Expansion schemes

The RAIN project has specific funding available to expand the research output and scope. Applications are currently open. Get in touch to find out more about eligibility and the application process.

RAIN Innovation Fund

RAIN provides funding support to develop promising innovations towards commercial readiness. The aim of this funding is to progress the outputs of RAIN research through technical and commercial milestones related to the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) scale.

RAIN provides two opportunities for project funding:

1. Exploration

2. Proof of Concept

The aim of an Exploration project is to engage with potential project partners to gather feedback and direction for a promising innovation.

Exploration funding can support:

  • Travel to potential project partners
  • Attendance at conference and trade shows
  • Events to demonstrate innovations to a wider audience with the opportunity to engage project partners

Funding of up to £5k is available for these activities.

The anticipated outcome(s) of an Exploration project would be to engage a partner(s) and develop a project plan for further development of an innovation through a RAIN Proof of Concept project.

The aim of a Proof of Concept (PoC) project is to demonstrate that a concept or theory has the potential for a real world application and commercial success.

PoC supports technical studies which physically validate predictions and develop the commercial feasibility which would provide a clear route map for the next stages of the development of a technology.

  • Typical Project Size: around £25k
  • Typical Project Duration: Typically between 3 months and 9 months
  • The project must have appropriate milestones

The anticipated outcomes of a Proof of Concept project would be:


  • A prototype (or equivalent) which proves the technical feasibility, critical functions and characteristics of the concept / idea developed through RAIN research
  • Supporting technical performance information and data to support the prototype


A mini business report which describes the commercial opportunity of the concept and includes the following sections:

  • About the Technology / Service
  • Perceived next steps in product development (aimed between TRL 3-6)

What Next? Technical development pathway beyond PoC

  • Likely Timescales / Funding requirements to product
  • Likely Industry Standards / Approvals / Regulatory Requirements

Product specification

  • Outputs from discussions with potential end users
  • Likely performance requirements / design

Perceived advantages over the competition – competitor analysis and perceived unique selling points

Intellectual Property Landscape / Strategy

Market Analysis

  • Likely target customers (by sector, market size(s))
  • Target market(s) description
  • Route to Market(s) – first adopters

Analysis of risks, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats

RAIN will provide support for Proof of Concept project proposals and projects delivery through a network of experienced technology transfer and commercialisation professionals.

RAIN research funding

This scheme is designed to enable the membership of RAIN to expand and address specific gaps in research expertise within the programme that support RAIN in achieving its overall aims and objectives. It will enable researchers, from industry or academia, to come into the RAIN community and complete research projects alongside the ongoing work within RAIN.

RAIN secondment funding

This scheme offers funding to RAIN researchers to go and do research within other facilities. This could be into industry or an academic institution, in or out of the RAIN community.

Other ways to work together:

We are keen to get develop collaborations, knowledge exchanges and knowledge transfer partnerships. There are various ways to do this. Please do get in touch if this is something you would like to know more about.