The SING project will make it easier for SME’s to work with research institutes and accelerate their development and implementation of new products, processes and services.

Support is available to SME’s who wish to improve existing products or develop new products, processes and services.  You can apply as an individual business or as part of a collaboration.

Businesses must be based in Leicester & Leicestershire and be engaged in the general area of one of Local Enterprise partnership (LLEP) priority sectors:

  • Advanced manufacturing and engineering
  • Food and drink manufacturing
  • Textile manufacturing
  • Low carbon technologies
  • Logistics and distribution
  • Creative industries

The support includes a mixture of:

  • Fully-funded access to expertise and co-operation with university research centres and institutes
  • Part-funding (grant) towards external costs of innovation projects


SME Support

Can include one or more of the following:

  • Review of company research, innovation and development needs – a full company diagnostic to help you develop your innovation and growth plans
  • Identifying appropriate research institutes for research and innovation collaborations – to enable you to progress your plans
  • 2 days of research work carried out by our internal researcher
  • Fully funded access to support and facilities from Loughborough University
  • Part-funded collaboration with research institutes across the UK and further afield – via competitive call
  • Part-funding towards external costs relating to company based innovation projects – via simplified application

Grant Funding

Grant funding is available towards the capital expenditure and revenue costs incurred by an eligible SME when bringing an innovation to market. Projects must be aiming to introduce a new or significantly improved product, process or service.

Grant Funding available at 43% of external capital costs (indicative spend circa £55k)

Grant funding available at 43% of external revenue costs (indicative spend circa £10k) – no minimum

Ideally projects should be aiming towards the creation of a new job, although this is not a requirement of this scheme

SME contribution will be in cash – i.e. for external costs and expenditure made by the SME – not in kind

The programme operates from October 2016 through to September 2019.

Suitable applicants will be visited by an innovation advisor who will undertake an Innovation Review to determine the nature and type of support required. The advisor will support SMEs throughout the application and claims process helping them follow scheme and ERDF regulations.

Applications will be reviewed against:

  • Economic viability of the SME
  • Strength of the business case
  • The potential for introducing new or significantly improved product, process or service

downloadA detailed summary sheet SING Information Sheet

Information on R&D collaborative applications SING CRD Call_Mar 2017


The project is managed by The iNet, Loughborough University (formerly Transport iNet).

For an informal discussion on potential project eligibility contact the iNet team email: or Tel: 01509 635270