Seedcorn Funding for Scaling / Scale Up Business Challenges CALL FOR PROPOSALS

1st April 2022, 2:37 pm

Proposals are invited for small collaborative projects to address business challenges for scale up businesses via academic input.

The University of Manchester has distinctive capabilities in a number of fields of direct relevance to business growth and innovation, not least:

  • Innovation Management & Policy
  • Business Strategy
  • Organisational Design
  • Change Management
  • Business Financing
  • People Management
  • Management Sciences and Marketing
  • Future Workforce and Skills
  • Data Security
  • Productivity

Small scale proposals (up to £5000 will be awarded by the University, companies may make additional contributions to extend project scope) are invited for projects with the aim of developing research collaborations that will support business growth and innovation via academic input, project pathways may include (but are not limited to):

  • The development of collaborative research or knowledge exchange projects on an aspect of business development for companies in the scaling phase.
  • Academic input to address specific knowledge or expertise gaps on a consultancy basis.
  • Exploring and investigating an idea
  • Validating an idea and establishing that there is a demand for the product/service
  • Prototyping and testing a minimum viable product
  • Scoping studies as preparation for the submission of a grant proposal.

The proposal should clearly set out:

  • The business objectives and potential impacts
  • Nature of expertise required
  • Key deliverables and anticipated timescale
  • Potential follow-on activity


Seed-funding can only be awarded to a University of Manchester academic investigator to cover researcher time. Businesses meeting the following criteria can submit an EOI to the university’s Business Engagement team who can help match your expertise requirement with suitable academic researchers:

  • UK registered company
  • Experiencing 20% annual growth for last two accounting years, in turnover or FTE
  • Intending to continue to scale
  • Open to ongoing collaboration with academic partners to support your business growth and innovation

Note that the funding must be spent by the end of July 2022 and there is no provision for carry forward into the next academic year. Proposals should be submitted by 15th April and the awards will be made by 30th April.

To submit your proposal and for further information please contact

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