The ESRC/AHRC SHAPE Catalyst in Partnership with ARC

The new SHAPE Catalyst is a £3.9 million programme delivered by the ARC Accelerator

UKRI Press Release

We are extremely proud to partner with the Economic and Social Research Council and the Arts and Humanities Research Council to deliver a new UK-wide SHAPE (Social sciences, Humanities and Arts for People and the Economy) Catalyst.

This is an exciting opportunity for the UK to lead on SHAPE commercialisation and unlock the potential of the social sciences, arts and humanities through innovative and research-based ventures.

The £3.9 million SHAPE Catalyst will run from 2023 to 2026 and is open to individuals or teams from UK research organisations. It will offer them a unique package of financial and training support to explore commercial applications of their research.

How it will work

At least three rounds of commercialisation funding will be available from a total pot of £2.7 million. Expressions of interest for round one will open in June 2023.

This is open to individuals or teams from UK research organisations with innovative, ambitious social science, arts and humanities-based ideas that can sustain economic or non-economic impact through the commercialisation of research.

There will be up to 25 awards of £50,000 each round to teams or individuals to develop their social science, arts and humanities-based research insights into scalable products, processes, service or experience innovations.


The ARC Accelerator will run application workshops from June 2023. These will help potential applicants understand the scope of the programme and begin applying commercialisation thinking to their research.

Funding and training

Award holders will receive:

  • up to £50,000 from the SHAPE Catalyst programme to fund commercialisation activities
  • a virtual training bootcamp, led by industry experts, to develop key entrepreneurial skills
  • specialised, sector specific training
  • access to key experts who have been there before, including investors and networks
  • dedicated mentorship support to help validate their idea, develop the business model, and support their pitch for further funding or investment


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