Information for Surrey academics

Are you looking for funding to successfully exploit your research in collaboration with industry?  Have you considered applying for funding from the Surrey IAA?

How to apply for IAA funding

The Surrey Impact Acceleration Account (IAA) is designed to bridge the gap, the so called ‘valley of death,’ between basic research and commercialisation and aims to take basic research from TRL 1-2 to TRL 5-6 (or higher) where it can be successfully exploited.

IAA funding mechanisms

Details of the type of activities funded through the IAA are described below:

EPSRC Impact generation projects

As of March 2019, all IAA funding for Impact projects has been allocated. Limited funding may become available in late 2019 for short, high-impact projects. Conditional upon wider EPSRC funding priorities, we expect more funding to become available from April 2020. Please contact for details.

An academic can bid for funding to support any activity to exploit or help generate impact from outcomes associated with an EPSRC supported field of research. 

  • There is no restriction on type or format of a project, but basic criteria must be demonstrated and are assessed before funding approved:
    - The proposal must be linked to research within the EPSRC funded portfolio.
    - The long-term impact must be articulated and the role that this project will play in achieving that.
    - A clear project plan that demonstrates both milestones and deliverables within a defined timescale.
    - Full justification of resources given and explanation of the split between IAA and external support, a maximum of £50k is available for a single project..
    - There must be clear plan to continue the exploitation after the end of the IAA funding.
    - Have a public or private sector partner who is prepared to contribute 50 per cent of the costs towards the project (in cash or in kind). Reduced to 25 per cent if the partner is an SME. Not required for smaller projects if there are justified IP protection issues.
    - Be prepared to report on the project progress and outcomes and assist in publicity to demonstrate the generation of impact from research. 
  • Proposals are reviewed by the IAA Project Board every two months, links to the application web-form and guidance can be found below.
  • Typical types of projects considered include: placements / secondments (outside of the scope below), proof-of-concept, detailed market assessment, exploitation projects, industrial / public engagement, access to equipment and expertise, cross-sector collaboration (e.g. engineering <-> medical) - applying research from one sector to an application in another.
  • This process can also be used to support the Parliamentary Academic Fellowship Scheme.

EPSRC PhD and ECR placements

The IAA will  provide opportunities for PGRs and ECRs associated with EPSRC research to work with industry for up to 3 months transferring knowledge and skills, and gaining industrial experience. This scheme is in collaboration with the Surrey Doctoral College. Collaboration with regional technology SMEs who may not have previously considered this type of engagement with a university is particularly encouraged.

EPSRC External engagement

Assistance and funding is provided to help researchers identify and engage with partners to understand their needs and how these can be solved by linking and developing research outcomes. Using guidance from the Business Insights Lab, a structured engagement plan can be supported including; support for attendance at trade shows, industry visits, funding for sandpits and initial external stakeholder engagement.

EPSRC Market investigation

EPSRC researchers can benefit from access to Business School masters students, under the guidance of the Business Insights Lab, to provide technology / application road-mapping, supply / value-chain analysis and market analysis. 

IAA application process

The Surrey IAA application process has been developed to be as simple and supportive as possible. If you are interested in applying for IAA funding, please refer to the funding application process and guidelines below.

  1. Make initial contact with the IAA Project Manager on, with a brief description of your proposed project.
  2. You will then be contacted by Peter Lancaster, KE Manager for the IAA, to discuss your application further and support you through the remainder of the application process.
  3. The IAA has arranged for applicants to work with the Business Insights Lab to identify the ways in which their research can create value for potential users. Please discuss this option with Peter Lancaster.
  4. Complete and submit the online application form - the online form must be submitted by the agreed deadline. Applicants are required to submit a draft application and have an outline costing prepared at least one week before this deadline. More details are provided in the application guidelines (available from Peter Lancaster or the IAA Project Manager).
  5. Once your application is formally submitted, it will be reviewed by an expert panel with a decision given following the next IAA Project Board.  
  6. Following the IAA Project Board, you will be notified whether or not your application has been successful. Please note that an applicant may be asked to provide further information if the review panel has any outstanding questions.

Upcoming proposal deadlines

As of March 2019, all EPSRC IAA Impact Project funding has been allocated. The next call will be in early 2020 for projects starting in April 2020. Funding is still available for placements and market investigations.

The submission deadline for STFC Impact Generation Project proposals is 17 July 2019.

IAA funding criteria, eligibility and award conditions

To discover whether your proposal could potentially qualify for EPSRC IAA funding, please read the IAA eligibility criteria and award conditions.

If you would like any further information, please contact the IAA Project Manager by email at .

You can also find further information by following the links below.

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