Innovate UK Smart Grants: January 2022

UK registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £25million for game-changing and commercially viable R&D innovation that can significantly impact the UK economy.

Funding Details
When

Registration Opens

17/01/2022

Registration Closes

13/04/2022

Award

Project costs must be between £100,000 and £2m. Up to 70% of the cost can be covered by the Smart grant, depending on business size and project type.

Organisation

Innovate UK

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Smart is Innovate UK’s ‘open grant funding’ programme.

Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, is investing up to £25 million in the best game-changing and commercially viable innovative or disruptive ideas. All proposals must be business focused.

Innovate UK secured an uplift in funding in the 2021 spending review, which will enable us to provide an improved range of funding and business support from April 2022. This round of the competition will be the last in the current format. Future rounds of the Smart grant will be more focused on supporting proposals from UK based innovative businesses that are destined for early, successful commercialisation, growth and exports.

We welcome projects that overlap with the Innovate UK Plan for Action. This is not a requirement, and we are also keen to support projects in other areas.

Equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) considerations are highly encouraged where appropriate in your proposal. You are prompted to consider EDI as part of the application process. Applications will continue to be assessed on their innovation merit, where innovation is defined as the potential for commercially successful exploitation of ideas.

Your project must:

The end by date is the date by which all funding for this round of the competition must end. Your contracted project end date will not be extended.

If your project’s duration is 6 to 18 months it must have total eligible project costs between £100,000 and £500,000, and can be single or collaborative (only SMEs can work alone, all others *must* collaborate with at least one other organisation).

If your project’s duration is 19 to 36 months, it must be collaborative, and have total eligible project costs between £100,000 and £2 million (can be up to £3m if pre-authorised by Innovate UK, email them for details).

To lead a project your organisation must:

  • be an SME if you want to work alone
  • be a UK registered business of any size or a research and technology organisation (RTO) if collaborative (collaborations must include an SME)
  • carry out all your project work in the UK
  • intend to commercially exploit the results from or in the UK

Businesses (including SMEs) or RTOs can only lead on one application. Any subsequent applications submitted with the same lead will not be forwarded for assessment. All partners can collaborate on any number of applications.

Your proposal must demonstrate:

  • a clear game-changing, innovative, disruptive, and ambitious idea leading to new products, processes or services
  • an idea that is significantly ahead of others in the field, set for rapid commercialisation
  • a strong and deliverable business plan that addresses (and documents) market potential and needs
  • a clear, evidence-based plan to deliver significant economic impact, return on investment (ROI) and growth through commercialisation, as soon as possible after project completion
  • a team, business arrangement or working structure with the necessary skills and experience to run and complete the project successfully and on time
  • awareness of all the main risks the project will face (including but not limited to, contractor or equipment failure and recruitment delays) with realistic management, mitigation and impact minimisation plans for each risk
  • clear, considerable potential to significantly impact either or both, the UK economy and productivity in a positive way
  • sound, practical financial plans and timelines that represent good value for money, which will always be a consideration in Innovate UK funding decisions

Your project should:

  • demonstrate realistic, significant potential for global markets
  • take customer and user needs into account to deliver more desirable and useful solutions

An online briefing event will be held at 11.30am on Friday 21st January: click here to access the Zoom link for the briefing.