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Innovate UK

Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency, runs funding competitions which can help you develop your innovative idea and make it successful. Innovate UK funding competitions provide funding between £25,000 and £10 million.

Innovate UK

Innovate UK Explained

What is Innovate UK?

Innovate UK drives innovation across the UK by investing in high-potential innovation projects to accelerate sector growth. In 2016-2017, Innovate UK will invest £561 million in innovation.

Innovate UK offers sector-based competitions that run twice a year. There are also funding competitions and programmes open to all innovative businesses, regardless of the technology and sector in which they are working. These open competitions also run twice a year.

In general, the further away from commercialisation your project is, the more funding you can receive from Innovate UK. Award-winning projects will have global opportunities that draw on unique strengths from the UK.

What types of businesses should apply for Innovate UK grant funding?

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

Is your innovation ready for you to apply for Innovate UK grant funding?

You can apply for Innovate UK grant funding if you want to:

  • Test whether your idea will work, through a feasibility study
  • Create a new product, process, or service, or improve an existing one, through R&D
  • Work on collaborative projects with other businesses or research organisations

What are the project topic areas for the Innovate UK 2016-2017 delivery plan?

The Innovate UK 2016-2017 Delivery Plan has funding competitions across four industry sectors:

  • Emerging and enabling technologies – technologies and capabilities that will lead to the new products, processes, and services of tomorrow.
  • Health and life sciences – a focus on agriculture and food, healthcare, energy, and chemicals and materials.
  • Infrastructure systems – covering the major global market opportunities in optimising transport and energy systems and integrating those with other systems, such as health and the digital economy.
  • Manufacturing and materials – the development, validation, and application of cross-cutting manufacturing and materials technology and processes.

The open programme accepts applications from any company in any sector of the UK economy.

The Innovate UK Grant Application Process

How long does it take to prepare an Innovate UK application?

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

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

What's the Innovate UK evaluation process?

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 set of 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 decision regarding funding.

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

What's the success rate of Innovate UK applications?

As Innovate UK has recently changed the way that they work and has introduced a new grant funding competition structure for 2016-2017, there is not currently any information available about the success rate of applications.

What type of Innovate UK applications are likely to succeed?

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 a description of the project
  • Demonstrates a clear understanding of the target market, including commercialisation and competitor information

Who evaluates an Innovate UK application?

An 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.

How long does it take to receive a decision from Innovate UK?

Innovate UK aims to inform you whether or not your project will be funded around 3 months after the submission deadline.

Assessor feedback is provided on all applications. This usually 4 weeks after you are notified of a decision.

How is Innovate UK grant money paid?

For Innovate UK, project costs are only eligible if they are incurred and paid between the project start date and project end date. 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.

How Myriad Associates Can Help

Why choose Myriad Associates as your specialist R&D grants funding advisor?

Myriad Associates 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.

We assess your chances of success

We write your grant application

We prepare your financial plan

We submit your grant application

We help you comply with the conditions of your grant

We take care of your application from start to finish

Project Assessment – Our specialist consultants discuss all the relevant technical, commercial and financial details of your R&D project with you and assess your chances of success.

Workshop Session – We will take you through a workshop session so that we fully understand your project in terms of the technical problems and solution, commercial opportunities, market dynamics, project team and financial projections.

Grant Writing – We research, prepare, and write an award winning R&D grant application for your review and approval.

Submission and Feedback – We complete the on-line registration process and submit the web-based grant application on your behalf. Grant assessors provide feedback on both successful and unsuccessful grant applications, and we review this feedback with you to give you on-going advice and guidance.

Compliance and Monitoring – When your grant application is approved, we help you comply with all requests from the grant body’s monitoring officers.

You can download our information sheet on Innovate UK grants.

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