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Innovate UK Smart Grants: October 2021

Fund Name

Innovate UK Smart Grants: October 2021

Project Length

6-18 or 19-36 months

Project Value

Up to £2m



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

Applications can come from any area of technology and be applied to any part of the economy, such as, but not exclusively:

  • the arts, design and media
  • creative industries
  • science or engineering

Check Your Eligibility

Fund Details

Your Smart Grants 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 market potential and needs
  • a clear, evidence-based plan to deliver significant economic impact, return on investment (ROI) and growth through commercialisation
  • 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 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

Your Smart Grants project should:

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


Your project must:

  • include at least one micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME) as the lead or a collaborative grant claiming partner
  • start by 1 July 2022 and end by 30 June 2025

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. If your project’s duration is 19 to 36 months, it must have total eligible project costs between £100,000 and £2 million and must be collaborative.

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
  • include at least one SME if you are a large business or RTO and wish to collaborate
  • claim grant funding
  • carry out all your project work in the UK
  • intend to commercially exploit the results from or in the UK

The funder will not support projects that:

  • do not meet the competition eligibility or scope
  • do not address the size, potential and access to market for the innovation
  • do not evidence the potential for their idea or concept to lead to a significant return on investment (ROI), positive economic impact, growth and scale-up of the business
  • are dependent on export performance
  • are dependent on domestic inputs usage

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

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