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Innovate UK Smart Grants: April 2022 UK registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £25 million for game-changing and commercially viable R&D innovation that can significantly impact the UK economy. This funding is from Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation. Eligibility This competition is open to single applicants and collaborations. To lead a project your organisation must: be a UK registered business of any size or a UK registered research and technology organisation (RTO) be or involve at least one micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME) carry out all your research and development (R&D) project activity in the UK intend to commercially exploit the project results from the UK Open now Opened: 25 April 2022 Closes: 27 July 2022

Programme: Innovate Uk

Award:

Opens: 25 April 2022

Closes: 27 July 2022

Description

Smart is Innovate UK’s responsive grant funding programme. It has focused eligibility criteria and scope to support SMEs and their partners to develop disruptive innovations with significant potential for rapid, economic return to the UK.

Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, is investing up to £25 million in the best game-changing, and world leading ideas, designed for swift, successful commercialisation. Ideas need to be genuinely new and novel, not just disruptive within their sector.

Your proposal must be business focused, with deliverable, realistic, adequately resourced plans to achieve return on investment, growth and market share following project completion.

Questions for this round of Smart have been updated to reflect the importance of obtaining economic benefits from public funding, and the potential for successful commercialisation, growth and exports.

Applications can come from any area of technology and be applied to any part of the economy such as, but not exclusively, net zero, the arts, design and media.

In applying to this competition, you are entering into a highly competitive process where your chance of success in securing funding will depend on the number and quality of applications submitted.

This competition closes at 11am UK time on the deadline stated.

Funding type

Grant

Project size

Projects of 6 to 18 months must have total project costs of between £100,000 and £500,000 and can be single or collaborative. Projects of 19 to 36 months must have total project costs of between £100,000 and £2 million and must be collaborative.

Who can apply

Your project

If your application does not meet the eligibility criteria for this competition, it will be marked as ineligible and will not be sent for assessment.

Your project must:

  • start by 1 January 2023
  • end by 31 December 2025
  • include at least one micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME) as the lead or a collaborative grant claiming partner
  • follow specific rules dependent on its duration
  • carry out all of its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK

The end by date is the date by which all funding for this round of the competition must end. Your contracted project end date will not be extended.

If your project’s duration is 6 to 18 months, it:

  • must have total project costs between £100,000 and £500,000
  • can be single or collaborative

If your project’s duration is 19 to 36 months, it must:

  • have total project costs between £100,000 and £2 million
  • be collaborative

You must only include eligible project costs in your application.

Lead organisation

To lead a project your organisation must:

Eligibility overview

Here is a diagram showing a summary of eligibility.
This is a new way of showing you eligibility. Your feedback will help us to improve it.

Funding

Up to £25 million has been allocated to fund innovation projects in this competition. Funding will be in the form of a grant.

If the majority of your organisation’s work on the project is commercial or economic, your funding request must not exceed the limits below. These limits apply even if your organisation normally acts non-economically.

For feasibility studies and industrial research projects, you could get funding for your eligible project costs of:

  • up to 70% if you are a micro or small organisation
  • up to 60% if you are a medium sized organisation
  • up to 50% if you are a large organisation

For experimental development projects which are nearer to market, you could get funding for your eligible project costs of:

  • up to 45% if you are a micro or small organisation
  • up to 35% if you are a medium sized organisation
  • up to 25% if you are a large organisation

For more information on company sizes, please refer to the company accounts guidance. This is a change from the EU definition unless you are applying under State aid.

If you are applying for an award funded under State aid Regulations, the definitions are set out in the European Commission Recommendation of 6 May 2003.

Research participation

The research organisations undertaking non-economic activity as part of the project can share up to 30% of the total eligible project costs. If your consortium contains more than one research organisation undertaking non-economic activity, this maximum is shared between them.

Of that 30% you could get funding for your eligible project costs of up to:

  • 80% of full economic costs (FEC) if you are a Je-S registered institution such as an academic
  • 100% of your project costs if you are an RTO, charity, not for profit organisation, public sector organisation or research organisation
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