Grant funding is applied for through defined competitions, released by Innovate UK, UKRI, BEIS, or other UK government departments or funding partners. European funding is mainly accessed through Horizon Europe competitions. How the grant application and funding process works, and thus how long before you receive funding, is highly dependent on the competition and the relevant funding body.
Grant funding competitions have set deadline dates. You may apply at any time up until this date and time. After this deadline, all submitted applications go through eligibility checks, and if positive, are entered into the assessment process.
Applying companies are typically notified of the outcome of their proposal 2-3 months after the deadline date. For Innovate UK competitions this notification date is publicised during the application stage.
Successful applications then enter a grant set-up stage. For Innovate UK competitions this process on average takes 30 days and must be complete within 60 days. On approval, you will be issued a project start date, which will be the 1st of a month. Most Innovate UK competitions publish anticipated project start dates during the application process to set applicant expectations. For the Innovate UK SMART programme these are generally set 5 months after the competition deadline date. Themed competitions, which attract smaller numbers of applications, typically have proposed start dates 4 months from deadline. For competitions with interview stages proposed start dates can range from 5 to 7 months from deadline.
From the official start date of the project, you and any collaborators can begin to accrue cost on the project. However, Innovate UK don’t provide any money upfront. Grant funding is paid quarterly in arrears which means that every three months you get paid according to the work you’ve completed.
These claims are submitted to your assigned Monitoring Officer, and once approved can take up to 30 days to process.
So, how long before I get funding? Well, it depends, but from competition deadline to money in the bank you would typically be looking at a 9-month timeframe.
When discussing potential projects we always highlight the timeframes involved to applicants. This sets realistic expectations and helps inform project planning to make sure the funding works for the client.
TBAT’s Grant Claims Management service supports taking clients through initial pre-grant award steps as well as supporting on-going project claims. Using TBAT’s expertise provides clients a smooth and streamlined journey to funding with peace of mind that all requirements are taken care of. Contact us to discuss further.