Inclusive innovation 2022/23 FAQs

Posted on: 26/09/2022

Innovate UK’s Inclusive Innovation Awards 2022/23 will award up to 50 businesses which centre their innovation around Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.

These Frequently Asked Questions will help potential applicants for the Inclusive Innovation Awards 2022/23. If you have a query which is not covered below, or if any of the answers provided are unclear, please contact the Innovate UK Customer Support Service team.

Competition overview

What do you mean by “your innovation must centre Equality, Diversity and Inclusion”?

We want to celebrate innovations that are addressing a need relating to equality, diversity and inclusion. When companies don’t carefully consider diversity and inclusion into the design of their products, services and business models, they not only deepen social divides and face public relations disasters, but they narrow their potential markets and diminish their chances of commercial success.

Everyone will bring their own perspective to inclusion in innovations, and we welcome different ideas and ambitions. You might be developing an innovation that targets a specific under-represented audience, or you might be designing something that is accessible to all.

This means your proposal must:

  • Centre on equality, diversity and inclusion in the design and development of products, processes or services
  • Involve a diverse team, as appropriate to the project
  • Have delivered demonstrable societal impact

And it must demonstrate that it supports one or more of these characteristics:

  • Age
  • Sex and gender
  • Gender reassignment
  • Ethnicity
  • Disability
  • Sexuality
  • Religion
  • Marriage and civil partnership
  • Pregnancy and maternity
  • Socioeconomic status
  • Levelling-up
  • Caring responsibilities
  • Educational background, or
  • Multiple characteristics

What are role model activities?

We want businesses across the UK to realise the benefits of inclusive innovation, for society and for their company. We are looking for businesses that have a track record in developing effective inclusive innovations, so that we can celebrate and promote their activities. For the award holders, we will expect you to:

  • Spend five days doing role model activities. This could be talking at sector conferences, holding open days for other businesses, hosting networking events, or other suitable opportunities to share your inclusive innovation story. The focus should be on outreach to other businesses, to encourage them to see the benefits on inclusive innovations.
  • Spend two days supporting Innovate UK’s activities promoting inclusive innovation. We have a lot planned to support businesses, and we want to ensure we work with businesses at the forefront of this work to develop useful and effective resources. The expertise of the award holders will be invaluable to ensure we can support other businesses to thrive in this area.
  • Award holders will also be celebrated through a dedicated campaign, which will raise the profile of the companies and support the promotion in companies who are centering equality, diversity and inclusion in their innovations.

Are there any examples of previously successful applications that you are able to share?

This is the first Inclusive Innovation Award that Innovate UK has run, so there are no examples of previously successful applications. You are encouraged to review the eligibility criteria to decide whether your organisation is eligible to apply.

Some of our award winners from other Innovate UK competitions are delivering outstanding inclusive innovations. These provide some useful examples of the types of innovations that could be eligible for the Inclusive Innovation Awards. You can review these in an associated blog.

What are some examples of ‘Inclusive Innovations’?

Below are some examples highlighting the importance of innovators considering the impact of innovation across all sectors of society.

1. In 2015, research showed that pedestrians are 40 per cent more likely to be hit by a hybrid or electric car than by one with a petrol or diesel engine in the UK and that some electric and hybrid vehicles can’t be heard until one second before impact with a pedestrian Furthermore,93% of blind and visually sighted pedestrians had problems with electric vehicles. These findings have supported requirements for manufacturers to fit artificial sound generators on new types of electric and hybrid electric vehicles.

2. The inequity of availability to Covid-19 vaccinations around the world, with health-advocacy organizations previously pressing pharmaceutical companies and governments to share their patented knowledge and technology with drug manufacturers that could produce them for poorer countries.

3. Research has also shown that lenders using an AI system were more likely to deny home loans to people of colour than to white people with similar financial characteristics. Specifically, Black applicants are 80% more likely to be rejected, Latino applicants 40% more likely to be rejected, and Native American applicants 70% more likely to be rejected.

More context is provided in an Innovate UK blog.

Is the £50,000 award 100% funded?

Yes. We do not require match-funding because the funding is provided as Minimal Financial Assisstance.

