marie Sklodowska-Curie Individual Fellowships from Horizon 2020
Funding competition: Jiangsu-UK industrial challenge programme
Funding competition: innovation in infrastructure systems round 2
Funding competition: design foundations 2017 round 1
Funding competition: Aerospace Technology Institute R&T programme
To find out more on all current public funded competitions go to https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/innovation-grants-for-business-apply-for-funding#live-funding-competitions
Revenue share deals, interest-free business loans and equity investments, Creative England have different types of investment and finance on offer to high growth companies and start-ups. They make their investments via the Regional Growth Fund so are only able to invest in companies based in the English regions, outside of Greater London
Its funding programmes include: interest-free business loans of up to £200,000 for established creative SMEs; themed accelerator programmes,; the Creative England Production Fund, which invests in regional films and a £2m programme for games developers with Regional Growth Fund
You can find out more here
UK Games Fund
The UK Games Fund has been created to help stimulate growth in the industry by supporting companies to become more diverse and innovative, create new IP and grow in strength and size.
See the How to Apply page to get all the relevant information on the typical criteria for funding. Applicants do not give up any rights to IP, equity or profits
BFI Film Fund
The BFI uses National Lottery funds to develop and support original UK filmmakers and films. On offer is production and development funding, distribution and exhibition funding. The BFI is the UK’s largest public investor in UK film, committing up to £60m of National Lottery funding to projects every year. Find out more here
The British Business Bank
The British Business Bank, the UK’s first economic development bank, has a central role in ensuring that financial markets for entrepreneurial and growing companies are effective, enabling them to access the finance they need to fund their expansion. Its programmes are supporting £2.4bn of finance to tens of thousands of smaller businesses, and it participates in a further £3.3bn of funding for small mid-cap companies.
The British Business Bank does not invest in or lend directly to companies. Instead, it works alongside more than 80 partner organisations that make direct investments or loans.
Tax reliefs for creative companies
Over the past decade, UK governments have introduced creative industry tax reliefs. These reliefs allow companies to claim substantial deductions in (or tax credits against) corporation tax for some of their investment in new production.
In order to ensure that these reliefs are applied to genuine creative industries production (and are not simply used to avoid tax), there are several strict requirements for eligibility for each relief.
2. Private Investment
Immerse UK is currently mapping AR/VR private investors in the UK, Europe and Internationally. This section will be updated with more information as it is compiled.
KTN Digital Refer
Digital Refer has been developed as a searchable online directory with the aim of ensuring that the Knowledge Transfer Network’s (KTN) innovative start-up and SME community can easily and the right support and private investment organisations to meet their speci c needs.
Digital Refer currently holds details of over 230 UK-based organisations and support mechanisms that fund innovation within the digital technology, creative industries and design sectors. It illustrates the nature of business support and the investment offered to start-ups and SMEs, i.e. co-workspace, entrepreneur training, mentoring, technology support, investment and funding, and client brokerage and networks.
Digital Refer: bit.ly/ktnrefer
Virtual Reality Venture Capital Alliance
The purpose of the Virtual Reality Venture Capital Alliance (“VRVCA”) is to foster long-term growth in the VR industry through identifying, sharing and investing in the world's most innovative & impactful VR technology and content companies.
Formed in 2016, the VRVCA is a close-knit membership comprised of 47 of the top Virtual Reality Investors in the world. We believe that VR is a transformative technology that will revolutionize entire industries, one that will leave a lasting impact for many future generations to come. In order to achieve that dream, we are working tirelessly to ensure that the VR startups today get the resources they need, so that they can grow into the industry titans of tomorrow.
Find out more
3. European Funding
The European funding programme Horizon 2020 has €80 billion available for research and innovation for the next five years. Many calls are relevant to creative and digital businesses and can provide significant R&D opportunities and a platform to expand into the european market place.
The KTN is running a number of activities to find out more about what's on offer and to help businesses build European partnerships to respond to funding calls.
