Brian Mercer Award for Innovation

This scheme is for scientists who wish to develop an already proven concept or prototype into a near-market product ready for commercial exploitation.

Brian Mercer Award for Innovation Frank Brian Mercer OBE FRS (1927-1998) was a chemist and businessman. This image is part of a portrait of him by Salvador Dali.

This award and the Brian Mercer Feasibility Award are designed to promote innovation and fill the funding gap between scientific research and the exploitation of an idea through venture capital investment

The Brian Mercer Awards were established in 2001 as the result of a generous bequest received from the late Dr Brian Mercer. Dr Mercer was an enthusiastic inventor and entrepreneur and these awards aim to encourage these qualities in the next generation of scientists.

Eligibility requirements

The scheme covers natural sciences, excluding medical devices.

The applicant must:

  • have a PhD or be of equivalent standing in their profession
  • hold a substantive post in either a university or a not-for-profit research organisation in the UK
  • expect to be in post for at least the duration of the project

It is not necessary for applicants to have previously held a Mercer Feasibility Award.

Applicants should ensure that they meet all the eligibility requirements, which are explained in the scheme notes (PDF).

Value and tenure

The scheme provides an award of up to £250,000 (including VAT where applicable). Awards are not expected to exceed 24 months in duration.

Application process

All applications are initially checked by the selection panel chair for eligibility and then reviewed by the members of the panel with the most appropriate scientific expertise.

Following this a shortlist is drawn up and shortlisted proposals are reviewed by two independent referees suggested by the panel.

The selection panel then meets to consider the applications before reaching a decision.

Applying for this scheme

This scheme is currently open for applications, and will close on 23 April 2015.

Up to two Brian Mercer Awards for Innovation are offered each year.

Industry and innovation schemes

Mullard Award
A prestigious award and gift of £2,000 for early career scientists, engineers and technologists whose work has the potential to contribute to national prosperity.

Industry Fellowship
For academic scientists who want to work on a collaborative project with industry and for scientists in industry who want to work on a collaborative project with an academic organisation.
Brian Mercer Feasibility Award
For scientists who wish to investigate the feasibility of commercialising an aspect of their research.
Brian Mercer Award for Innovation
For scientists who wish to develop an already proven concept or prototype into a near-market product, ready for commercial exploitation.
See all the grant schemes.

Contact us

If you have a question about this scheme, please first read the scheme notes which contain more information. If the answer is still not available, you can contact the grants team here.