48 Days Left

Future Economy Investor Partnerships SME

Fund Name

Future Economy Investor Partnerships SME: round 6

Project Length

6-24 months

Project Value

£50k - £2m

Deadline

27.02.2024

Innovate UK’s Future Economy Investor Partnerships competition unlocks £80 million of grant funding over the next three years across rolling deadlines, alongside even more equity investment from a growing list of their 50+ investor partners.

There are a few differences in what this round can support (and what it can’t) – read our blog post to find out what’s different and how to apply.

Check Your Eligibility

Fund details

The aim of this competition is to provide you with support for research and development and access to the capital investment you need to develop and commercialise your innovations.

Your proposal must have a clear route to market, a clear link to innovation and evidence that you can create a team to deliver your proposal.

You must be:

  • registered in the UK as an SME by the time the award is contracted
  • able to raise the aligned finance needed to draw down the award, through the issue of new shares or convertible debt

You must also demonstrate that if your project is funded, it will:

  • have a significant market impact
  • be scalable
  • be attractive to other equity investors

Broader themes

Innovate UK is looking to support projects that focus on the future economy areas included in the Innovate UK plan for action. The broad theme areas are:

  • net zero
  • health and wellbeing
  • next generation digital technologies and technology families

Innovate UK encourage innovation involving communities that are typically under-represented, including:

  • from regions that have historically accessed lower levels of investment (outside London, Oxford and Cambridge)
  • ethnic minority groups
  • women and other marginalised genders
  • disabled people
  • people with non-traditional education backgrounds

To support this, Innovate UK also has a targeted theme on equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI).

Innovate UK will not fund projects that are:

  • not carried out by SMEs
  • collaborative R&D projects
  • not part of a company’s growth plan
  • unable to demonstrate there is potential for return on investment and growth
  • not working with an investor partner from the selected pool of investor partners

Eligibility

The eligibility criteria will depend on your research category.

For feasibility studies projects:

  • your total project costs must be between £50,000 and £300,000
  • the project duration must be between 6 and 12 months

For industrial research projects:

  • your total project costs must be between £100,000 and £1 million
  • the project duration must be between 6 and 18 months

For experimental development projects:

  • your total project costs must be between £250,000 and £2 million
  • the project duration must be between 12 and 18 months

Round 7 will open on the 28th of February 2024 and close on the 23rd of April 2024.

Funding 

You will only receive grant funding from Innovate UK if you also receive a minimum level of investment that has been led by your investor partner. The minimum level of investment will depend on the research level.

Innovate UK will decide which projects are eligible and in scope to receive grant funding. The decision will be based on the assessment of your application by independent assessors and on a review of your expected investment following a discussion with your proposed investor partner.

If you are successful, you will receive grant funding to cover a proportion of the costs of your project. The project will only be allowed to commence once the agreed-aligned investment has been confirmed.

Your business must have sufficient capital resources, including investment from the investor partner and the grant funding, to enable you to meet all your project’s eligible costs.

For feasibility studies and industrial research projects, Innovate UK will fund:

  • up to 70% of eligible project costs for micro or small organisations
  • up to 60% for medium-sized organisations

The investment led by the investor partner must always be at least equal to the grant funding.

For experimental development projects, Innovate UK will fund:

  • up to 45% of eligible project costs for micro or small organisations
  • up to 35% for medium-sized organisations

The investment led by the investor partner must always be at least twice as much as the grant funding.

Contact us