Your trusted adviser for R&D Tax Credits, Creative Tax Relief, and R&D Grants

Innovate UK

Innovate UK is the UK’s national innovation agency that supports business-led innovation projects. Businesses can apply for grants of up to £10m. Innovate UK grants are highly competitive, and to win, you need to invest significant time in preparing your application.

Myriad is the UK’s leading specialist R&D grant adviser. Our talented bid writing team boast some of the highest success rates in the UK and Europe.

Get in touch today!

Innovate UK

Guide Overview

We’ve created simple sections to help you understand how Innovate UK works and whether your business could be eligible for funding.

What is Innovate UK?

As the UK's innovation agency, Innovate UK is dedicated to powering growth through science and technology.

Through funding competitions open to all innovative businesses of any size or sector, they provide financial support that enables organisations to pursue R&D projects confidently and turn promising ideas into viable business opportunities - stimulating economic development across the nation.

What is Innovate UK
What type of projects are eligible for Innovate UK funding

What type of projects are eligible for Innovate UK funding?

Innovate UK is seeking projects that focus on research and development to generate new products, services, or processes.

  • Fundamental research.
  • Feasibility studies.
  • Industrial research.
  • Experimental development.

How to apply for Innovate UK funding

When applying for a sector-based competition, ensure that your project or activity is eligible for the competition you’re entering, as each competition has different criteria.

Also, ensure all past Innovate UK-funded projects have been completed fully. They won't award funding if any previously awarded funding you've received has not been exploited. You will need to submit your application online using the Innovation Funding Service.

How to apply for Innovate UK funding

What’s the process to prepare an application for Innovate UK?

Investing in a grant application requires careful planning and attention to detail. Our experienced team can provide invaluable support, ensuring your proposal is crafted precisely to give you the best opportunity for success.

There are many pathways to gaining the necessary funding for your innovative project, and applying for a grant competition is one of them.

Before applying, ensure your proposal meets all requirements and qualifications the granting organisation outlines. Our experienced team can assess whether or not this opportunity aligns with what you're trying to achieve; don't hesitate to contact us if required!

Once submitted, each application undergoes an extensive evaluation process conducted by professional experts to determine its eligibility as a disruptive innovation capable of sparking success on both local and international levels.

Latest Timeline Image Small

How can we help?

Myriad have an enviable track record with R&D grant applications. Using our grant application services can give you a significant competitive advantage over other grant applicants.

Our grant bid writers have secured over €200m for our clients in the last 24 months. We are also very proud to have secured some of the highest-scoring applications in Europe, with five of our projects scoring 15/15.

About Myriad
R&D Grants video
  • #1 UK & EU grants team - We employ leading bid writers who write compelling applications.
  • 70% Success rates - Myriad boasts a near 70% success rate with Innovate UK Smart grant applications. This is among the highest success rates in the industry.
  • Templates & tools - 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 begin the process.
  • Unlimited revisions - Our grant writers provide feedback on successful and unsuccessful grant applications. We review this feedback with you to give you ongoing advice and guidance.
Grant Figures 2022

Our results

  • €70m in Disruptive Technologies Innovation funding won.
  • €97m in Horizon Europe funding won.
  • #1 European grants team - We employ leading bid writers who write compelling applications.
  • A complete service - On receipt of your offer letter, we help you with all administrative requirements to ensure prompt receipt of grant funds.

Frequently asked questions

Projects should aim to lead to new products, processes or services (or novel use of existing ones) believed to be significantly ahead of anything similar in the field. They must focus on commercialisation, growth or scale-up.

The competition scope will specify the category of R&D activity for that particular funding opportunity.

Innovate UK supports the following R&D categories:

  • Fundamental research means experimental or theoretical work primarily to gain new knowledge of underlying phenomena and visible facts without any direct practical application or usage
  • Feasibility studies: means of analysing and evaluating a project’s potential, aimed at supporting the decision-making process. This is achieved by uncovering its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats and identifying the resources needed and the prospects for success.
  • Industrial research means planned research or critical investigation to gain new knowledge and skills. This should be for product development, processes or services that improve existing products, processes or services.
  • Experimental development means acquiring, combining, shaping and using existing scientific, technological, business and other relevant knowledge and skills to develop new or improved products, processes or services.

