AHRC Business Links: Unlocking New Opportunities for SMEs

AHRC Business Links

As small and medium enterprises (SMEs) continue to emerge in different markets, the need for business support services becomes even more pressing. One of the most crucial support services that SMEs can leverage is the AHRC Business Links program. With a mission to promote collaborative research between businesses and academia, AHRC provides a wealth of resources and funding opportunities that can help SMEs unlock new opportunities and drive growth.

What is AHRC Business Links?

AHRC Business Links is an initiative by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) that connects businesses with universities and researchers to facilitate collaborative projects and knowledge exchange. The program primarily targets SMEs across various sectors, including creative industries, digital technologies, and heritage. By leveraging their network of academic experts, AHRC offers tailored support services that help SMEs address their unique challenges and uncover new business opportunities.

How Does it Work?

AHRC Business Links operates through several channels, including:

  1. Collaborative Research Projects: SMEs can collaborate with academic researchers to conduct research that addresses specific business challenges. AHRC provides funding opportunities to support such projects, which can last from six months to three years.
  2. Networking Events: AHRC hosts networking events that bring together SMEs, academics, and industry experts to discuss trends and share knowledge. These events offer an excellent opportunity for SMEs to connect with potential partners and build valuable relationships.
  3. Training and Development: AHRC provides training and development opportunities for SMEs, covering topics such as marketing, intellectual property, and project management. These sessions are designed to equip SMEs with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in their respective industries.
  4. Knowledge Exchange: Through its network of academic experts, AHRC facilitates knowledge exchange between businesses and academia. This enables SMEs to access the latest research and insights that can inform their business decisions and strategies.

What are the Benefits of AHRC Business Links for SMEs?

By participating in AHRC Business Links, SMEs can unlock several key benefits, including:

  1. Access to Funding: One of the most significant benefits of AHRC Business Links is access to funding opportunities. SMEs can apply for grants to support collaborative research projects, which can help them develop new products or services, improve operations, and drive growth.
  2. Collaborative Opportunities: Collaborating with academic researchers can enable SMEs to tap into a vast pool of knowledge and expertise. This collaboration can lead to the development of innovative solutions and new business models that would have been impossible otherwise.
  3. Networking Opportunities: Participating in AHRC events can help SMEs build valuable relationships with potential partners, collaborators, and customers. These connections can open up new markets, increase visibility, and provide access to new resources and opportunities.
  4. Skills Development: AHRC provides training and development opportunities that can help SMEs develop their skills in areas such as marketing, project management, and intellectual property. These skills are essential for any business looking to grow and succeed in today’s competitive landscape.

Who is Eligible to Participate in AHRC Business Links?

these links primarily targets SMEs across various sectors, including:

  1. Creative industries
  2. Digital technologies
  3. Heritage
  4. Languages and literature
  5. Music and performing arts
  6. Philosophy and ethics

To be eligible for AHRC funding opportunities, businesses must demonstrate a clear commitment to research and innovation. They should also have a specific research challenge or opportunity they want to explore.

How to Apply for AHRC Business Links Funding Opportunities?

Applying for AHRC Business Links funding opportunities involves several steps, including:

  1. Identify the research challenge or opportunity you want to address.
  2. Explore potential collaborations with academic researchers.
  3. Prepare a funding application that outlines the project’s objectives, methodology, and expected outcomes.
  4. Submit your application to AHRC for review.

AHRC Business Links has a competitive application process, and businesses are encouraged to seek guidance and support from AHRC before submitting their applications.


As SMEs continue to play an essential role in driving economic growth and innovation, the need for businesses support services such as AHRC Business Links becomes even more critical. Through its network of academic experts, funding opportunities, and tailored support services, AHRC provides SMEs with the resources they need to unlock new opportunities, drive growth, and compete in today’s global marketplace.

So, if you’re an SME looking to take your business to the next level, consider participating in AHRC Business Links. With the right support, collaboration, and innovation, you could unlock new possibilities and achieve your business goals.

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