Innovation Support for Business (ISfB) is a four year project part funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) which is live until September 2022. ISfB supports Oxfordshire’s innovative entrepreneurs and SMES.

ISfB support includes ...

The Hill logo

TheHill & ISfB

Does your company have a research collaboration with an R&D organisation, or a research and technology one; or with a higher or further education institution? If so, TheHill wants to support you.

Adding value to your collaboration

TheHill, in partnership with OxLEP, and funded by the European Regional Development Fund as part of the Innovation Support for Business (ISfB) programme, is bringing together a panel of specialists for a morning workshop on January 20th.

Our purpose for this event is to empower you to understand the opportunities and benefits these collaborations can bring to your company, and ensure you in turn, are able to add value to those partnerships.

Space is limited, and we are looking for companies who currently have a research collaboration in the health and care arena, and have a signed agreement to support this.

Sign up here

C26 icon

Research Collaborations

Do you want to take your business research to the next level?

Would you like to work with a research organisation to develop your ideas?

40% grants are available up to £50,000 to collaborate with a research organisation whose primary activity is R&D. This includes Public Sector Research Establishments or equivalents, research and development organisations, research and technology organisations, Higher Education and Further Education institutions.

Collaborations are about sharing good, research results and skills between the knowledge base and business to enable innovative new products and services to be developed. Eligible activities include:

  • Research collaborations and free dissemination of research
  • Joint and long-term development of new business or services
  • Formation of joint ventures and spin-out companies.

“We were keen to collaborate with other organisations in the UK with specific expertise in our area. These collaborations have really helped us develop our technology further and offer more to our customers."

For more information get in touch with the team: [email protected]

capital grants icon

Capital Grants

Capital Grants of up to £50,000 (larger grants will be considered) are available now, at a 40:60 match rate (minimum 60% co-investment required by the applicant business).

Grants can fund capital equipment, renovation or refurbishments that do not require planning permission. To meet eligibility requirements Capital needs to form part of an innovation project, such as bringing a new and innovative product/service/process to the market. I.e., we can't fund asset purchases that do not form part of a project.

Eligible activities include: 

  • Investment in and refurbishment of buildings, plant, machinery and equipment
  • New capital items such as 3-D printers, immersive technology and AI 
  • Digital design and data analytical capability for inventory and supply chain management.

Ineligible costs include:

  • Working capital 
  • Funding for the payment of wage subsidies 
  • Activities which would contradict, duplicate or undermine HM Government domestic initiatives

Financial requirements include: 

  • Grants require matching – assurance on match is required
  • Copies of accounts (draft if formal accounts not yet provided to Companies House)

Full the full list of eligibility, ineligibility, and financial criteria, please read/download the Factsheet below.

Next grand round:

Application submission deadline – 21 January 2022, 12:00 midday 
Notification of outcome – 11 February 2022

Supporting your innovative business

We are dedicated to helping you find the support needed to set-up, start-up and grow your business. We have strong links with partner organisations across the county and beyond, providing you with the appropriate advice and guidance for your business.

The partners include: Cherwell District Council, Oxford City Council, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and University of Oxford.

ISfB Events

Due to the current situation all ISfB workshops have moved online to webinars.

Book events

ISfB Go-Create grants

Our Grant rounds are now always open. The ISfB programme offers grant funding from £1,000 to £50,000.

Read about Go-Create grants

ISfB Access to equipment, expertise & resources

A range of specialist equipment and resources through the Agile lab and the Eco Centre is available for ISfB clients to utilise.

Read about access to equipment, expertise & resources

ISfB 1:1 support

Specialist expert advisor who is on hand to provide tailored support and guidance to those innovative businesses and entrepreneurs.

Read about ISfB 1:1 support

For more information on our ISfB business support programme get in touch with our team today