The funding will be paid in 3 increments:

  • £33,333 upfront in March 2023
  • up to £11,667 at the mid-point in October 2023
  • the balance of the funding will be received £5,000 at the end of your project on receipt of a completed statement of expenditure by April 2024

 

Does the submission need to be completed all at once or can we compete the application in portions?

An application does not need to be completed at once; you can save the application as you progress.

The application

 

Is my innovative idea right for the Inclusive Innovation award?

While we are looking for a track record in inclusive innovations, we are providing funds for a new inclusive ideas. Inclusive innovation could involve scaling existing practices of a company to venture into a new market or developing a new product.

We don’t have an exhaustive list of these, but some examples include:

  • Technologies that give people with disabilities a more independent life
  • Product development based on user research from a broad range of demographics
  • Services that promote representation and help build a more inclusive society.

Ultimately, your idea should lead to new products, processes or services that support inclusion.
Your idea can build on what is available in the marketplace today, but it must build on it in a way that makes it more inclusive and accessible for your target audience.

 

Are systems change projects eligible for this competition?

Yes, we will consider all types of innovations for this competition.

 

Do I have enough of a track record?

We are looking for companies who have had proven impact with a previous innovation. It only has to be one (but it could be more!) innovation, and we will want to see evidence of this. We will want to see how your innovation has addressed a challenge, the difference that your innovation has made to its target audience, and how that has supported inclusion.

The focus is not on your team – if you have a diverse team, that’s great! Diverse and inclusive teams have been shown to result in business success, and we fully encourage companies to be looking at how they can develop an inclusive organisation that supports success for all. However, if you haven’t developed an inclusive innovation with your team, then you will still be ineligible.

 

How does the track record criteria work for start-ups? Any business that is truly a start-up doesn’t have a track record, by definition.

We are looking for organisations with a track record for this competition. If your company doesn’t have that at this stage then unfortunately you won’t be eligible and I would recommend looking at other Innovate UK competitions to see which you might be eligible for.

 

So this competition is for more established businesses and not startups i.e. companies that started this year or in the last few months?

For this competition we ask for companies that have been operational for one year or more. If you have started up in a shorter timeframe then I recommend looking at other Innovate UK competitions that you might be eligible for.

 

Where will you set the bar for previous inclusive innovation and the impact it’s had? Do you have guidance on what you’re looking for? It feels as though the awards are aimed at providing a grant for the next new product for a business that’s already working directly in the EDI space, as opposed to supporting more businesses to become fully inclusive in the products and services they offer?

We are looking for organisations with a track record for this competition. If your company doesn’t have that at this stage then unfortunately you won’t be eligible and I would recommend looking at other Innovate UK competitions to see which you might be eligible for.

 

Does the ‘track record’ include previous innovations we are currently developing (and have patented) but have not yet reached ‘market ready’?

As part of the track record you will need to demonstrate the impact a previous innovation has had on the target audience. If you do not yet have that evidence, then you will not be eligible for this competition. I would recommend looking at other Innovate UK competitions to see which you might be eligible for.

 

what do we need to show /evidence that we are inclusive with respect to socioeconomic, disability, etc?  Any guidance on this please?

You could demonstrate that you have engaged (or plan to engage) the specific demographic(s) in your innovation design and development. You could provide evidence of desk-based research. Within a risk register you could demonstrate how you have considered each demographic (with evidence) and any mitigating actions you are taking.

 

Could I just get clarification on exactly what would count as a “track record”? Does the company have to be in revenue, for instance?

For track record you are asked to describe:

  • the previous needs that you addressed
  • the innovation(s) that you delivered
  • how you engaged with the target audience to understand their need
  • the impact of the innovation(s) for the target audience and for society
  • the impact of the innovation(s) for your business

As different types of organisations are eligible for this competition (e.g. charities) this does not only have to be demonstrated by revenue; you could have had other impact on the business, such as grown your business, pivoted your business model, increased consumer awareness, etc.

 

Regarding past innovation/ traction in the competition scope. Would you accept application from a company that has only MVP/ TRL7 prototype positioned and tested in target customer base rather than finished product/ service?

For this competition we are looking for businesses with a proven track record in developing inclusive innovations. You can also sign up to the Innovate UK newsletter to be informed of future competitions you might be eligible for.

