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Government Grants Available

Richard Kirby

26 Jan 2024

Innovate UK Funding for Technical Innovation in Wildlife Film Making


Innovate UK is a UK Government agency which provides money and support to small companies to help develop and support new technologies and services. As I have recently found out, they are an extremely valuable source for funding in my own field as a wildlife DoP.   


When you apply for a grant you need to be aware that it is a competitive process where you are required to outline the innovative scope of your project along with some financial information about your business. Grants are available for up to £50,000.


Like the rest of us, I am always on the lookout for new ways of visualising a good wildlife story and I had a 2-part plan. The first was to buy a full frame Red V-Raptor camera system with its high frame rate capabilities which is essential these days for filming wildlife. The second part was to integrate the camera with a uniquely portable ‘go anywhere in the world’, 6 axis cine robot, the ‘Slim’ from D2 Motion in Australia. It is the only one in the world you can pack in a suitcase and take on holiday with you!  Together, they have the potential to completely reimagine the way we film wildlife sequences, especially macro. I applied for and won a grant, under the title, Creative Catalyst,  to help fund the Raptor purchase which, for obvious reasons, has been great for my business and I get a lot of use out of it as a standalone piece of kit or for dry rental when I am not using it myself. 


Winning and then delivering successfully on an Innovate UK grant means automatic qualification to apply for an Innovation UK loan.  These are loans at extremely preferential rates with nothing to pay for the first 6 months and then only the interest currently at 3.7% until the end of the project.


Now that the Raptor is well proven, I have moved onto the second part of my plan and I had intended to apply for the loan, but due to time constraints and the prolonged application process for the loan I decided on this occasion to self fund the D2 Slim Robot. I needed it this January, not in 6 months time. 


So, if you have a bit of patience and a great idea, then it’s worth checking out Innovate UK grant competitions. There is a new Creative Catalyst competition opening 27th January.,programme%20is%20from%20Innovate%20UK.



Richard Kirby 09/01/2024

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