Companies considering or in the process of carrying out research work should ensure that they submit their grant applications before any proposed cuts to funding take place.
Ministers are considering proposals to replace research grants to industry with loans as officials at BIS seek spending cuts of between 25 and 40% over the next five years as part of the autumn spending review. Sajid Javid, the business secretary, has already converted maintenance grants for low-income students into loans. Ruth McKernan, the new chief executive of Innovate UK, the agency that distributes technology grants to companies, has said she wants to “evolve funding models”. The proposals have sent a chill through the aerospace, automotive and pharmaceuticals industries, three of the country’s most successful and research-intensive sectors.