The KEEP+ Programme can offer your company funding in order to access expertise you do not already possess. In the case of KEEPs (see below) that expertise will be embedded into your organisation for future use and benefit.
Knowledge Exchange and Embed Partnerships (KEEPs)
A three way collaboration between a business, a University and a graduate employee who will work with the business to achieve agreed goals (Limited capital funding may also be available to support the approved collaborative activity).
Research and Innovation Collaborations (RICs)
A collaborative research and development activity for projects requiring more feasibility work and greater levels of research support than a KEEP (Limited capital funding may also be available to support the approved collaborative activity).
We also offer stand-alone grants to contribute to the purchase of vital equipment and third party business support services, helping your business on its innovation journey.
Stand Alone Capital Grants
50% funding towards the cost of equipment purchases vital to the development of your new product or service. This grant is capped at £12,499 with a total spend not exceeding £24,999 excluding VAT.
Grants for Consultancy Support
50% funding towards the cost of fast track assistance to contribute to the development of your project. This grant is capped at £12,499 with a total spend not exceeding £24,999 excluding VAT.
All purchases are subject to procurement requirements.
1. Get in touch with us
If your business is eligible for KEEP+ support, the KEEP+ team will be happy to discuss which of the programme offers is most suitable for your project.
2. Procurement and Application Phase
For larger projects requiring KEEP/RIC funding you will produce a project tender advert (advertised for at least 20 days), which you'll use to procure your knowledge base. You will then work with the procured knowledge base to draw up a project application for consideration by the KEEP+ grants panel. For capital or consultancy grants a simple application form and supporting information will be completed. The KEEP+ team will be on hand to assist.
3. Commencement of Project
The project is approved by KEEP+ and a Grant Agreement is issued to the SME. Activity to develop your new product or service will now commence. You will pay the knowledge base/consultant directly, and be remunerated with payments from the ERDF grant. For capital grants you'll need to buy your equipment in full once your grant is agreed, and be remunerated 50% once proof of purchase is received by the KEEP+ team.
4. Project Completion
Activity finishes, a Final Report is completed and a Case Study is produced.
For your business to qualify for ERDF funding through the KEEP+ programme, you will need to answer yes to the following questions:
Are you considered as an enterprise?
An enterprise is considered by ERDF as “any activity engaged in an economic activity (the sale of products or services at a given price, on a given/direct market) irrespective of its legal form
Do you employ fewer than 250 persons?
This figure includes full/part-time/seasonal employees, owner/managers and secondees
Do you have an annual turnover of less than €50 million?
Alternatively, an annual balance sheet not exceeding €43 million as evidenced by last approved annual accounts (in the case of new businesses by a declaration containing a bona fide estimate of future turnover will be required)
Are you no more than 25% owned by another company
An enterprise is considered by the ERDF as “any activity engaged in an economic activity (the sale of products or services at a given price, on a given/direct market) irrespective of its legal form.
You may be eligible for ERDF funding
Get in touch with the KEEP+ team or one of our delivery partners to discuss your funding requirements.
Your business does not fall within KEEP+’s core operational area
However, we’d still like to hear from you as we may be able to direct you towards other sources of funding.
You are not eligible for ERDF funding
Your business does not appear to fit the criteria of a Small or Medium Sized Enterprise (SME) and is therefore not eligible for KEEP+ funding. However, other funding options may be available. See our resources section for more information.
Depending on which part of the KEEP+ Programme is best suited to your needs, by accessing the programme your business will benefit from:
- The ability to access academic experts and gain the services of an enthusiastic graduate to spearhead your project and grow your business
- Obtaining access to and greater awareness of potential markets for development of your business
- Receiving assistance for the development and design of new products/services
- Increasing your competitive advantage
- Potential to increase your profitability
- Accessing support for innovation and business improvement
- Exploring new ideas
- Bringing new knowledge into your business