New government funding – available from today – will help UK businesses to turn their game-changing ideas into major commercial successes.
Smart grants are the latest programme from Innovate UK to de-risk innovation and enable business growth. Since 2007, organisations have benefitted from £2.5 billion of Innovate UK support, which has helped to create around 70,000 jobs and add an estimated £18 billion to the UK economy.
Ian Campbell, Interim Executive Chair of Innovate UK said:
New business ideas have the potential to improve and transform people’s lives, industries and the world.
Our Smart grant funding is designed for businesses with great innovative ideas, and the capacity and appetite to achieve significant growth.
Projects that are awarded Innovate UK Smart grants will follow a long line of businesses to gain success following funding support.
This includes Swiftkey, the predictive keyboard app bought by Microsoft following a reputed $250 million deal, and 3D printer and resin manufacturer, Photocentric, which expects to sell over £8 million worth of its products by 2020.
Introducing Innovate UK Smart grants
Innovate UK Smart grants are for the very best ideas from business, no matter what field they are in, where they are from, and the stage of innovation – from testing the feasibility of an idea through to development and prototyping.
They are for business innovation projects that offer a major step-change, either to what’s already available or by developing an entirely new technology, service or process.
These should have a high potential for commercialisation within the UK and wider global markets.
What we want
Projects should be:
- for products, processes or services that are game-changing or disruptive
- significantly ahead of others in the field
- backed up by a strong, achievable business plan, practical financial planning and timelines, and realistic risk management and mitigation
- led by skilled and experienced teams used to running successful projects, to time
- good value for money
- quickly commercialised following completion, to offer a clear return on investment
- able to create a considerable positive impact to UK productivity and the economy
- the competition is open and the deadline for applications is at midday on 24 April 2019
- businesses of any size or research and technology organisations can lead a project
- leads can work alone or collaborate with others, depending on the project length and size. They should involve at least one small or medium-sized enterprise
- projects with total eligible costs of £25,000 to £500,000 should last between 6 and 18 months
- projects with total eligible project costs of £25,000 to £2 million should last between 19 months and 3 years
- businesses could get up to 70% of their costs
- awarded projects must start by 4 November 2019