18 May 2017

TBAT’S predictions on the Innovate UK 2017/2018 Delivery Plan

Matt Symonds

The core budget for 2016/17 was £561m. However, Innovate UK has delayed the release of its Delivery plan for 2017-2018 until after the General Election on 8 June.

The Delivery plan was scheduled for launch in April and would have outlined the means in which Innovate UK is going to use to invest in helping businesses to innovate and grow in the financial period up to March 2018.  Due to purdah prohibiting the publication of “any material which, in whole or in part, appears to be designed to affect public support for a political party”, it cannot be released until after the General Election has taken place.

Of course we understand how frustrating this is especially for SME’s.  So once again TBAT has devised a projected timeline for forthcoming grant competitions. Click here to see our predictions to help plan the availability of funding for your project.

Until the delivery plan is released by Innovate UK, the exact budgets for each sector are under wraps but more information will be forthcoming.

The budget last year was split into a four sector focus and as competitions deadlines are already out there for 2017, we anticipate the focus on the four core sector groups, plus the Open programme to remain for 2017/18.  The focus sectors are:

Emerging and Enabling Technologies

Health and Life Sciences

Infrastructure Systems

Manufacturing and Materials

Open Programme

An ongoing concern
Last year before the release of the last delivery plan, there were concerns that Innovate UK were moving from grants to loans.  Our answer to this still concern remains the same as last year.  We believe that the new delivery plan will still be focused on the traditional grant funding method but pilots of loan based funding will continue to be introduced, as we’ve seen with Accelerating innovation with public and private investment released on the 8th May. It is still 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.

Will funding criteria remain the same?
Before project sizes, grant rates and timescales are released the goal is to ensure your project is ‘funding ready’. We envisage Innovate UK will still 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?

We will communicate the details of all competitions and of course the long awaited delivery plan when they become available. 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.





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