Developing new ideas and products

If it creates something unique, a business has Intellectual Property (IP) that it can protect and exploit. This section highlights where to get advice on copyright, patents,design and trademarks and support schemes.

There are many funding opportunities for businesses who want to develop and exploit their IP. There are also schemes and initiatives in which businesses can collaborate with research partners, such as universities, to develop new ideas. These are listed below: 

Innovate uk

Innovation Business Help

Innovate UK

Offers funding, business support and networking platforms to help boost technology and innovation:

Smart grants Offers up to £100,000 co-funding for R&D projects.

Smart is aimed at SMEs with high growth ambition and potential. Prestart-ups, start-ups, and small and medium-sized businesses from all sectors across the UK,undertaking R&D may apply.

Find out more:

Innovation Vouchers worth £5,000 are available for expert help to develop ideas.

This scheme is open to micro, small and medium-sized businesses with fewer than 250 employees only.

Find out more:

HM Revenue and Customs

Innovation Tax Relief


Find out about the 225% tax relief that businesses could be eligible for Research and Development costs.

Find out more:


Innovation Centers

A Catapult Centre is a physical location where the very best of the UK's businesses, scientists and engineers work side by side on late-stage research and development - transforming 'high potential' ideas into new products and services to generate economic growth. Businesses may be able to accessspecialist equipment and emerging technologies through them.

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Innovation for Manufacturers

South West Manufacturing Advisory Service (SWMAS)

The South West Manufacturing Advisory Service (SWMAS) is an impartial and practical business support service for manufacturing businesses in England,helping them improve and grow.

They have an 80 strong team of expert Manufacturing Advisors on the ground working with management teams to plan long-term strategies, improve processes and bring new products to market, helping to develop activity and capacity in supply chains.

SWMAS growth products typically provide 66:1 return on a businesses initial investment. They offer a free review of a business and advice.

They offer their subsidised services to SMEs:

Less than 250 employees

Having an annual turnover of less than €50m or a balance sheet of less than €43m

Not part of a group which in itself exceeds one of the criteria above.

Find out more:

Intellectual Property Office

Help with Intellectual Property (IP)

Intellectual Property Office (IPO)

The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) can help with patentapplications.

Find out more:

Intellectual Property attaches

Advice on protecting a businesses rights in key international markets through our specialist attaches.

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British Library Business & Intellectual Property Centre and its network

The British Library Business & Intellectual Property Centre and itsnetwork of Centres based at other libraries around the country can offer businessesimpartial free advice; support around patents/copyrighting and protectingideas/products and marketing them. The Centres offer business support as wellas a specialised intellectual property service.

Find out more:

Growth Accelerator

Financial Help for Innovation


GrowthAccelerator is a unique, English-wide programme, led by some of the country's most successful growth specialists. Businesses can find new connections; new routes to investment and access new ideas and strategies that a business needs to achieve its full potential.

Find out more:


If you have questions give us a call and speak to the people that can help. Or send us a message using the form below