Academic-Industry Partnerships

Access Research, Development & Innovation through part-funded collaborative Academic-Industrial Partnerships

The Academic-Industry Partnerships programme will allow you to be partnered with relevant academic expertise and knowledge that will expedite your business growth through the application of research and development innovation.

Jointly funded by the UK Government’s Shared Prosperity Fund and Cardiff Capital Region (CCR) the Academic-Industry Partnerships programme, part of the Cluster Development and Growth Programme, aims to bring together industry and academia to identify innovative solutions to enterprise challenges, particularly amongst micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Why get involved?

Key outcomes of the programme will include enterprises adopting new or improved products or services, or new to firm technologies and processes. The projects will also look to encourage improved quality of operations, increased sales and access to new markets; and increased profitability.

The University of South Wales is the lead Institution for the Academic-Industry Partnership Programme, who together with consortium delivery partners, Cardiff University and Cardiff Metropolitan University, and in conjunction with the Cardiff Capital Region (CCR), will seek to drive economic development across South East Wales. This will be achieved by bringing together enterprises and academic expertise to deliver impactful research and development outcomes supporting economic prosperity.

This programme will lead in-person events held across the region, which will provide free industry support (incl. thought leadership, panel discussions and industry insights) and opportunities to engage in business networking with other organisations from a range of sectors.

How the programme works

The project aims to enhance and grow sustainable Academic-Industry Partnerships by funding short and targeted research and development collaborations, supported by up to £14,000 funding in addition to 10% match funding from Micro/Small Enterprises and 25% match funding from Medium and Large Enterprises. This funding will enable organisations to access the expertise needed to support the development of new or improved products, services or processes that are new to firm or new to market.

The programme has the capacity to fund 25 enterprise project applications. Each Application will be reviewed and assessed and competitively scored against set criteria, with funding aligned to successful projects on a first-come-first-served basis. To enquire about the suitability of your proposed project for the programme, you can submit an ‘Expression of Interest’ form, or alternatively contact one of the team at [email protected].

1. Application

Applications will be open to those organisations who have submitted an Expression of Interest, where more information on the application process will be provided.

Feedback will be provided on your EOI. Proceeding to full application will based on alignment of your challenge to expertise available through this project.

2. Scoring

Applications will be competitively assessed and scored against set criteria. Eligible projects will be reviewed by academic centres to determine the compatibility of projects and the viability of outputs within set budget and timeline.

3. Decision

Successful applicants will be notified of approval and linked to academic centres to take forward project delivery. Unsuccessful applicants will be offered signposting and support to explore alternative funding or routes to develop their proposals. Applicants will be required to undertake a simple 3-step subsidy control check prior to project commencement.

4. Delivery

Once approved, your project will be passed to the relevant partner research institution and a kick-off meeting will be arranged to develop a formal project plan. At this point a structured timeline will be developed in line with resource and capacity availability. The project team will be in touch at intervals through your project to receive progress updates from the business/academic institution.

5. Closure

Following conclusion of your funding you will be required to complete relevant monitoring and reporting forms. You will also be required to collaborate on the development of a project case study that highlights the successes and outcomes/outputs of your collaboration. Where applicable, signposting to provide follow-on funding and support towards further development of your project will be discussed and provided.


In line with the current round of UK SPF funding, this programme is intended to close in March 2025. All successful projects must therefore be completed by the end of December 2024 to allow sufficient time for end of project monitoring and reporting processes to take place prior to project close.

Priority cluster events

In addition to the funded research collaborations available, the Academic-Industry Partnership project will also be delivering a series of events and workshops throughout 2024, in conjunction with our further education partners and the Open University in Wales.

These events will seek to provide insight, support and thought leadership surrounding the five CCR Priority Clusters of: Compound Semiconductor, Cyber Security, Medtech, Fintech and Creative Industries.

To be the first to find out about these events, keep an eye on our Events page, our LinkedIn and Twitter.

Expertise available

A range of expertise and intervention support is available across all three academic partner institutions, examples of such are outlined below; however projects will be aligned to the relevant academic centre and institution based upon the available resource and capacity to support project delivery at that time .


Only businesses that are deemed to be operating within the Cardiff Capital Region will be eligible to apply for funding through the Academic-Industry Partnerships programme. As an eligible business, you will have a registered address within the CCR region or be able to provide evidence of economic activity within the region to support your application.

An initial Expression of Interest will open from March, with formal applications beginning from April. This funding programme will operate on the basis of a rolling-call, deadlines for each window are as follows, but subject to funding remaining available:

Round 1 – 20 May - 31 May 2024

Round 2 - 3 June - 14 June 2024

Round 3 - 1 July - 12 July 2024

Round 4 - 17 July - 2 September

*We reserve the right to close Round 4 early should we receive sufficient EOIs.

Successful projects that are awarded relevant funding, will need to be completed in their entirety (incl. final monitoring and reporting) by the 31 December 2024.

For the purposes of this programme, enterprises will be categorised using the below criteria:

Large: Headcount: 250+ | Turnover: £36m+ | Balance sheet total £18m+

Medium: Headcount: <250 | Turnover: <£36m | Balance sheet total: <£18m

Small: Headcount: <50 | Turnover: <£10.2m | Balance sheet total: <£5.1m

Micro: Headcount: <10 | Turnover: <£632,000 | Balance sheet total: <£316,000

Yes. To be eligible for funding under this programme, companies must be able to provide a cash contribution to overall project costs. The requirements are as follows:

Micro & Small Businesses – 10% cash contribution of overall project costs

Medium & Large Businesses – 25% cash contribution of overall project costs

If successful upon application, the match-funding contribution will need to paid on commencement of your project and this will be arranged by your assigned partner University institution.

Due to the limited amount of projects able to be funded by this project, we are only able to support one project per at this time.

If you should be unsuccessful in your application, businesses will be offered signposting and support to explore alternative funding routes through which to develop their proposals.

USW Commercial Services will process the data you provide on behalf of Cardiff Capital Region (CCR). CCR are the controller and USW Commercial Services are a processor of the data - meaning that USW Commercial Services will process the data under the instruction of CCR. Your data may be shared with Cardiff University and Cardiff Metropolitan University in accordance with the collaboration agreement for this project.  Please visit the CCR privacy notice to see how your personal data will be processed.