 

If we have just launched a soft launch of a POC are we too early for this call? We have received some monies from Innovate UK for this POC and would hit the type of innovation and regional location would help us in terms of our scoring potential.

For this competition we are looking for businesses with a proven track record in developing inclusive innovations. You can also sign up to the Innovate UK newsletter to be informed of future competitions you might be eligible for.

 

Is my idea at the right stage of development?

Projects should have good commercial prospects for a product, process or service, and with a realistic and effective route to market. New and novel ideas are welcome where they build on the expertise of your team and have a credible route to market.

 

Can this competition fund a pilot or feasibility study?

The planned project that you are requesting funding for can be a pilot or feasibility study.

 

Is the Technology Readiness Level (TRLs) stage of the innovation relevant?

Projects should have good commercial prospects for a product, process or service, and with a realistic and effective route to market. New and novel ideas are welcome where they build on the expertise of your team and have a credible route to market.

 

Can the award be used to carry out a project which accelerates the development or commercialisation of an existing IP, or should the award be used to develop a new technology?

The award can be used to scale existing innovations into a new market or to develop something new.

 

I have an IP granted recently, can I apply for the award?

The award can be used to scale existing innovations into a new market or to develop something new. You must be able to demonstrate a track record of developing inclusive innovations.

 

What if this is your first inclusive innovation in this business, but, you have showcased inclusive innovation in the target audience before but in a different role?

You can connect the planned project with a track record from a different venture that you have been involved with. The business applying for the award must have been operating for 12 months at the time of the competition close date (9 November). Please contact Customer Support Services if you have any specific questions.

 

I would also point out that focussing on the company’s delivery records excludes founders who have a track record of delivering inclusive innovation outside the vehicles that they have recently set up. 

You can connect the planned project with a track record from a different venture that you have been involved with. The business applying for the award must have been operating for 12 months at the time of the competition close date (9 November). Please contact Customer Support Services if you have any specific questions.

 

You had said in a previous response that you can use your previous experience working in inclusive innovation as an example of a track record if it’s connected to your current innovative product – does this previous experience have to be a venture you founded or previous work you’ve done more generally?

You do not have to have founded a previous venture to have gained experience, but you should demonstrate your involvement in the project(s) and evidence the impact they had on the target audience. The business applying for the award must have been operating for 12 months at the time of the competition close date (9 November). Please contact Customer Support Services if you have any specific questions.

 

Sorry to labour the point on track record but what I am taking from previous responses if we have not had a succesful application previously and / or completed such we are not eligible? Not a problem I just want to be clear.

You do not have to have received Innovate UK funding previously to be eligible for this competition. We are looking for organisations who have experience in delivering successful inclusive innovations and will require evidence of this.

 

Are we the right team to take this forward?

The team must have the necessary management and technical expertise and resources to make the project a success. We are not funding collaborative projects.

As we are supporting inclusive innovations that meet the needs of under-represented and minoritised communities, it is important that you demonstrate involvement of your target audience in your project. Involving people with lived experience will ensure that you meet the needs of your customers, resulting in a more successful output.

 

Is my case for needing public funding compelling enough?

This is crucial as we are managing public money, and we need to make sure taxpayers’ money is used effectively. Innovate UK funding is for those who need specialist public support to overcome market failures.

Both the project and business must be financially viable and public funding must provide value for money and not simply substitute for alternative funding sources.

The company should be able to do the R&D project. They should also have sufficient capital to develop their management team and fund activities outside of research and development. For example, Innovate UK grants can’t cover typical commercialisation activities, like sales and marketing to grow the business.

What makes a good case for needing public funds? Addressing market failures, for example, accelerating the timeline for getting to market to meet a window of opportunity. Equally, some innovations will bring benefit to the UK for both those inside and outside the project. Public funding can then reduce the costs for those doing the work.

 

Will SMEs be scored higher in the assessment if they have a ‘big business’ to partner with in order to trial their inclusive innovation?

An evaluation of the suitability of any organisations you trial an innovation with will be based on the relevance of that organisation to your innovation and to meeting the needs of the target audience.

 

On the application, we are asked to supply ”Applicant location”. Are there any locations that are automatically not eligible ?

