Child with jet pack reaching for the sky - Smart Grants innovation conceptInnovate UK has announced that a new round of Smart Grants will open on 7th October, with a deadline of 12th January 2022. £25 million will be available for disruptive R&D innovations that have the potential to significantly impact the UK economy.


Smart is Innovate UK’s ‘open’ grant funding programme. Applications can come from any area of technology and be applied to any part of the economy. This includes the creative industries, science or engineering, and the arts, design and media. Projects can overlap with the grand challenge areas, although Innovate UK is also keen to support projects in other areas.

Proposals 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.

Your application must include at least one SME; they can be the lead or a collaborative grant claiming partner. The project must start no later than 1st July 2022 and end no later than 30th June 2025. Your project must also 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. Projects with durations between 19 months and 36 months must have total eligible project costs between £25,000 and £2 million. In contrast to shorter projects, they must be collaborative.

RedKnight Consultancy has significant experience in supporting applications for Innovate UK Smart Grants. You can view one of our most recent success stories here. For our assistance in putting together a competitive proposal, please contact us today.

You may also be interested in our Innovate UK application guide – subscribe to RedKnight’s monthly newsletter today to receive a free copy direct to your inbox!