Your invention or design defines your route to market. Your software, graphics and content are what makes your business work. Your name is your company’s fingerprint: a unique identifier that maps your customer to your business.

As IP is such a fundamental asset, it is important to identify it, make sure you own it, register it, exploit it, enforce it and to not inadvertently use others’ rights. A healthy intellectual property portfolio and position is often key to securing that next round of investment.

This requires time and money.

To assist with this, the UK government is increasing the support it offers innovation-driven start-ups and scale-ups. Whether you are at the initial stages of creating your branding or are looking ahead to expand your portfolio, the following initiatives can boost your business: Innovate UK EDGE; the IP Audit Plus scheme; and the IP Access Fund.

Innovate UK EDGE:

What is it?

Innovate UK EDGE is a government funded service which supports innovation-driven businesses looking to succeed internationally. They can provide your company with expert advice on commercialising new ideas.

What does it offer?

The innovation and growth specialists will offer support to help you scale your business, for example:

  • Exploiting innovation: Establishing your commercial strategy; creating and protecting your IP; improving innovation management.
  • Sourcing and securing funding: Developing the right approach to obtain grants and capital for your business; maximising investor appeal.
  • Accessing new markets: Networking and building connections worldwide to expand into international markets.

They will work with your management team to identify a tailored and structured strategy that accelerates your business’ growth and maximises potential.

How can you apply?

Innovation UK Edge work with small to medium-sized companies from any industry or sector. If your business is ambitious and anticipating growth, you can get in touch with them here. They ask for details including your company name, the number of employees, and what you need help with.

If your company would like assistance during the application process, please reach out to us by clicking here.

IP Audits Plus:

What is it?

The IP Audits Plus scheme enables SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) to access grants of £3000 to put towards an IP audit carried out by an IP professional. The UK IPO will contribute £2500 (including VAT) and you, the eligible business, will cover the remaining £500 (including VAT). 

What does it offer?

An IP audit is a great opportunity to understand your company’s existing IP assets, and consider what you should invest in next. Lewis Silkin’s experienced IP team will provide you with an analysis of your current portfolio, setting out proposed action points and advising on how your business can best capitalise on your IP.

For example, an audit can provide your company with advice on:

  • the ownership of your IP;
  • future IP strategy and management;
  • budgeting and the potential costs of future investments;
  • potential risks regarding third party rights.

Who is eligible?

To be eligible for the UK IPO Audits Plus scheme, you will need to:

  • be an SME (a business with fewer than 250 employees and a turnover of £41 million or less);
  • be supported Innovate UK EDGE (as to which see above); and
  • demonstrate how the IP audit will play a central role in your growth strategy.

How can you apply?

If you are eligible, Innovate UK EDGE will apply on your behalf.

If the UK IPO accepts your application, you can then instruct Lewis Silkin to carry out the IP audit.  Feel free to get in touch with the IP team here.

IP Access Fund:

What is it?

The IP Access fund is an extension of the IP Audits Plus scheme and supports companies looking to act on the recommendations given following their IP audit. The investment offers an opportunity to exploit the value within your IP assets to grow as a business.

What does it offer?

Eligible businesses can access grants of up to £5000 (including VAT) to put towards IP related costs. This enables SMEs to create or develop their IP strategy by covering expenses such as service fees, insurance advice, and the management of IP assets.

How can you apply?

The IP Access fund is open to businesses who complete an IP audit under the IPO ‘IP Audits Plus’ programme between April 2020 and March 2022. For more information, you can email

Back to all posts


I’m calling security

Employee competition: top tips for start-up businesses

IP support and funding

Your Intellectual property (IP) is your business.

SEIS investment guide