We are one of the consortium of 12 higher education institutions involved in the Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC), launched in October 2014.

CSIC is supported by the Scottish Funding Council to encourage innovation in the construction sector by funding the industry and higher education institutions across Scotland to work together on industry-led projects across five key themes.

Find out more on the Construction Scotland Innovation Centre’s website:

The Innovation Voucher Scheme from Interface – the knowledge connection for business – is specifically intended to encourage new partnerships between SMEs and Scotland’s universities, like Edinburgh. The awards aim to encourage a longer, sustained relationship rather than just offset the costs of the business purchasing a service from universities. The proposed collaborative project should lead to new products, services and processes that will benefit the business, the institution and the Scottish economy.

The awards are specifically intended to encourage new partnerships that have not previously collaborated or jointly received funding from any source previously. The award (for an individual project) is for up to £5,000. The company contribution is expected to match the grant contribution from the Scheme either through cash or in kind (staff time, materials, access to facilities etc).

Following the success of the Innovation Voucher scheme a follow on scheme has been introduced to allow progression of projects after the initial phase to ensure a sustained relationship. The Follow on Innovation Voucher scheme facilitates longer term partnerships between the SME and the University which must be matched in cash by the company up to a maximum of £20,000 and minimum of £5,000.

For further details visit the Interface voucher page:

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships is Europe’s leading programme helping business competitiveness and productivity through the better use of the knowledge, technology and skills that reside within the UK knowledge-base. KTP is funded by Innovate UK with 12 other funding organisations.

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships involve the forming of a partnership between a company or organisation (the company partner) and the academic institute (knowledge-base partner), enabling the organisation to access skills and expertise to help it undertake strategic growth projects. Each partnership employs one or more high calibre Associate (recent graduate) to facilitate this transfer of skills and expertise. The Associate works within the company/organisation on a project central to its needs and is jointly supervised by company personnel and a senior academic.

Projects can last 1–3 years and typically aim to introduce new or improved products or services, new or improved processes or systems, marketing or management capabilities. The company has access to the resources of the university and its experts throughout the life of the project. KTP enables new capability to be embedded into the business and has benefited and continues to benefit a wide range of businesses across many sectors, small and large businesses, third sector and public organisations.

KTP is funded by Innovate UK with 12 other funding organisations including devolved governments and the support of all the research councils in the UK.

Government funding for each Knowledge Transfer Partnership is provided by means of a grant to the participating university partner and a contribution from the company involved. KTPs with Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) receive a grant for 67% of eligible project costs. Large companies or groups receive a 50% grant.

Each project is different as it is tailored to suit the business and the needs of that business. Consequently the costs to a business can vary. As a guide, for a project with an SME, the annual cost to the business is typically around £25,000 annually, based on an average annual total project cost of £75,000. For a non-SME the costs typically range from £37,000 to £40,000 annually.

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships:

Many research funding applications require to demonstrate a substantial industrial impact of the planned research activities. Our researchers are looking to engage with industry to help them drive their research in the direction of sound industrial applications. We are looking to develop strategic relationships with companies to develop further benefits of our excellent academic research for the construction industry. Companies’ contributions to such projects usually come in the form of a letter of support and in-kind contributions.

Research Councils in the UK also sometimes provide funding for industry-led research projects. If we know that you are interested in particular research theme, please let us know and we will get in touch with you when appropriate funding opportunity arises to become project partners.

EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council) Impact Acceleration Funds were awarded to the University of Edinburgh in 2012 and were available to help create and enhance the impact of our research through engaging with our partners and developing relationships with industry.

Funding was available to support:

  • Knowledge exchange activities, for example internships or secondments, either into or out of industry (or other stakeholders)
  • Seed funding to develop EPSRC early stage research outputs through collaborative research projects with industry (or other stakeholders)
  • Industry focused events

The funded activities were awarded in three open calls during the course of the project. These activities will finish at the project end in September 2015. More funding for collaborative research projects with industry will be available from October 2015.

Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme ever with nearly €80 billion of funding available over 7 years (2014 to 2020) – in addition to the private investment that this money will attract. It promises more breakthroughs, discoveries and world-firsts by taking great ideas from the lab to the market. By coupling research and innovation, Horizon 2020 is helping to achieve this with its emphasis on excellent science, industrial leadership and tackling societal challenges.

The goal is to ensure Europe produces world-class science, removes barriers to innovation and makes it easier for the public and private sectors to work together in delivering innovation. The project proposals are collaborative and the University of Edinburgh has got a fantastic track record of securing funding from the European Commission. If you are interested in collaborating with us on projects, please let us know and we can help you navigate between various funding calls and jointly identify projects and calls of interest to all parties.

Horizon 2020 funding opportunities:

Innovate UK (formerly the Technology Strategy Board) support and connect innovative businesses to accelerate sustainable economic growth and regularly launch competitions for government funding in specific sectors, including the construction industry. A complete list of open and forthcoming calls is available on the Innovate UK website: