02 Aug 2021

How to secure Innovate UK Funding

Bethan Roullier
Head of BD Grants

Why Innovate UK Funding?

Securing Innovate UK Funding is an established way to gain a share of the funding you need to accelerate development and de-risk an innovative project. TBAT Innovation’s tried and tested methods to write successful applications helps you boost your chances of success. We’re very proud that over 76% of the grant bids we’ve written over the past 12 months have been successful due to our approach and expertise in-house. Innovate UK is the go-to place for an R&D grant funding opportunity if your company is needing financing to pursue technological and/or scientific projects. As the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK is looking to provide funding for various innovation projects that help the UK competitively grow both nationally and globally. Innovate UK grants and other state aid and relief is available to any UK registered business, regardless of the size or sector.

Aims of Innovate UK

Innovate UK’s primary aims are to support:

  • Research and development (R&D) for company projects to create or improve on the products, services, or processes in the business.
  • Testing out new ideas to see how feasible they could be.

Funding Types

|Innovate UK funding offers the applicant organisation one very obvious benefit; the opportunity to recover a significant proportion of the costs to deliver a project. The size and type of organisation, as well as the type of research will determine the level of funding intervention they’ll receive:

  • Micro and small businesses can receive up to 70% funding.
  • Medium-sized businesses can receive up to 60% funding.
  • Large-sized businesses can receive up to 50% funding.

These intervention rates decrease as the type of research progresses from feasibility studies and industrial research through to experimental development. This is due to the decreasing risk of projects as they approach the commercialisation stage. You can find out more about intervention rates here.

The Application Process

Innovate UK funding, therefore, de-risks highly innovative projects, enabling businesses to invest a smaller amount of their own cash while potentially still undertaking all of the work required to create a game-changing invention. Innovate UK generally fund projects that could have a large impact on the UK economy, making the investment of UK Government money worthwhile.

Furthermore, receiving Grant Funding can act as a green light for further investment from other outside sources such as Venture Capital investors. Applying for Grant Funding is a process that begins with identifying a suitable competition for your project. You must meet the eligibility criteria for both the business and the project scope and identify whether you will need to work alone or collaborate with others. At this stage, it’s worth considering all of the funding options – open competitions such as SMART Grants, as well as looking for themed competitions where chances of success can be higher.

Once you’ve selected the right opportunity, it’s time to apply. First, you’ll need to register on the Innovation Funding Service and access the application form, ready to write the application.

After you’ve finished writing and submitted your application, there is an assessment period, in which 5 separate assessors score each question out of 10 and make comments. At the end of the assessment period, scores are issued and the highest scoring projects will receive funding. Competitions such as SMART Grants are incredibly competitive, often with only scores over 85 being successful so a well-written application is crucial to be successful.

If you’re successfully awarded funding, the money awarded is not provided straight into your bank account, you must fund the project yourself for the first quarter and draw down funding in arrears for the duration of the project.|As previously mentioned, scoring highly is crucial to being successfully awarded Innovate UK Grant Funding, and TBAT can help increase your chances of success.

Our team will work with you to nurture your innovation as if it were our own; our process allows us to begin working with you before you’ve identified which competition is most suitable for you. We can provide support via workshops and brainstorming activities to align your project to the strategic needs of the business while considering all the funding options that would be suitable for your project.

During the application process, we will do all the hard work liaising with you and your partners (if you have them), compiling all the information needed for the application and writing it on your behalf. We will also work with you to develop the supporting documentation such as project plans, risk analysis and advice on how to demonstrate that you have freedom to operate.

You’ll be involved at every stage, through to submission of the finalised application on your behalf via the Innovation Funding Service online portal, once the review and approval process has been completed.

Why use TBAT?

TBAT’s Consultants are here to support you before, during and after the Grant Funding application process and help you secure Innovate UK Funding.

You can begin your journey of Securing Innovate UK Funding by looking at the latest funding competitions using our Grant Funding Finder here.

If you need any help finding the most suitable competition for you, our team are available for a consultation to discuss your project ideas and the current opportunities available, simply book an appointment here, or get in touch using our contact form.

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