Creative Europe is the European Union's programme to support the cultural, creative and audiovisual sectors. From 2014-2020, €1.46 billion is available to support European projects with the potential to travel, reach new audiences and encourage skill sharing and development. Launched in January 2014, Creative Europe brings together a Culture sub-programme, which provides funding for the cultural and creative sectors, and a MEDIA sub-programme, which invests in film, television, new media and games.
Creative Europe Desk UK promotes awareness and understanding of Creative Europe, and provides free advice and support for applicants from the UK. Creative Europe Desk UK's team of specialists are based across the UK (in London, Manchester, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Cardiff and Belfast) and they organise workshops, seminars and industry events.
New Innovate UK investment of £15 million in Emerging and Enabling technologies targets Immersive Technologies
As part of the Innovate UK Delivery Plan, Innovate UK is to invest up to £15 million in innovative projects that inspire and stimulate the products and services of tomorrow. Immersive Technologies are one of a number of priority areas identified. Innovate UK are central to Immerse UK's success to date and we have been really pleased to support Innovate UK in the development of this funding programme and contributing to engaging businesses, ensuring we get the best quality applications from across the UK immersive tech sectors.
The aim of this competition is to help UK businesses broaden their innovation activities, disrupt existing markets and find new revenue sources. It should support the competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), as well as large companies.
Grants can be awarded to projects led by a UK-based business of any size. An SME can apply on its own for funding up to £100,000. Consortia must involve at least one SME and projects are expected to last from 6 months to 3 years and range in size from total project costs of £35,000 to £2 million.
You can learn more about how to apply at one of our upcoming briefing events, details below.
- 13th March @ Invest NI, Belfast: https://myini.investni.com/events/event-details/?id=43e5d53c-38ed-e611-80c8-00155d019403
- 14th March @ venue tbc, Edinburgh: https://eande-round2-edinburgh.eventbrite.co.uk
- 16th March @ Wales Principality Stadium, Cardiff: https://wales.business-events.org.uk/en/events/innovate-uk-briefing-emerging-and-enabling-technologies-15m-round-2-cardiff
- 23rd March @ thestudio, Manchester: https://eande-round2-manchester.eventbrite.co.uk
Integrated Innovation for Nuclear Decommissioning - tech transfer from AR/VR
Innovate UK and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) are running a competition on integrated innovation for nuclear decommissioning. Registration deadline is Wednesday 19th April. They are keen to see technology transfer from other sectors. In particular, advances in robotics in combination with other innovative technologies, including VR. See: https://ktn-uk.co.uk/funding/sbri-funding-competition-integrated-innovation-for-nuclear-decommissioning
Accelerating Innovation in Rail 4 - technologies and innovations from businesses not currently supplying the rail sector
Innovate UK are managing a collaborative research and development competition on behalf of the Department for Transport to accelerate innovation in the UK rail sector.
The competition will open on 20 March and businesses will be able to apply for significant levels of funding to develop technology prototypes in the broad areas of ‘high-value, low cost railways’ and ‘Improving customer experience through stations’. The competition will appeal particularly to businesses not currently supplying the rail industry, but which have technologies and innovations that meet the scope.
Competition Brief will be published around 16th March at:
Briefing and consortia building events are planned for:
21 March, London - https://innovation-in-rail4-london.eventbrite.co.uk
21 March Webcast : https://innovation-in-rail4-webcast.eventbrite.co.uk
6 April, Manchester - https://innovation-in-rail4-manchester.eventbrite.co.uk
Investor Showcase at VR World World Congress
The Investor Showcase at VR World Congress will host 10 VR / AT / MR related companies pitching to a select group of VC’s, fund managers and angel investors.
Carefully curated from applications from throughout the UK, Europe and further afield, the companies will be looking for funding from £25k - £2m for their projects.
If you’re a company or startup looking for investment for your Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality or Merged Reality product or application, apply to take part in the VR World Congress Investor Showcase, sponsored by legal firm TLT, on the 12th April at VR World Congress.