Innovate UK Grants

Get funding, partners, & support with Innovate UK grant from UKRI



What are Innovate UK Smart Grants?

Innovate UK is a government-funded business grant administered by UK Research and Innovation aiming to provide capital, connect businesses with partners, and assist businesses in starting, growing, and expanding.

They are by far the most important Grant body in the UK, with more than 5,000 businesses have received assistance from Innovate UK since 2007. It is estimated that this has boosted the UK economy by £7.5 billion and created 35,000 jobs.

They assist businesses in the development of products, processes, and services using science and technology with the aim of promoting economic growth. At least two grant competitions are held annually in manufacturing and materials, health and life sciences, infrastructure systems, and emerging and enabling technologies. They’ll also hold two annual open competitions with applicants coming from a vastly wide field of industries and specialities.

Innovate UK Smart Grants are free, but the application process can be long-winded and challenging if not well-managed.



How can grant money can be used for business projects?

You must explain how you’ll use grant money in your application. Innovate UK will not allow all business costs to be included.

Using the grant, you can include the following:

Labour costs  – Labour costs are the salary of employees working on or supporting the project. An employee working on the project may be an engineer, while a support staff may be the procurement officer responsible for buying equipment and materials.  Salary, National Insurance, employer’s pension contribution, performance bonuses, life insurance and other perks are labour costs. A cleaner who cleans all business spaces, including the project site, is not eligible.

Overhead costs – When using a grant to pay for overhead, you have two alternatives. First choice allows you to incorporate 20% of all project-related business overheads. This involves no further paperwork and speeds up review. The second alternative is to offer figures for the project’s direct and indirect overhead expenses, which will be reviewed by Innovate UK’s project finance team. Innovate UK would never enable 100% of overhead costs to be covered by the funding.

Indirect Overheads – If you want to include indirect overheads in your estimates, you must offer more information. They can include overheads necessary for your organization’s general operations, but they should be incurred because of the project and be above ordinary business expenditures. Installing security cameras or renting extra office space may be necessary for a sensitive project.

Material Costs – Only third-party materials purchased for the project are eligible. If there’s leftover stock or resale value, deduct it. If materials are obtained through connected companies or consortium members, just cost price should be considered (excluding profit or margin they receive).

Capital Assets – Costs of using capital assets can be included if they have a one-year useful life, are standalone, defined, and transportable, and comply to your company’s capitalisation strategy. The government website provides an example of how to calculate these expenditures.

Subcontractors – If you need subcontractors for your project, their work must be necessary, include expertise you don’t have, and use abilities you can’t develop in-house.

Travel – Only travel expenditures for individuals indicated under labour costs are eligible. The project must need travel, such as inspecting and collecting equipment. Only acceptable economy travel charges can be claimed.

Other costs – expenditures include workshop/laboratory rental, training, technical report creation, market assessment, licencing new technology, and patent filing fees.



Is my business eligible?

Whether your business will be eligible will depend on many different factors, not least the grant that you are seeking to obtain.

Reach out to us today to find out whether there are any current grants available that would be a good fit for your company’s latest developments.



Our Grant Services:

  1. Full Writing Service – Our full writing service maximizes your chances of success by assigning a team of at least three experts to each application. The team includes a Technical Writer, a Reviewer, and a Partner.
  2. Coaching Service – Our coaching service provides guidance and support to help you develop the abilities and confidence to create your own grant application. The service includes guidance on how to respond to each question and create a compelling story, as well as an active assessor review of your application.
  3. Analysis/Review Service – Our review service ensures your grant application has the best chance of winning. We provide a templated application guide to help you cover all essential points, and after you submit your application, one of our knowledgeable reviewers will carefully examine it and provide helpful advice in the form of thorough notes.



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