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What Are The Success Rates Of Smart Grants?

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In a nutshell, Smart is the new name for Innovate UK’s ‘Open grant funding’ programme. It is a fund offered by the UK government and administered by Innovate UK. The grants are intended to support projects that will help the company gain considerable market share, and to boost economic growth and exports.

More about Innovate UK Smart Grants

Innovate UK is keen to embrace the kinds of new ideas that come out of nowhere but that when taken forward can drastically improve and transform lives and industries. This could be in relation to a specific technology in any sector, from science and engineering to creative industries such as design, film-making or media. Through these grants, the government is recognising that meeting the costs involved in innovation is often difficult, but getting it right will benefit both the company and the wider world substantially.

It is believed that Smart Grants are the key to speeding up the development and marketing process of any number of potential new products, processes and services. Competition is stiff, so it’s vital that companies produce the very best quality application they possibly can.

What support is available?

There are different types and amounts of grant funding available and the amount a business receives depends on its size and what stage of their project it is at.

Eligible projects can be:

  • Early feasibility studies to examine an idea’s potential, including market research
  • Industrial research, where the skills and knowledge acquired are intended to allow a company to improve existing products, services or processes
  • Experimental development, which may include testing prototypes or carrying out piloting or demonstrations

It’s all about innovation

Innovate UK Smart Grants are available to fund game-changing, highly innovative ideas via a regular, competitive application process. As long as the ideas are big, bold and creative, a business may well be eligible.

To apply, companies need to either:

  • Have an idea for a completely new product, process or service
  • Have an idea for an unprecedented or brand new use for an existing product, process or service that takes it above and beyond anything already available

It doesn’t matter what industry, sector or technology area the company operates in.

So what has recent uptake been like?

Statistical information regarding Smart Grants is not particularly easily to come by, however at Myriad Associates we’ve managed to obtain the latest funding round data for April 2019. The information includes how much the average funding request was for and the sectors that are benefiting most.

For April 2019’s funding round, Innovate UK received 1273 Smart Grant applications, with 1101 being assessed. Of that 1101, 93 were funded.

Statistics also show that the highest number of funded applications were from digital industries and digital technology (13 and 14 applications respectively). Following on from this, 7 then came from the agricultural sector, 6 from creative industries and 4 from bioscience. After that, applications were from sectors including connected and autonomous vehicles, additive layer manufacturing (ALM) and diagnostics, medical technology and devices.

See the figures here

I’m interested - who can apply?

Any UK business regardless of size can apply for a grant through the Innovate UK Smart Grants programme. Companies can carry out projects alone or in conjunction with another business or sectors, depending on the length of the project and the amount of grant. Businesses must be registered in the UK and carry out the work here to qualify.

How to apply for Smart Grant funding

Competitions for funding are run regularly by Innovate UK and advertised on their website. Companies wishing to apply must register before completing an application process provided by the Innovation Funding Service.

Companies wishing to take part will need to:

  • Describe in detail the need or challenge they have identified
  • Explain how their innovation will meet the challenge
  • Describe how their idea beats their competitors - how does it stand out from the crowd?
  • Demonstrate and evidence a specific market that the product, service or process is targeting and how this will be exploited
  • Explain why a grant is important to their project’s development and what would happen without it.

When does the next round of Smart Grants open?

The latest October 2019 competition opens this Thursday (17th October) with up to £25 million available to deliver ambitious or disruptive R&D innovations that can make a significant impact on the UK economy. The deadline for applications is Wednesday 8th January 2020 at 12.00pm so it’s well worth getting started. After that, details of further competitions will be published on the Innovation Funding Service website as and when they become available.

How to make an award-winning Smart Grant application

As mentioned, Smart Grant funding is incredibly competitive and only the very best applications can be successful. The good news is you don’t have to go it alone as the team at Myriad Associates is here to help.

Why trust Myriad Associates with my grant application?

By using our grant writing services, you will automatically have a significant competitive advantage over other applicants. In the February round of Smart Grants, we submitted one application and won funding for the project. Rather than effectively giving it a go and hoping for the best, you will benefit from Myriad’s years of grant application experience and we will guide you through the process to maximise your chances of success.

We have a hugely successful track record helping companies in a huge range of industries, including financial, technical, engineering and more and will drastically reduce the time and hassle involved - leaving you to get on with the day job.

What else can Myriad Associates offer me?

We are pleased to offer a range of professional services including:

Honest feedbackWe will not waste your time or money. If we feel your application won't succeed, we will tell you before we undertake the application process.

Grant Application Writing - Our team will work with you to put together an exceptional quality R&D grant application which we will then give you to review and approve.

Project Assessment - Myriad Associates is made up of a number of in-house specialists who will work to thoroughly understand both your company and your project right from the outset. 

Compliance and Monitoring - Once your application is approved, there will likely be some requests from the grant body’s monitoring officers. We will help you with these.

Submission and Feedback - Regardless of whether your project is ultimately successful or not, we can work through the assessor feedback and provide ongoing support for the future.

Ready to get started?

Contact our friendly team on 020 3994 2308 or visit our contact page to see if you have a project worth applying for.


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Please contact us to discuss how working with Myriad Associates can maximise and secure R&D funding opportunities for your business.

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