08.12.23 Funding Requirements

Next steps after a successful Innovate UK Smart Grant application

Congratulations, your Innovate UK Smart Grants application has been successful, but what happens next?

Phase 1 – Due Diligence

The funder will want to ensure certain conditions have been met before formally awarding the grant and allowing the project to begin.

For your project to start, you’ll need to sign and return your Grant Offer Letter (or equivalent), which is issued after going through several due diligence checks. The due diligence process ensures that the company can carry out the project. It also ensures that organisations involved are financially viable and that the project costs comply with the funding competition.

If you are successful, a member of your project team will be invited to attend a briefing following your successful notification. At the briefing, you’ll be provided with detailed information relating to setting up and starting your project and a unique link to your IFS Set Up portal, the tool that Innovate UK uses to gather the information before your project can begin.

You’ll need to provide:

  • Name and contact details of your Project Manager and Finance Lead
  • Your bank details
  • A collaboration agreement, if required due to partners being involved in the project
  • Initial project documents, such as an Exploitation Plan

For Innovate UK to process your claims, you must ensure you have a valid UK bank account for a UK high street bank that is regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Monitoring officer assignment

During this phase, you’ll be assigned a monitoring officer (MO) from Innovate UK. The role of the monitoring officer is to ensure you’re delivering the project as stated within your successful grant application in line with Innovate UK compliance.

What you can expect when your project officially starts:

  • Quarterly meetings with your Monitoring Officer
  • Quarterly progress reporting (within this you must submit your financial costs for each quarter – it’s important to note that Innovate UK costs are paid quarterly in arrears, so this is critical)

Your Monitoring Officer will produce a quarterly monitoring report evaluating the project across six areas and will share this and their scoring with Innovate UK. Once Innovate UK has approved the report and claims, the project will be paid and the quarter considered complete.

Phase 2 – Finance checks

Innovate UK will carry out finance checks to make sure you are an established company with access to the funds necessary to complete the project. Innovate UK will also conduct a review of the project costs to ensure they comply with the eligibility criteria for the competition. If the project has been architected in the right way these checks will typically be procedural.

It’s important to check your IFS portal regularly for requests and updates to avoid delays.

Phase 3 – Grant Offer Letter

The Grant Offer Letter (GOL), the last stage in the grant offer process, is a letter from the funding body to the grant recipient which sets out the offer of the grant (including project purpose, funding amount, project period, and any additional conditions).

The GOL will be available on your IFS portal. Once signed and uploaded by you, and approved by Innovate UK, your project can officially start.

We at Granted have never had a project fail to receive its GOL based on the application we have written so it can be useful to utilise a skilled consultant to ensure smooth sailing through the Due Diligence phase.

If your application is unsuccessful

Grant applications are highly competitive, and rejection is not uncommon, even for strong proposals, so stay persistent.

Firstly, review the feedback and reasons for the rejection to understand why the application was unsuccessful. We can help you run through the available feedback and provide more specific insights into what aspects of your proposal could be improved.

You have the opportunity to resubmit your application in the future if this is your first submission, so be sure to follow the guidelines or timeframes specified for resubmissions.

Project Management Service

We’ll take care of the demanding administrative and reporting processes so you can focus on your project. With a deep understanding of funders’ project processes, we can support you with our full Grant Project Management service.


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