The financing of a research project is a fundamental pillar of its structure. Unfortunately, most of the time it is quite difficult to find reference sites to determine which financing options are the ones that can most benefit your project.

From FI we offer this post as an orientation guide on financing options for projects.

We would also like to emphasize that this guide is very focused on R + D + i projects, one of the types of projects that has the most future and where there are more financing options.

Biotechnology, blockchain, BigData projects, genetic studies. A large number of fields and fields of study are the subject of the most promising research projects in 2018.

Assuming you have your project perfectly detailed, with a defined research plan, with specific objectives and with a solid research design, below we list the main funding sources in order of potential.

Public funding for research projects

It is the type of financing where more general budget we usually find. States and supranational organizations such as the European Union have among their objectives to finance innovation and research, independently of the characteristics of the subject who requests it.

From SMEs and Micropymes to large companies and from individual researchers or doctoral students to large research centers, all of them have public funding opportunities to obtain the necessary resources.

Public financing at European level.

If we talk about European aid, the future has its own name, Horizonte Europa. But the present, which is what concerns us, is the Horizon 2020 program.

Horizon 2020 aims to support European strategies in Research, Development and Technological Innovation. It integrates all the phases of the research project, from the generation of knowledge to the implementation in the market.

The Horizon 2020 program finances a wide variety of areas and areas of action that you can consult in the following link.

One of the innovations introduced with respect to its predecessor program, the Framework Program VII, is the SME Instrument or SME Instrument, aimed at financing from the evaluation of the concept to the commercialization and exploitation of resources.

Public financing at the state level.

Two names stand out at the state level in the field of research and innovation. The MINECO and the CDTI are the two major players in the financing of innovation in this country:

-MINECO The Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness is one of the main drivers of innovation and proves it to be one of the most powerful sources of funding. The bulk of this funding is currently collected in the current State Plan for Scientific and Technical Research and Innovation 2017-2020.

This plan is the main instrument of the General State Administration for the achievement of the objectives included in the Spanish Strategy for Science and Technology and Innovation 2013-2020.

-CDTI. The Center for Industrial Development is the other important part of state public funding, since it functions as an executing agency and is responsible for a large part of the plans reflected by MINECO in the State Plan for Scientific and Technical Research and Innovation 2017-2020 .

Private funding for research projects.

Private financing in EU is not as developed as the public one. Even so, certain private companies and, above all, the foundations can also be an interesting alternative.

Depending on the sector to which your project belongs, you can find more or less private financing routes.

In the health field, for example, there is a considerable number of organizations and associations that offer private financing instruments such as the Ramón y Cajal Institute for Health Research or the San Carlos Clinical Research Institute.

Foundations are also often a place to find private funding for research projects.

The Banco Santander Foundation or the Repsol Foundation are some examples of foundations that offer interesting programs for projects.

Alternative financing New insights.
New technologies have led to the emergence of new forms of financing that have broken into the market, constituting a real opportunity to promote research projects. The main ones are crowfunding and crowlending.


This system of microdonations works, in a summarized way, in the following way. In certain web platforms the projects that their creators are going to carry out are presented. What the project consists of, how it will be carried out and what the person who donates an amount of money receives in return. Normally, depending on the amount donated, one or another reward is received.

We recommend this excellent article if you want to deepen the crowfunding. And we simply list here the main crowfunding platforms.


This alternative financing includes a broader range of different types of financing, from P2P Loans to donations in the form of loans to initiatives focused on improving society and the environment.

Highlight here a large number of new platforms and apps that are revolutionizing, in turn, the market for investment in companies.

Types of financing. Subsidies VS Credits.
Within the public funding, non-repayable grants are increasingly scarce and the tendency is to turn increasingly to a system of loans or credits with beneficial conditions. Despite this trend, there are still subsidies that can mean a before and after for your research project.

Subsidies for lost funds. A great opportunity.
The non-refundable subsidies are economic aid, generally granted by a public entity, which is not necessary to return. Normally, subsidies are usually non-refundable, provided that it can be demonstrated that they have been used for the purpose for which they were granted.

For a small company, or a research group, the non-refundable grant is, perhaps, the ideal funding instrument. As its name suggests, it is a financing model that does not involve the return of the investment.

Tax incentives, another source of financing for companies that may interest you.

If your research project is part of an SME or is already consolidated with a business structure behind, it is very necessary that you know the tax deductions for R + D + i. They are an alternative that should be explored especially when the project is already advanced and has a solid structure.

Being applicable by any taxpayer within the Corporation Tax that performs innovative activities regardless of size, the deductions in R & D + i seek to reward the effort carried out by companies in the research and implementation of innovative activities.

The interesting thing about these deductions is that they allow to reduce the full amount of Corporate Tax, allowing companies to save a very significant amount of resources, encouraging them in the face of innovation.

Given the large number of SMEs in our country we would also like to highlight in this guide one of the most interesting products available to deduct these expenses in a simple, fast and optimized.

The MASPYME service is a digital platform in which companies with research projects can take advantage in a safe, optimal and simple way, deductions for technological innovation activities and R & D

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