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Innovate UK Smart grants: June 2023

Fund Name

Innovate UK Smart grants: June 2023

Project Length

6-36 months

Project Value

£100k - £2m

Deadline

27.09.2023

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 not just disruptive within their sector.

The Innovate UK Smart grant has focused eligibility criteria and scope to support SMEs and their partners develop disruptive innovations with significant potential for a rapid economic return to the UK. The application process reflects the importance of obtaining economic benefits from public funding, and the potential for successful commercialisation, growth, and exports.

Check Your Eligibility

Fund details

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

Specific themes

Your project must focus on:

  • taking customer and user needs into account to deliver more desirable and useful solutions
  • identifying who is ready to buy your innovation
  • being developed, planned and resourced beyond the end of the Innovate UK-funded project, taking into account the focus of any project partners and their existing commitments
  • fitting in with and complementing your ongoing business planning and development, product offerings and organisational structure to maximise chances of success

Innovate UK will fund feasibility projects, industrial research projects and experimental development projects, as defined in the guidance on categories of research.

Innovate UK will not fund projects:

  • that do not meet the competition eligibility or scope
  • where the technology is available or used in another sector
  • that do not address the size, potential and access to the market for their innovation
  • that do not evidence the potential for their idea to lead to a significant return on investment (ROI), positive economic impact, growth and scale-up of the business
  • that do not provide clear and realistic plans to commercialise their innovation as soon as possible post-project completion
  • where other Innovate UK funding support is available and more appropriate

Innovate UK will not fund commercialisation activities such as marketing and sales.

Eligibility

Your project must:

  • start by 1 April 2024
  • end by 31 March 2027
  • include at least one micro, small or medium enterprise (SME) as the lead or a collaborative grant-claiming partner
  • follow specific rules depending on its duration
  • carry out all of its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK

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
  • be single or collaborative

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

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

Funding

Up to £25 million has been allocated to fund innovation projects in this competition. Funding will be in the form of a grant.

If your organisation’s work on the project is commercial or economic, your funding request must not exceed the limits below. These limits apply even if your organisation normally acts non-economically but for this project will be undertaking commercial or economic activity.

For feasibility studies and industrial research projects, you could get funding for your eligible project costs of:

  • up to 70% if you are a micro or small organisation
  • up to 60% if you are a medium-sized organisation
  • up to 50% if you are a large organisation

For experimental development projects which are nearer to market, you could get funding for your eligible project costs of:

  • up to 45% if you are a micro or small organisation
  • up to 35% if you are a medium-sized organisation
  • up to 25% if you are a large organisation

Talk to us today if you would like to apply for this opportunity.

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