Innovate UK Smart Grants: Oct 2019 - Jan 2020

Smart is the new name for Innovate UK’s ‘Open grant funding’ programme and is now open for registrations.

Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, is investing up to £25 million in the best game-changing and commercially viable innovative or disruptive ideas. All proposals must be business focused.

Applications can come from any area of technology and be applied to any part of the economy, such as but not exclusively:
  • the arts, design and media
  • creative industries
  • science or engineering

Whilst we welcome projects that overlap with the grand challenge areas, this is not a requirement, as we are also keen to support projects in other areas. All SMEs involved in funded projects will also be offered business growth support from the Enterprise Europe Network (EEN).

We may share application details with other public sector co-funders if this is appropriate.

We may consider eligible project costs over £2 million (but not exceeding £3 million), subject to the process set out under ‘Eligibility’.
Your application must include at least one micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME).
Your project must start by June 2020 and end no later than June 2023.
Your project must follow different rules depending on its duration:
  • Projects with durations between 6 and 18 months must have total eligible project costs between £25,000 and £500,000. They can be single or collaborative projects.
  • Project durations between 19 months and 36 months must have total eligible project costs between £25,000 and £2 million. They must be collaborative projects.
If you want to submit a project between 19 months and 36 months with total project costs between £2 million and £3 million as a permitted exception, you must email You must give full justification at least 10 days before the competition closes; do not submit an application for projects over £2m without approval.
To lead a project you must:
  • be a UK registered business of any size or a research and technology organisation (RTO)
  • carry out your R&D project activity in the UK
  • intend to commercially exploit the project results from or in the UK
  • be an SME if you want to work alone
  • include at least one SME if you are a large business or RTO and wish to collaborate with other businesses, research organisations, public sector organisations or charities

Academic institutions cannot lead or work alone.

For more information, please visit

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