Eligibility & Funding



The project primarily targets London based SMEs who are currently not investing in innovation activities by building awareness and capacity to connect SMEs to the applied research expertise at the University.

“The new SME definition” published by the European Commission defines SMEs as follows:

‘ The category of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) is made up of enterprises which employ fewer than 250 persons and which have an annual turnover not exceeding 50 million euro, and/or an annual balance sheet total not exceeding 43 million euro.’


If you have a share or other enterprise(s) have shares in your business, please contact us via co-innovate@brunel.ac.uk to discuss your eligibility.


Limited ERDF investment will enable the University to create a significant pipeline of SMEs leading to companies receiving and accessing support for design innovation activities from Brunel. The unit cost of outputs is comparable with other publically-funded innovation programmes


Brunel University

Brunel is a world-class university based in Uxbridge, West London. Our distinctive approach has always been to combine academic rigour with the practical, entrepreneurial and imaginative approach pioneered by our namesake, Isambard Kingdom Brunel.

The University was founded in 1966 as a new kind of institution dedicated to providing research and teaching that could be applied to the needs of industry and society. At the heart of Brunel, the College of Engineering, Design and Physical Sciences continues to draw inspiration from Isambard Kingdom Brunel: applying human centred creative approaches to solve complex challenges. The Design subject area is home to 500 undergraduate and 200 postgraduate students with 75% of undergraduate students working for a year in industry as part of their courses.


European Regional Development Fund

The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) is used to tackle regional economic disparities across Europe. ERDF supports regional development through actions such as business innovation and support and regeneration. In 2007-2013 London benefits from £150m ERDF, aiming to create and safeguard over 6,500 jobs for Londoners and support over 20,000 small businesses. The money is being invested in London’s enterprises, through partnership projects which support the Mayor’s ambition to have the most competitive business environment in the world by creating more productive links between business and academia to promote entrepreneurial skills. The ERDF was set up in 1975, championed particularly by the UK and Italy to ensure that EU membership could show tangible economic benefits at home. It has become the main way that the EU has implemented its regional policy. Working on behalf of the Mayor of London, the European Programmes Management Unit at the Greater London Authority is responsible for the administration of the 2007 to 2013 ERDF Programme.