Innovate UK Smart Grants: October 2021

Key Features

UK registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £25million for game-changing and commercially viable R&D innovation that can significantly impact the UK economy. This funding is from Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation.

Programme:     Innovate UK

Award:     Share of up to £25 million

Opens: 7th Oct 2021

Closes: 13th Jan 2022

! This scheme is now closed

Overview

Smart is Innovate UK’s ‘open grant funding’ programme.

Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, is investing up to £25 million in the best game-changing and commercially viable innovative or disruptive ideas. All proposals must be business focused.

Applications can come from any area of technology and be applied to any part of the economy, such as, but not exclusively:

  • the arts, design and media
  • creative industries
  • science or engineering

Scope

Your proposal must demonstrate:

  • a clear game-changing, innovative, disruptive, and ambitious idea leading to new products, processes or services
  • an idea that is significantly ahead of others in the field, set for rapid commercialisation
  • a strong and deliverable business plan that addresses (and documents) market potential and needs
  • a clear, evidence-based plan to deliver significant economic impact, return on investment (ROI) and growth through commercialisation, as soon as possible after project completion
  • a team, business arrangement or working structure with the necessary skills and experience to run and complete the project successfully and on time
  • awareness of all the main risks the project will face (including contractor or equipment failure, recruitment delays, etc) with realistic management, mitigation and impact minimisation plans for each risk
  • clear, considerable potential to significantly impact either or both, the UK economy and productivity in a positive way
  • sound, practical financial plans and timelines that represent good value for money, which will always be a consideration in Innovate UK funding decisions

Specific Themes

Your project should:

  • demonstrate realistic, significant potential for global markets
  • take customer and user needs into account to deliver more desirable and useful solutions

Proposals from innovation-based businesses with significant ambition and potential for growth or scale up are welcome.

Research Categories

Innovate UK will fund innovative research and development (R&D) projects across a variety of technologies, markets and research categories, including:

  • feasibility projects
  • industrial research projects
  • experimental development projects

Exclusions

Innovate UK are not funding projects that:

  • do not meet the competition eligibility or scope
  • do not address the size, potential and access to market for the innovation
  • do not evidence the potential for their idea or concept to lead to significant return on investment (ROI), positive economic impact, growth and scale-up of the business
  • are dependent on export performance – for example giving a subsidy to a baker on the condition that it exports a certain quantity of bread to another country
  • are dependent on domestic inputs usage- for example giving a subsidy to a baker on the condition that it uses 50% UK flour in their product

Innovate UK will not fund commercialisation activities.

Innovate UK will not award you funding if you have:

  • failed to exploit a previously funded project
  • an overdue independent accountant’s report
  • failed to comply with grant terms and conditions

Eligibility

Your project must:

  • include at least one micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME) as the lead or a collaborative grant claiming partner
  • start by 1 July 2022
  • end by 30 June 2025
  • follow specific rules dependent on its duration

If your project’s duration is 6 to 18 months it:

  • must have total eligible project costs between £100,000 and £500,000
  • can be single or collaborative

If your project’s duration is 19 to 36 months, it must:

  • have total eligible project costs between £100,000 and £2 million
  • be collaborative

To lead a project your organisation must:

  • be an SME if you want to work alone
  • be a UK registered business of any size or a research and technology organisation (RTO) if collaborative
  • include at least one SME if you are a large business or RTO and wish to collaborate with other UK registered businesses, research organisations, academic organisations, public sector organisations or charities
  • claim grant funding
  • carry out all your project work in the UK
  • intend to commercially exploit the results from or in the UK

Academic institutions cannot lead or work alone.

To collaborate with the lead, your organisation must be one of the following UK registered:

  • business
  • academic institution
  • charity
  • not-for-profit
  • public sector organisation
  • research and technology organisation (RTO)

Subcontractors are allowed in this competition.

You can use a previously submitted application to apply for this competition.

Funding Costs

Innovate UK have allocated up to £25 million to fund innovation projects in this competition.

If the majority of your organisation’s work on the project is commercial or economic, your funding request must not exceed the limits below. These limits apply even if your organisation normally acts non-economically.

For feasibility studies and industrial research projects, you could get funding for your eligible project costs of:

  • up to 70% if you are a micro or small organisation
  • up to 60% if you are a medium-sized organisation
  • up to 50% if you are a large organisation

For experimental development projects which are nearer to market, you could get funding for your eligible project costs of:

  • up to 45% if you are a micro or small organisation
  • up to 35% if you are a medium-sized organisation
  • up to 25% if you are a large organisation

Get in touch

Consent
Send Enquiry