31 Mar 2016

Innovate UK 2016/2017 Delivery Plan

Simon Parke

**Please note this is an older blog post.  Details here refer to the Innovate Delivery Plan 2016/17, however there is a link to our forecast for the 2017/18 version below**

Key Facts
The core budget for 2016/17 is £561m. This is split across the competitive grant funds, catapults and innovation centres and knowledge transfer and innovation networks.

The budget is split into a new industry sector focus to simplify the offering

Emerging and Enabling Technologies – £86m
Health and Life Sciences – £117m
Infrastructure Systems – £150m
Manufacturing and Materials – £137m
Open Programme – £71m

Within each of these sectors there will be 2 broad competitions each year plus 2 open competitions for applications from any sector within the open programme.

What about the Innovate UK Smart Grant?
The Smart grant as we previously knew it is no longer continuing. There will be 2 open innovation calls per financial year which projects from any sector can apply into. On top of this the sector competitions will be far broader so should attract applications from a wider range of projects which will increase the availability of funding

When is the first open programme grant?
Round 1 of the open programme opens in June 2016. We are anticipating further detail of this in May and will communicate this when we have it.

What does the delivery plan look like?
We have summarised the delivery plan into a timeline so you can see where the Innovate UK schemes fit in and plan the availability of funding for your project. Our forecast can be seen HERE.
I heard Innovate UK are moving from grants to loans?
Yes and No. In the Government spending review in November 2015, ministers announced the intention to move to a loan model for Innovate UK. 2016/17 is focused on the traditional grant funding method but pilots of loan based funding will be introduced towards the end of 2016. It is anticipated that by 2019/20, £165m (about a third of the Innovate UK budget) will be loan funding so grant funding is still a key part of Innovate UK’s delivery plan

What is the funding criteria?
Before project sizes, grant rates and timescales are released the goal is to ensure your project is ‘funding ready’. Innovate UK will be assessing all applications on the same criteria as before so the same questions need to be considered:

What are the global opportunities?
What are the unique strengths that the UK brings to those opportunities
Is the timing right?
Why is public sector investment required?

What next?
Details of the first Manufacturing and Materials open competition and the general Open Programme should be released within the next few weeks and we will communicate the details of these when we have them. In the meantime we would be happy to discuss your latest project ideas with a view to identifying the best source of funding for your business.

If you would like to read the full Innovate UK delivery plan CLICK HERE

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