Specialist R&D Tax & Grant Funding Advisors

Innovate UK Smart Grant closing 26th October 2022

Innovate UK is now looking to invest up to £25 million in game-changing and commercially viable R&D innovation that can significantly impact the UK economy.

Marc Greatrex

Director - Grants Division

16/09/2022

10 minute read


Grant funding opportunity

The latest instalment of Innovate UK's SMART grant competition sees another £25m made available for game-changing and commercially viable innovative or disruptive ideas that can significantly impact the UK economy.  Any innovative research and development (R&D) projects across a variety of technologies, markets and research categories can apply.  It is open to any enterprise and must include at least one SME (who could work alone).

What funding is available?

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 novel, not just disruptive within their sector.

Your proposal must be business focused, with deliverable, realistic, adequately resourced plans to achieve return on investment, growth and market share following project completion.

Questions for this round of Smart have been updated to reflect the importance of obtaining economic benefits from public funding, and the potential for successful commercialisation, growth and exports.

Applications can come from any area of technology and be applied to any part of the economy such as, but not exclusively, net zero, the arts, design and media.

In applying to this competition, you are entering into a highly competitive process where your chance of success in securing funding will depend on the number and quality of applications submitted.

This competition closes at 11am UK time on the Wednesday 26th October 2022.

Your project:

If your application does not meet the eligibility criteria for this competition, it will be marked as ineligible and will not be sent for assessment.

Your project must:

  • Start by the 1st May 2023
  • End by the 30th April 2026
  • include at least one micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME) as the lead or a collaborative grant claiming partner
  • follow specific rules dependent 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 project costs between £100,000 and £500,000
  • can be single or collaborative

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

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

You must only include eligible project costs in your application.

Under current restrictions, this competition will not fund any procurement, commercial, business development or supply chain activity with any Russian entity. This includes any goods or services originating from a Russian source.

Lead organisation

To lead a project your organisation must:

If the lead organisation is an RTO it must collaborate with 2 businesses (one SME, and one business of any size) and there must be a credible route to market for the output of the project. Since the purpose of RTOs is to speed up the progress of those using their services, this is expected to be through the partners, rather than through the RTO itself.

Academic institutions cannot lead or work alone.

Project team

To collaborate with the lead, your organisation must be one of the following UK registered:

Each partner organisation must be invited into the Innovation Funding Service by the lead to collaborate on a project. Once accepted, partners will be asked to login or to create an account and enter their own project costs into the Innovation Funding Service.

If collaborative, the lead and at least one other organisation must claim grant funding by entering their costs during the application.

Subcontractors

Subcontractors are allowed in this competition.

Subcontractors must be based in the UK for the duration of the project and their portion of the project work must be carried out in the UK. Subcontractors can be from anywhere in the UK and you must select them through your usual procurement process.

All subcontractor costs must be justified and appropriate to the total project costs. Without meeting these criteria, a subcontractor’s contribution would be ineligible.

Please note that for the purposes of this competition the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man are crown dependencies and not classed as part of the UK. Subcontractors located there would be deemed ineligible.

Number of applications

Businesses or RTOs can only lead on one application. Any subsequent applications submitted with the same lead will not be forwarded for assessment.

All partners can collaborate on any number of applications.

Proposals:

Innovate UK will give preference to applications that demonstrate realistic, significant potential for global markets.

Proposals from innovation-based businesses with significant ambition and potential for growth or scale-up are welcome.

Where possible, projects should take customer and user needs into account to deliver more desirable and useful solutions.

Proposals 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 (and documents) market potential and needs
  • 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
  • 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, etc) 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, which will always be a consideration in Innovate UK funding decisions

Projects Innovate UK will not fund:

Innovate UK will not fund 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 significant return on investment (ROI), positive economic impact, growth and scale-up of the business
  • Are dependent on export performance – for example giving a subsidy to a baker on the condition that it exports a certain quantity of bread to another country
  • Are dependent on domestic inputs usage - for example giving a subsidy to a baker on the condition that it uses 50% UK flour in their product

Project dates:

  • 28th July 2022, Competition opens
  • 4th August 2022, Online briefing event: Watch the recording
  • 26th October 2022 11:00am, Competition closes
  • 13th January 2023, Applicants notified

Interested in applying? Myriad Associates can help

  • Win Rate - Myriad Associates’ boast a near 70% success rate with Innovate UK smart grant applications. This is among the highest success rate in the industry.
  • Proven templates & tools for success - Our templates make it easy to collaborate & prepare a winning bid.
  • Honest & Trustworthy – We 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.
  • Highly rated UK & European bid writers - We have a highly experienced team of bid writers with proven UK & European success. We've secured over €80m in grant funding for our UK & EU clients.
  • Unlimited revisions - Our grant writers provide feedback on both successful and unsuccessful grant applications. We review this feedback with you to give you ongoing advice and guidance.
  • Risk-free Eligibility Call – Call us for a free eligibility call to see if you have an application worth applying for.

Click here to discuss your application with one of our expert grant bid writers.


Related articles

Get in touch

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

Contact us