“I’m applying for grant funding – what are my chances of success?”

Grant funding competitions are extremely competitive. In recent years, it has become more and more difficult to secure funding; since we founded RedKnight in 2015, we have seen a sharp uprise in the points an application needs to score to be successful. Success rates are a useful metric for understanding your chances of success before you start an application. In addition, many prospective applicants are eligible for more than one competition – thus, average success rates can be a useful means of differentiation.

You can find up-to-date statistics for some of the most popular innovation funding competitions below:

Innovate UK Smart Grants

Innovate UK’s Smart Grants competition typically takes place every quarter. The competition has two streams: in stream 1, projects should have total costs under £500k and take no longer than 18 months to complete. In stream 2, projects must cost more than £500k and exceed 18 months in duration.

The most recent available statistics are for the January 2020 competition, with the information released by Innovate UK following a Freedom of Information request. You can find this information through whatdotheyknow.com. Stream 1 had a 16.2% success rate; Innovate UK assessed 2089 applications, of which 129 were funded. In stream 2, they assessed 351 applications. Of these, 23 projects received funding – equating to a slightly lower success rate of 15.3%. The average score of funded projects across both streams was 85%.

Horizon 2020

Horizon 2020 was the EU framework for research and innovation from 2014-2020. Overall, the UK performed well in this programme, with a success rate of 14.77%. The UK’s success rate is much higher than the EU average of 11.9%.

EIC Accelerator

According to a 2020 impact report, the EIC Accelerator received 9700 applications from 2019-20. Overall, the programme reports a 2-3% success rate, meaning somewhere between 194 and 291 projects received funding.

Eureka Eurostars

Eureka Eurostars has an overall success rate of 29%. The programme has made €1.75 billion of public/private investment since 2014.

The statistics show how competitive grant funding competitions are today. There is wide variation between different programmes; for example, Eureka Eurostars is much less competitive than the EIC Accelerator. However, you should never decide which competition to apply to based on success rates alone. Other factors, including scope and eligibility, are much more important; if you cannot fulfil these criteria, you have no chance of success to begin with. For help creating a high-quality application to increase your chances, please contact us today.

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