Smart grants are the latest programme from Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, to de-risk innovation and enable business growth. Since 2007, organisations have benefitted from £2.5 billion of Innovate UK support, which has helped to create around 70,000 jobs and add an estimated £18 billion to the UK economy.

Smart is the new name for Innovate UK’s ‘Open grant funding’ programme.

Innovate UK, as part of UK Research and Innovation, will invest up to £20 million in the best game-changing or disruptive ideas with a view to commercialisation.

All proposals must be business focused, rather than pure research. Applications can come from any area of technology (including arts, design, media or creative industries), science or engineering and be applied to any part of the economy.

Your project

This competition provides funding for innovation research and development (R&D) from feasibility (including market research), through to technology or prototype testing and development stages up to (but not including) commercialisation.

Your proposal must demonstrate:

  • a clear game-changing and/or disruptive innovative 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 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 contractor or equipment failure, recruitment delays and so on) with realistic management, mitigation and impact minimisation plans for each
  • sound, practical financial plans and timelines
  • good value for money, which will always be a consideration in Innovate UK funding decisions
  • 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
  • clear, considerable potential to significantly impact the UK economy and/or productivity in a positive way

Project durations between 6 and 18 months must have total eligible project costs between £25,000 and £500,000. They can be single or collaborative projects.

Project durations between 19 months and 3 years must have total eligible project costs between £25,000 and £2 million. They must be collaborative projects.

All applications must include at least one micro, small or medium sized enterprise (SME)

If you want to submit a project between 19 months and 3 years with total project costs between £2 million and £3 million as a permitted exception, you must email support@innovateuk.ukri.org with full justification at least 10 days before the competition closes. We will decide whether to approve your request.

Projects must start by 4 November 2019 and end no later than 4 November 2022.

Dates

18 February 2019                       Competition opens

27 February 2019                      Online briefing event

24 April 2019 12:00pm             Competition closes

5 July 2019                                 Applicants notified


To check your eligibility CLICK HERE

To check how to apply CLICK HERE

To start your application CLICK HERE