Your organisation must be a UK registered micro, small or medium-sized enterprise. We will take a portfolio approach in our funding decision to ensure we have representation of businesses working across the UK.

 

The competition’s eligibility criteria indicates companies must have a track record in development of products and services, whether it’s single or multiple. Are companies which are seeking support to develop their first innovative idea to promote and embed equality, inclusion, diversity, and belonging for an excluded minoritised demographic effectively excluded?

This competition will support businesses with a track record in inclusive innovations. We encourage you to look at other Innovate UK competitions to review eligibility. You can also sign up to the Innovate UK newsletter to be informed of future competitions you might be eligible for.

 

This rules my company out on the basis that it is new.  This is a strange result, because the 3 key people involved have personal records in delivering digital projects in areas including mental health, homelessness and financial inclusion. 

You can connect the planned project with a track record from a different venture that you have been involved with. The business applying for the award must have been operating for 12 months at the time of the competition close date (9 November). Please contact Customer Support Services if you have any specific questions.

 

How can track record be previously created from new technologies and / or new Innovations?

The innovation that you are applying to develop does not have to be a direct development of your previous inclusive innovations; it can involve scaling existing innovations into a new market or to develop something new.

Application support

I have specific questions on my application, where can I get advice?

If you need more information, email Innovate UK Customer Support Services at support@innovateuk.ukri.org or call the competition helpline on 0300 321 4357. Our phone lines are open from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays). There is also an automated virtual assistant available 24 hours a day, every day, to find answers to the most commonly-asked questions about Innovate UK.

 

I am putting an application together for the Inclusive Innovation Award, are there any other resources or support available?

Yes. KTN has additional resources on the Inclusive Innovation Award webpage.

 

I have not applied to Innovate UK before, is there any resource or support available for people that have not applied before?

Innovate UK has online guidance for applicants.

Innovate UK KTN has a wide network, deep sector expertise, and can connect you to people and organisations to help accelerate your ideas and project. Innovate UK KTN have guidance for completing and submitting a grant application.

Innovation and Growth specialist at Innovate UK EDGE focus on growing innovative businesses and ensuring that projects contribute to their growth. Working one-to-one, they can help you to identify your best strategy and harness world-class resources to grow and achieve scale.

 

I am disabled. Is there any support for my application?

Diversity and Inclusion is a priority at Innovate UK, and we welcome and encourage applications from people of all backgrounds. We are committed to making our application process accessible to everyone.

We can provide support for people who face barriers when making an application. This might be as a result of a disability, neurodiversity or long-term condition. If you would like support, it is important that you contact Innovate UK Customer Support Service as early as possible during your application process. You can email support@innovateuk.ukri.org or call the competition helpline on 0300 321 4357. Phone lines are open from 9am to 11:30am and 2pm to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays).

If you know what you need, please tell us how best we can support you. We’ll be in touch and do our best to provide that support.

If you’re not sure, we can discuss the support available with you in order to better understand your needs and determine how we can help.

Please note: so that we can provide the best support possible, we encourage you to get in touch as early as possible during the application process – within the first week of the competition opening, if possible.

 

Where on the application do business owners declare their own disabilities? I noted to call customer service but how and where do customer service add this to applications so the assessors can be made aware of this?

If you declare a disability to customer services or in the equality diversity and inclusive survey in your profile, this will not be shared with the assessors. This is to maintain anonymity. If you declare a disability at any point in the application, then assessors will see this. Please contact Customer Support Services if you have more questions about this.

 

Is there an Inclusive Innovate Awards helpline?

If you need more information, email Innovate UK Customer Support Services at support@innovateuk.ukri.org or call the competition helpline on 0300 321 4357. Our phone lines are open from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays). There is also an automated virtual assistant available 24 hours a day, every day, to find answers to the most commonly-asked questions about Innovate UK.

 

Will the briefing event video be available on YouTube?

The briefing event was recorded and a link will be available on IFS once the video is available.

 

How will you make sure that applicants from diverse groups (black women specifically) are able to get through the application process?

