Child with jet pack reaching for the sky - Smart Grants innovation conceptInnovate UK has launched a new round of Smart Grants! Through this competition, £25 million will be available for game-changing and commercially viable R&D innovation. Applications are due between 17th January and 13th April.


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 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

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 October 2022 and end no later than 30th September 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 £100,000 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 success stories here. If you need help 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!