19 Jun 2023

June 2023: Innovate UK Smart grants

Bethan Roullier
Head of BD Grants

Are you seeking funding for a cutting-edge research and development project? Look no further! The June 2023 round of Innovate UK’s Smart competition offers an incredible opportunity to secure up to £1.4 million in grant funding. Here’s everything you need to know to make the most of this exciting chance. 


Eligibility Criteria 

To qualify for this funding opportunity, you must meet the following criteria: 

UK-Registered SME: You should either be a UK-registered Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) or collaborating with one. 

Game-Changing Innovation: Your project should be focused on developing a game-changing, innovative, and disruptive idea. Innovate UK is particularly interested in projects that push the boundaries of existing technologies and practices. 

Project Duration and Costs: Your project should have a duration ranging from 6 to 36 months. The total eligible costs for the project should fall within the range of £100,000 to £2 million. 

Project Start Date: Your project should be able to commence by 1 April 2024, ensuring that you have adequate time for planning and preparation and end by 31 March 2027. 


Key Details: 

Here are some essential details about the June 2023 round of Innovate UK’s Smart competition: 

Application Deadline: The application window for this round closes on 27 September 2023. Make sure to submit your application before the deadline to be considered for funding. 

Industry-Agnostic Approach: Smart is an industry-agnostic competition, meaning businesses from all sectors are welcome to apply. As long as your project demonstrates significant innovation, you have a chance to secure funding. 

Competitive Nature: While Smart is open to a wide range of sectors, its broad scope also means intense competition. On average, only around 5% of applicants receive funding. Therefore, it is crucial to make your project stand out with its level of innovation and potential impact. 

The competition is split into two streams: 

Funding Stream 1 – This stream is designed for projects with a duration of 6 to 18 months. The total eligible costs for projects in this stream range from £100,000 to £500,000. 

Funding Stream 2 – For projects that require a longer timeline, Funding Stream 2 is available. Projects in this stream have a duration of 19 to 36 months. The total eligible costs for projects in this stream range from £100,000 to £2,000,000. Projects in this stream must be collaborative. 


Benefits of Smart Funding: 

Securing funding through Innovate UK’s Smart competition offers several advantages: 

Financial Support: The grant funding available can provide a substantial boost to your project, enabling you to carry out vital research and development activities. 

Validation and Recognition: Winning the Smart grant demonstrates that your project has been recognised for its innovation and potential. This validation can attract additional investors, collaborators, and customers. 

Access to Resources: Apart from financial support, Innovate UK can provide additional resources, expertise, and networking opportunities that can accelerate the development and commercialisation of your project. 


How to Increase Your Chances of Success: 

To increase your chances of securing Smart funding, consider the following tips: 

Develop a Compelling Proposal: Craft a well-structured and persuasive project proposal that clearly outlines the innovative nature of your idea, its potential impact, and the commercialisation strategy. 

Demonstrate Market Potential: Showcase a deep understanding of the market and highlight the demand or gap your project addresses. Provide evidence of market research, customer feedback, and potential market growth. 

Collaborate for Strength: Consider forming collaborations or partnerships with other organizations or experts that can enhance the credibility and capabilities of your project. This collaboration can demonstrate a broader impact and strengthen your application. 

Seek Expert Advice: Consult grant funding specialists or professionals experienced in securing Innovate UK grants, such as TBAT Innovation. Their expertise and guidance can enhance the quality of your application. 


In conclusion, if you have a game-changing research and development project, the June 2023 round of Innovate UK’s Smart competition offers an incredible opportunity to secure substantial grant funding.  

By meeting the eligibility criteria, developing a compelling proposal, and utilizing the tips provided, you can significantly increase your chances of success. Don’t miss out on this chance to bring your innovative ideas to life and make a significant impact in your industry. 

If you are considering applying to the June 2023 round of Innovate UK’s Smart competition, speak to our Grant Funding specialists at TBAT Innovation to help secure funding! 

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