Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, is investing up to £25 million in the best game-changing, and world leading ideas, designed for swift, successful commercialisation. Ideas need to be genuinely new and novel, not just disruptive within their sector.

Your proposal must be business focused, with deliverable, realistic, adequately resourced plans to achieve return on investment, growth and market share following project completion.

FAQs for this round of Smart have been updated to reflect the importance of obtaining economic benefits from public funding, and the potential for successful commercialisation, growth and exports.

Applications can come from any area of technology and be applied to any part of the economy such as, but not exclusively, net zero, the arts, design and media.

Your project must:

  • start by 1 January 2023
  • end by 31 December 2025
  • include at least one micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME) as the lead or a collaborative grant claiming partner
  • carry out all of its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK

If your project’s duration is 6 to 18 months, it:

  • must have total project costs between £100,000 and £500,000
  • can be single or collaborative

If your project’s duration is 19 to 36 months, it must:

  • have total project costs between £100,000 and £2 million
  • be collaborative

Up to 70% of project costs can be covered, depending on your business’ size.

Your organisation must be an SME if you want to work alone. To lead a collaborative project, you must be a UK registered business of any size or a research and technology organisation (RTO), and must involve at least one SME if the project lead is not an SME.

To be in scope your proposal must demonstrate:

  • a game-changing, innovative, and disruptive idea that will lead to new products, processes or services
  • an idea that is significantly ahead of others in the field, set for rapid commercialisation
  • clear potential to positively impact the UK’s position, productivity and competitiveness within the global economy
  • a clear, evidence based business plan to deliver significant economic impact, return on investment (ROI) and growth through commercialisation, as soon as possible after project completion
  • why Smart funding is the right potential funding for your project, and the journey you have already been on to reach the point of application
  • a team with the necessary skills, and expertise to deliver the project successfully and on time, and to achieve rapid commercialisation
  • awareness of all the main risks the project will face with realistic management, mitigation and impact minimisation plans for each risk
  • sound, practical financial plans and timelines that represent good value for money, including the funding of post-project activities

Projects where the technology is already available or used in another sector will not be funded – the innovation must be game-changing, with no similar technology commercially available anywhere (UK or abroad). Click here to view the full scope.

Click here for a link to join the online briefing event at 11am on Tuesday 3rd May.

If you want help to find a project partner, contact Innovate UK KTN.