Overview

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.

Scope

Your proposal must demonstrate:

  • a clear game-changing, innovative and/or disruptive and ambitious idea leading to new products, processes or services
  • an idea that is significantly ahead of others in the field, set for rapid commercialisation
  • a strong and deliverable business plan that addresses (and documents) market potential and needs
  • a clear, evidence based plan to deliver significant economic impact, return on investment (ROI) and growth through commercialisation, as soon as possible after project completion
  • a team, business arrangement or working structure with the necessary skills and experience to run and complete the project successfully and on time
  • awareness of all the main risks the project will face (including contractor or equipment failure, recruitment delays, etc) with realistic management, mitigation and impact minimisation plans for each risk
  • clear, considerable potential to significantly impact the UK economy and/or productivity in a positive way
  • sound, practical financial plans and timelines that represent good value for money, which will always be a consideration in Innovate UK funding decisions

Innovate UK give preference to applications that demonstrate realistic, significant potential for global markets.

Proposals from innovation-based businesses with significant ambition and potential for growth or scale-up are welcome.

Where possible, projects should take customer and user needs into account to deliver more desirable and useful solutions.

Eligibility

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 UK registered businesses, research organisations, public sector organisations or charities

Academic institutions cannot lead or work alone.

To collaborate with the lead organisation you must:

  • be a UK registered business, academic organisation, charity, public sector organisation or RTO
  • carry out your R&D project activity in the UK
  • intend to commercially exploit the project results from or in the UK
  • be invited to take part by the lead applicant
  • enter your costs in the Innovation Funding Service

The lead and at least one other organisation must claim funding by entering their costs during the application.

Exclusions

Innovate UK will not fund proposals that do not:

  • meet the competition eligibility or scope
  • address the size, potential and access to market for the innovation
  • evidence the potential for their idea or concept to lead to significant return on investment (ROI), positive economic impact, growth and scale-up of the business

Funding Costs

Up to £25 million has been allocated to fund innovation projects in this competition.

Your project must start no later than 1 February 2021 and end no later than 29th February 2024.

Your project must follow specific rules based on its duration:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

Organisations whose main activity is commercial or economic must make sure that the outcomes of the project such as intellectual property do not help gain a selective advantage in the market. This includes organisations that typically act non-economically but for the purpose of this project will be undertaking commercial or economic activity.

For feasibility studies and industrial research projects, your organisation could get funding for 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 organisations 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

The research organisations in your consortium 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.

Interested in applying for this competition?

Book a 30-minute consultation

Our team are available to discuss your innovative business, your project ideas and how we can help you to write a successful application for this Grant Funding opportunity.

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