Each Innovate UK competition will have a different set of criteria your application must meet.

But there are a few general standards that all applications should adhere to.

Make sure the application does not:

  • Deliberately increase word count using punctuation.
  • Use unprofessional, aggressive or threatening language.
  • Have a notable lack of content.
  • Have no evident innovation.

The application will be rejected if it:

  • Is the same as, or very similar to, a project that has received public funds previously.
  • Is the same as, or very similar to, another application.

Has already been submitted for assessment in 2 other competitions.

If you are a UK-based business, you can apply for funding. All kinds of companies are eligible, from startups to large multi-national corporations.

If you are a UK-based business, you can apply for funding to:

  • Test the feasibility of your idea and make sure it will work.
  • Create a new product, process, or service, or improve an existing one through research and development.
  • Work with other business or research organisations on collaborative projects.

Innovate UK focus their main activities on five strategic themes:

  1. Future economy: what the UK economy will be like in the future.
  2. Growth at scale: how companies can grow and scale up.
  3. Global opportunities: helping build new supply chains, positioning UK companies as the partners of choice and attracting inward investment.
  4. Innovation ecosystem: working with partners to ensure our system offers excellent support for business innovation.
  5. Government levers: helping the government support business innovation through procurement, standards, codes, regulation and other levers.

Learn more about these on the UKRI website: 

Preparation of an Innovate UK application takes 150 to 300 hours of work.

You will need the right combination of people to cover the application's key aspects: the technology, market knowledge, commercialisation plan, and financial details.

Only applications that meet the funding competition’s eligibility criteria and scope are sent for assessment. You will be notified if your application is out of scope, with full reasons why.

Applications are assessed by up to five independent assessors, who judge the applications against the same scoring criteria. The assessors provide written feedback for each scored question.

All applications are judged on individual merit, with the Innovate UK funder’s panel making the final funding decision.

Some competitions are subject to a ‘portfolio’ approach to ensure that funds are allocated across the strategic areas of the competition’s scope. All successful applications must meet a quality threshold.

Your Innovate UK application is more likely to succeed if it:

  • Shows how the project results in a real innovation and doesn’t replicate products currently on the market.
  • Provides a convincing company description which explains why you are more likely to succeed than a competitor.
  • Includes a clear and thorough description of the business opportunity, not just the project description.
  • Demonstrates a clear understanding of the target market, including commercialisation and competitor information.

Innovate UK applications are scored by up to five external assessors who are experts in the area of innovation identified in the application. These experts represent both business and research sectors.

Innovate UK aims to inform you whether or not your project will be funded around three months after the submission deadline.

Assessor feedback is provided on all applications. This is usually four weeks after you are notified of a decision.

For Innovate UK, project costs are only eligible if they are incurred and paid between the project start and end dates. These claims may be subject to an independent audit. Grants are claimed quarterly, in arrears, and are paid once the required audits and reports are complete.

Looking for guidance to secure Innovate UK funding?

Connect with us and get the expert help you need; we will provide trusted advice to ensure success.

Get in touch

Step 1 of #

Is your business registered for Corporation Tax in the UK or are you a partnership with corporate owners?


Have you developed new or improved existing products, processes or services in the last 2 accounting periods?

Continue Back

Have you incurred any R&D costs on staff, contractors and consumables?

Continue Back

Does your business have fewer than 500 staff, and either: A turnover of no more than €100 million; or Gross assets of no more than €86 million?

Continue Back

Sorry, you must be a UK limited company or be a Partnership with corporate owners to be eligible for R&D tax credits.

In order to qualify for R&D tax credits you must be seeking to advance science or technology within your industry. As you’ve not developed any new or improved any existing innovative tools, products or services, and not re-developed any existing products, processes or services in the last 2 years. It is unlikely you have any qualifying activity. If you’re unsure, email or call us and we’ll help clarify.

In order to claim R&D tax credits, you need to either employ staff or spend money on contractors, consumable items and other items. If you’re unsure, email or call us and we’ll help clarify.

Thanks for that!

Congrats!! Based on your previous answers, you will qualify for the SME scheme. If you’d like some help maximising and securing your claim, please email or call us.

Congrats!! Based on your previous answers, you will qualify for the RDEC scheme. If you’d like some help maximising and securing your claim, please email or call us.

Speak to an expert Back