We are encouraging innovations from a range of sectors and from innovators of all backgrounds. We recognise that there is under-representation in some Innovate UK competitions and want to ensure that everyone has equitable opportunities to apply to this competition. If you have any specific questions to support your application, please contact Customer Support Services. Innovate UK EDGE and Innovate UK KTN provide business support and we encourage you to contact them for project advice.

Is support available for those who are ineligible to apply?

There is support available to those ineligible who want to develop their innovative idea. The best way to access this is by contacting Innovate UK, Innovate UK KTN or Innovate UK EDGE directly, who will then advise on available support.

 

What do unsuccessful applicants typically miss or get wrong?

To fit the competition, you must have a track-record in inclusive innovation, your project must address a problem related to equality, diversity and inclusion, be innovative, meet the eligibility criteria, and have a realistic plan.

Unsuccessful applicants typically:

  • leave the application to the very last minute
  • don’t fill the forms correctly, have lots of missing information
  • forget to include their video link
  • do not provide sufficient evidence in the application
  • do not follow the instructions.

Also, claiming more (or less) than £50,000 in grant funding will make your application ineligible.

We encourage you to submit your application well ahead of the deadline and to read it several times before doing so. You might also consider having a trusted friend, family member, or advisor take a look at it before submitting to ensure that it is as complete and comprehensive as it can be.

Eligibility

Are there any requirements to receive the award?

You must meet the eligibility requirements for the competition.

 

The application mentions Companies House; if you don’t have a registered business and associated Company Registration Number (CRN) what do you type?

You don’t need a Companies House registration to apply, this can be left blank. To start an application without a registered business, please follow the steps below:

  1. Once you have clicked on start a new application/accept an invitation, if you do not have an account you will be required to ‘create an account’. Once you have selected this option click on your organisation type, you will then need to complete the following steps
  2. Put your name or organisation in the box and click search
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the page, click on the “find out what to do” link under the ‘my organisation is not registered on companies house’
  4. Click on the enter its details manually at the bottom of the exemptions list
  5. You only need to fill in your organisation name (this can be your company name or your own name) and your address (business or personal) then click save and continue
  6. Confirm your organisation, save and continue
  7. Fill in the details to create your account, name, email address, password etc. then select create account

You will then receive an email asking to verify your account, please do this to start your application. Please check junk and spam for the verification email. If you do not receive an email, please get in touch with Innovate UK Customer Service Team on 0300 321 4357 or support@iuk.ukri.org.

 

How do you prove the business has existed for a year?

Your company does not need to have been registered on Companies House for a period of a year or more; however, you will need to provide financial accounts including a business bank account in the name of your business with transactions for a period greater than a year.

If your company and business accounts have been dormant in the last year, then your company was not actively trading for the last year, and so would be ineligible.

 

Why do you require companies to be operating for more than a year?

This award is designed for businesses with a measurable track-record in inclusive innovation, who would use the award to scale up and grow their inclusive innovation projects.

 

We’ve been developing our product for a number of years and can evidence a track record in inclusive innovation. However, we only formally incorporated (in our current incarnation) earlier in 2022 and didn’t get a business bank account until July. Would you accept other evidence that we have been operating for over 12 months?

Your company does not need to have been registered on Companies House for a period of a year or more. However, you will need to provide financial accounts including a business bank account in the name of your business with transactions for a period greater than a year.  If your company and business accounts have been dormant in the last year, then your company was not actively trading for the last year, and so would not be eligible.

 

We were operating as a collective before incorporating in April this year – hence, we’ve been operating for more than a year but Companies House wouldn’t show this. Does this make us ineligible?

Your company does not need to have been registered on Companies House for a period of a year or more. However, you will need to provide financial accounts including a business bank account in the name of your business with transactions for a period greater than a year.  If your company and business accounts have been dormant in the last year, then your company was not actively trading for the last year, and so would not be eligible.

 

What evidence do you need to show you have been operating for more than 1 year? My company previously operated within another company and therefore, the previous bank statements were not in our name, however, there are transactions in our name. Will this count as valid evidence?

We would expect the business applying to have existed for over a year in their own right rather than as part of another entity.

 

Is there a maximum or minimum size a business can be to apply for this?

You must be a micro, small or medium sized enterprise to be eligible.

 

Can I apply if my business has been registered for more than a year, but I am not yet trading?

