Frequently asked questions


Q: Can other public monies I have secured (InnovateUK, Research Councils, etc) be used to fund my project contribution?

A: No.  A key reason for the existence of the Digital Innovation Fund programme is the encouragement of growth in the West of England economy through private sector investment. As a result, other public monies are not an eligible form of match funding.


Q: How does a grant under DIF affect de minimis State Aid?

A: DIF falls under a separate EU State Aid mechanism (General Block Exemption Regulation) and does not impact de minimis.


Q: How does a grant under DIF affect my ability to claim the UK government's R&D tax credits?

A: DIF expenditure cannot form part of a claim under the R&D SME tax credit scheme. However, it may potentially be allowable under the 'R&D expenditure credit scheme', giving almost 10% back on qualifying R&D costs in addition to the 35% DIF intervention rate. If you are considering a tax credit claim rather than a DIF grant, please note that different rates are offered depending on whether you are profit or loss making (25% or 33%) and that some costs which are allowed under DIF may be ineligible. We recommend approaching an accountant or other specialist for advice.


Q: Can I use a DIF grant to part fund a capital expenditure project (new property/buildings, etc)?

A: DIF supports R&D projects and any capital purchases need to directly relate to R&D. Land/building purchases are not eligible.


Q: What is the time frame for the due diligence checks and will I be liable for additional costs associated with the process?

A: The time frame is dependent on the type of business and grant size. There are no additional costs associated.


Q: What is the cash flow profile? Will there be an upfront payment and then quarterly reimbursement?

A: Payments are quarterly in arrears. Your quarterly report will include details of costs incurred and associated evidence.


Q: Is there anything I need to be aware of with regard to VAT?

A: If your company is VAT registered the DIF fund will reimburse up to 35% of the net amount you spend.


Q: What size can my project be?

A: We will award grants between £10,000 and £40,000, funding up to 35% of project costs. The information below shows how this is split out. Please note - you are not restricted to applying for the exact values mentioned below, these are reference points only:


Grant: £10,000 | Private Match: £18,571 | Total Project size: £28,571 | Jobs created: 1.2

Grant: £20,000 | Private Match: £37,143 | Total Project size: £57,143 | Jobs created: 2.4

Grant: £30,000 | Private Match: £55,714 | Total Project size: £85,714 | Jobs created: 3.8

Grant: £40,000 | Private Match: £74,286 | Total Project size: £114,286 | Jobs created: 4.7