Opportunities for SMEs

Why collaborate with Universities and Research Institutions?

The KEEP+ programme can provide match funded grants to access academic expertise to support you in the development of your project. Depending on which part of KEEP+ is best suited to your needs your business could benefit from collaboration with specialist academic and graduate talent for a specific project, as well as the opportunity to build links with universities and research institutions to achieve future innovation goals.

If you think you may have a project which would benefit from the programme you can learn more about the how to apply for KEEP+ funding via the example below. The KEEP+ team will provide advice and support through the application steps to ensure that your journey is simple and straightforward.

Initial Enquiry

Business hears about KEEP+ and makes contact with KEEP+ Team.

Eligibility Check

Business completes SME eligibility form.  Does business meet EU SME criteria?


KEEP+ Team directs business to other sources of funding where possible.

Procurement phase

The SME produces a project tender advert against templates provided by KEEP+ Team (advertised for at least 20 days). The SME procures their knowledge base to work with.

Post procurement/pre application phase

The SME works with the procured knowledge base to draw up a project application for consideration by the KEEP+ grants panel.

Application Approval

The project is approved by KEEP+ and a Grant Agreement is issued to the SME.

Partnership provides evidence of activity as the project progresses.

Commencement of Project

Activity to develop new product/service commences.

The SME pays knowledge base directly. It is then remunerated with payments from ERDF grant on receipt of activity evidence.

Completion of project

Activity finishes, a final report is completed by the partnership and a Case Study is produced.



    Calex needed to expand its product range in order to increase its market share. The development of low carbon technologies was a key to its success.

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    Phoenix Product Development Ltd received ERDF funding to help develop and patent an innovative air flush toilet system Propelair®, using less water and energy than an average WC, is cheaper to install and more hygienic.

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