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The latest instalment of Innovate UK's SMART grant competition was launched in April and the deadline of the 27th July is fast approaching. Another £25 million in grant funding is up for grabs.
The latest instalment of Innovate UK's SMART grant competition was launched in April and the deadline of the 27th July is fast approaching. Another £25 million in grant funding is up for grabs, aimed at game-changing and commercially viable innovative or disruptive ideas that can significantly impact the UK economy.
All innovative research and development (R&D) projects across a variety of technologies, markets and research categories can qualify. It is open to any enterprise and must include at least one SME.
Innovate UK forms part of UK Research and Innovation. In this round of funding, it is looking to invest up to £25 million in the most disruptive, cutting-edge technologies that can swiftly and successfully be brought to market. Projects must be extremely novel and genuinely new as game changers not just in their sector but in the market as a whole.
Proposals must also be business focused, with realistic, adequately resourced, deliverable plans that bring real growth in market share and return on investment once the project is complete.
Certain updates have been made to this round of funding to reflect the importance of obtaining economic benefits from public funding, and the potential for successful commercialisation, exports and growth.
Applications can come from any area of technology and be applied to any part of the economy, including (but not limited to) media, design, net zero and the arts.
To be eligible for this particular innovation grant, projects must:
Only eligible project costs can be included in your grant application so it’s important you understand what is relevant and what isn’t. The current competition will also not be funding any business development, procurement, supply chain or commercial activity with Russian entities. This is to include any goods or services that originate from a Russian source.
Your project must have:
This competition is set to close on the 27th July 2022 at 11am UK time.
The 31st December 2025 is the final date by which your contracted project must have ended and there will be no extensions.
If the duration of your project is 6 to 18 months, it:
If the duration of your project is 19 to 36 months, it must:
Innovate UK has been clear it will look most favourably on projects that demonstrate realistic, significant growth potential for global markets. Innovative, ambitious small businesses and start-ups with substantial growth potential are welcome.
Proposals must also demonstrate:
To give your organisation the very best chance of R&D grant success, the recommended way forward is to enlist the services of an experienced R&D grant writing service.
Whilst it’s perfectly possible to go it alone and make an application online yourself, it’s often very difficult to decipher the eligibility criteria accurately. Understanding how to showcase your project effectively and be persuasive in your application is also something of an art form, and with potentially large grants at stake it’s well worth doing properly.
External R&D grant writing consultancies also have the ability to look critically at your project and can often point you in the direction of further grants and R&D support. This can drastically reduce the guess work, whilst also saving you time and money on an application that may not be successful.
Further information about this and other government competitions can be found on Gov.uk’s innovation competitions page.