Innovate UK Smart Grants

Opportunity to apply for a share of up to £20 million to deliver ambitious or disruptive R&D innovations with significant potential for impact on the UK economy.

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

Innovate UK, as part of UK Research and Innovation, will invest up to £20 million in the best game-changing or disruptive ideas with a view to commercialisation.

All proposals must be business focused, rather than pure research. Applications can come from any area of technology (including arts, design, media or creative industries), science or engineering and be applied to any part of the economy.

Whilst they welcome projects that overlap with The Grand Challenge areas, they are also keen to support projects that are entirely outside these. Working in these areas is not a requirement to be eligible.

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

They may consider eligible project costs over £2 million (but not exceeding £3 million), subject to the process set out under ‘Eligibility

Competition closes: Wednesday 24 April 2019 12:00pm

Funding type


Project size

Duration between 6 and 18 months: total eligible project costs between £25,000 and £500,000 (single company or collaboration). Duration between 19 and 36 months: total eligible project costs between £25,000 and £2 million (collaboration only).

About Innovate UK Smart grants

As the UK’s innovation agency, we know that new and novel ideas to improve and transform people’s lives, industries and the world, can come from anywhere, at any time.

They might relate to a particular technology, or be rooted in a certain sector – from more traditional disciplines like science and engineering to creative industries such as film-making or design.

We also know that innovation is hard. It can take a lot of time and resource to get an idea off the ground, find a suitable market and develop new products, services and processes.

Grant funding is one way that business can take a project forward and quickly turn it into reality.

Through the Innovate UK Smart programme, we look to find the very best ideas from business, no matter what sector they’re from and where in the UK they are based.