You will need to provide financial accounts including a business bank account in the name of your business with transactions for a period greater than a year.

HMRC considers that your company or organisation is active (or has started trading) if it has engaged in any business activity (business activity means carrying on a trade or profession or buying and selling goods or services with a view to making a profit or surplus).

 

Are consortium eligible to apply? Do all partners need to fit the eligilbity criteria (busines size, type and track record?

This competition is open to single applicants only.

 

Can we submit a joint bid with another company?

This competition is open to single applicants only.

 

Can you be part of two separate Innovation awards at the same time?

No, you can only submit one application.

You cannot have received other Innovate UK funding for the same project prior to applying, however you are eligible to apply for the Inclusive Innovation Award with a different project.

 

We are writing a Smart Grant application for our innovation. Are we able to also submit an application for the same innovation via this competition?

You can submit an application to both competitions, however you cannot receive other Innovate UK funding for the same project.

 

I am in the middle of applying for women in innovation but I was thinking of applying for this too. Is that ok then choose one if I am accepted on both?

The Women in Innovation award supports an individual, rather than a business, therefore the scope for these two competitions is different. You can submit an application to both competitions, however you cannot receive other Innovate UK funding for the same project.

 

Am I eligible to apply if I have previously received an Innovate UK grant?

You cannot have received other Innovate UK funding for the same project prior to applying, however you are eligible to apply for the Inclusive Innovation Award with a different project.

Any project previously funded by Innovate UK could form part of the ‘track record’ evidence requested in the application.

If you have received other Innovate UK funding, we will not award you Inclusive Innovation Award funding if you have:

  • failed to exploit a previously funded project
  • an overdue independent accountant’s report
  • failed to comply with grant terms and conditions

 

Am I eligible to apply if I have received a previous Innovate UK grant for the same business idea?

No. You cannot have received other Innovate UK funding for the same project prior to applying. However, any project previously funded by Innovate UK could form part of the ‘track record’ evidence requested in the application.

 

Am I able to apply for other Innovate UK grants if I am awarded the Inclusive Innovation funding?

Yes. However, you can only apply for a different project; you cannot receive funding for the same project twice.

 

Am I eligible to apply if my project is a further development of a product developed using Innovate UK funding?

You will be eligible to apply if you can demonstrate that the project represents a clear step-change from the product produced from a previous grant.

 

Can I apply with a business idea that I previously submitted to other competitions, which wasn’t funded?

Yes. You can use an application that you have previously submitted it once, if you did not receive Innovate UK funding for the same idea, and you meet the eligibility criteria for this competition. Before doing so, please read through the additional details under the previous applications section of the application form.

If you received feedback on your previously submitted application, we do encourage you to take it into account before submitting the same idea for this competition. Please note that it is most likely that different assessors would review your new application and therefore there is no guarantee your application will score higher even if all feedback is addressed.

 

Can I apply if I have previously received De minimis or Minimal Financial Assistance (MFA) funding?

Yes. As long as you have not maxed the allowance you are allowed under De minimis or MFA rules within the current 3-year period. You must declare any previous funding received under De minimis & MFA through the declaration form provided at application stage.

 

How can I check if previous grants I have received fall under De minimis or Minimal Financial Assistance rules?

You must check with the Public Authority that awarded your previous grants to confirm whether the grant awarded to you was classed as De minimis or MFA.

 

I have just had another Minimal Financial Assistance grant approved by DIT but won’t be paid until January 2023.  Do I list this as part of the Minimal Financial Assistance

All expected Minimal Financial Assistance grants should be included in the submission.

 

What can the funding be used for?

The funding will be provided under Minimal Financial Assistance rules or De minimis rules where applicable. You cannot use the award to match fund for other competitions as it is considered to be public funding and cannot be used to secure other forms of Subsidy or State aid.

 

Can I apply if I operate a charity?

Yes, but only if your charity has a registered business arm or business side, and this has been operating for a year or more. This would need to be registered as a company on Companies House. If your charity does not have a business operation then you would be ineligible.

 

Are sole traders eligible to apply?

Yes, but only if your business is registered and has been operating for a year or more. This would need to be registered as a company on Companies House. Your company does not need to have been registered on Companies House for a period of a year or more; however, you will need to provide financial accounts including a business bank account in the name of your business with transactions for a period greater than a year.

