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Guide to Callaghan Innovation R&D Funding

A handy guide to see if you're ready to access research and development (R&D) funding, expertise and programmes offered by Callaghan Innovation

Definition of research and development (R&D)

Research is the process of working to gain new scientific or technical knowledge and understanding.

Development is the application of research findings (and other knowledge) to develop a new product/service.

Below are guidelines you can use to judge how well your company and R&D project fit with some of Callaghan Innovation’s funding criteria. They represent four of the six main areas that Callaghan Innovation looks at when assessing the commercial outcomes of the R&D work you’re proposing.

For more information on the full range of R&D grants provided through Callaghan Innovation, visit their website.

Businesses that can provide an overview of their R&D project with specific information in each of these areas would be ready to have more in-depth discussions regarding funding and support.


When you're applying for funding, you will need to provide the following information:

A clear statement that shows your business is meeting a genuine need or “pain” in the market including:

  • an explanation of your customers’ problem
  • how the new product/service will solve that problem
  • a definition of who your customers are, based on validated feedback rather than assumptions

Evidence that your potential financial returns make the opportunity commercially viable, including:

  • the size of your target market
  • how you’ll make money from the product.

Information showing that you’ve figured out how to get your product to market, including:

  • what sales channels you’ll be using
  • the details of any channel partners and/or customers that are involved or already contracted.

A project description that shows you’ve clearly defined your proposed R&D project, including:

  • details of the scope of work you want funding for
  • an estimate of how much it will cost to complete your project.

Information that shows you know what resources you need for your project, including:

  • a list of the people who’ll be working on the R&D project, including existing people in your business, new people you intend to employ/contract, and external people
  • what expertise they bring to the project
  • how you’ll be funding the project.

You can use the business support tool for help with these requirements:

If your company is looking for innovation advice and R&D funding from Callaghan Innovation, and you can provide specific information in each of the areas above, you should contact the Business Growth and Innovation team in the first instance.

If you’ve identified some gaps, based on the guidelines above, and can’t resolve them with the business support resources listed, the Business Growth team may also be able to help.