01 Jun 2020

Update on Innovate UK May 2020: Smart Grants

Matt Symonds

On Friday 29th May 2020, Innovate UK announced they have paused the May 2020 round of their Smart Grants funding competition:

“We are pausing the next round of SMART while we review the number of applications received for the most recent round of SMART funding and best determine how it might sit alongside future funding opportunities to best support UK businesses. Further details will follow as soon as they are available.”

What does that mean?

We suspect that for the January 2020 round, Innovate UK saw a huge increase in applications. This is likely due to:

  • The COVID-19 pandemic increasing the need for companies to apply for external funding
  • The extended deadline allowing more time for companies to apply

As the ‘business-led innovation…’ £50,000 competition received 8,500 applications during it’s 2-week application window, we can only imagine how many applications have been submitted during the January Smart’s 4 and a half-month application window.

As Innovate UK are reviewing how the Smart ‘might sit alongside future funding opportunities’, we could see a restructure of how future rounds are ran; whether that means we see the competitions ran more frequently throughout the year, more available funding per round, or another re-brand!

Alternatively, we could simply see a delay in place to allow them time to process all the applications and allocate the funding accordingly.

What can you do in the meantime?

All businesses interested in Innovate UK funding should keep an eye out for the next update. We will of course keep you updated with any developments via our blog, newsletter and social media.

In the meantime, we recommend looking into alternative funding competitions, and in particular, themed competitions which usually have a higher success rate.

We’d be happy to discuss your project ideas and try to help you find a suitable funding competition.

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Our team are available to discuss your innovative business, your project ideas and how we can help you to write a successful application for this Grant Funding opportunity.

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