 

Can I apply if I operate a charity?

Yes, but only if your charity has a registered business arm or business side, and this has been operating for a year or more. This would need to be registered as a company on Companies House. If your charity does not have a business operation then you would be ineligible. All other eligibility criteria must be met to be eligible.

 

Are CICs eligible to apply

For this competition CICs are only eligible as a UK registered micro, small or medium-sized enterprise, so the CIC would need to have a business arm/ltd company and retain profits in order to be eligible to lead. If the CIC is a guarantee, and put everything back into the community they would not be eligible to lead as they would be considered a research organisation.

 

Can Ltd companies apply?

Yes, providing they meet all eligibility criteria.

 

Do you have to be a UK citizen to apply?

You must be a founder, co-founder or senior decision maker within a UK registered micro, small or medium-sized enterprise that has been operating for at least a year.

You must carry out your project work and intend to exploit the results from your work in the UK.

 

Given the NI protocol, will Northern Ireland applications be eligible?

Yes. We welcome applications from Northern Ireland.

 

We are a UK SME, Developing tech for Africa and developing countries. Since we only affect diversity in other countries, do we fit the application?

Your project must:

  • carry out all of its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK

If the target audience is outside the UK, you would still be eligible, although all project work must be carried out in the UK.  You can use subcontractors from overseas but must make the case in your application as to why you could not use suppliers from the UK. Please contact Customer Support Services with any specific questions.

 

Is there an upper age limit for the awards?

There are no age restrictions for the Inclusive Innovation awards.

 

What is the commitment required for the grant?

Your project must:

  • start on 1st April 2023
  • end on 31st March 2024
  • last 12 months

Your company must be able to commit to:

  • provide at least 5 days over the duration of the award to be a role model for inclusive innovation, expenses for these activities can be included in the project costs
  • spend up to two days attend two virtual workshops supporting development of the Innovate UK partner resources to support inclusive innovation.

 

What if the project is ongoing? Do we have to specify a specific part of the project that will start in April 2023 and End in March 24?

Yes, you should make clear in the application the portion of the project that will be supported by this award.

 

Is there any flexibility on 25% limit on sub-contractors?

We expect all subcontractor costs to be no more than 25% of total costs, unless in exceptional circumstances, and justified as appropriate within the application. If you would like more specific guidance please contact Customer Support Services.

Application process

The competition says that total project costs can be more than £50,000, but we are only allowed to claim for £50,000 in the competition. Can you explain how this works?

You can apply for exactly £50,000. Your total project costs can be more than £50,000, but you should only apply for £50,000. If your project costs more than £50,000, you can add information about how you will fund the remainder of the project in the ‘Your Funding’ section of the application form.

Can we add costs for role modelling into our project costs?

The expenses for role modelling activities can be costed into the project.

The application requires a short video. Will the production value of it be judged in any way (e.g., editing, sound effects, etc.)?

No. As part of your application, you must pitch your idea in a short video, up to three minutes long. The assessors will be scoring your videos on the content of your answer to all elements of the question. The assessors will not be scoring your videos based on editing, background music, or presenting skills.

How do I make the video?

The video must be uploaded to YouTube and provided as an unlisted link. Please share the link and any passwords required in your answer to the video-related question.

If we are unable to view your video or it is not hosted on YouTube, your application will be made ineligible. So, please make sure to double-check that your video link is included in your application before submitting.

The video must remain available until 1 April 2023.

What should I do if I am having issues uploading my video?

If you cannot upload your video to YouTube, you should contact Customer Support Service as soon as possible before the competition closes for advice. Your application will be ineligible if you submit your application without a video.

Requests for extensions due to problems uploading a video will not be accepted.

How will I know that my video has successfully uploaded?

You can confirm the successful upload of your video by contacting Customer Support Service as soon as possible before the application deadline.

Can the application deadline be extended?

The Inclusive Innovation competition will close on 9 November 2022 11:00am precisely. Extensions to this deadline cannot and will not be granted under any circumstances.

When will I know if I have been successful with my application?

You will be informed by Innovate UK of the outcome of your application by 5th January 2023.

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