Innovate UK is the UK’s national innovation agency. It supports business-led innovation in all sectors, technologies and UK regions through a range of key funding competitions, including:

Challenge-led competitions

Innovate UK runs regular challenge-led competitions which focus on specific opportunity areas for UK business innovation. Known as the ‘Grand Challenges’, they include:

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) and data
  • Ageing society
  • Clean growth
  • Future of mobility
Open competition

As well as challenge-led competitions, Innovate UK runs Smart Grants – an open grant funding competition that accepts applications from any area of technology. Funding is available for game-changing and commercially viable R&D innovation that can significantly impact the UK economy. The competition typically runs quarterly with up to £25 million available in each round.

Innovation Loans

Innovation Loans were introduced to ensure businesses can access funding at all stages of innovation, with £150 million on offer over the next 3 years. Businesses can apply for loans of between £100,000 and £2 million for late-stage research and development projects with strong commercial potential.

Small Business Research Initiatives (SBRI)

SBRI competitions provide innovative solutions to challenges faced by the public sector. The programme is best suited to small and medium-sixed businesses, as the contracts are of relatively small value and operate on short timescales.

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs)

KTPs connect businesses with academic expertise to deliver business-led innovation projects. Each KTP is a three-way partnership between i) a UK-based business or not-for-profit, ii) a knowledge base e.g., a university or college, and iii) a suitably qualified graduate with the capability to lead the innovation project.

International Collaboration

Innovate UK also supports international collaboration. For example, there have been recent opportunities for UK registered businesses to collaborate with organisations from countries such as Canada, Singapore and South Korea.

Innovate UK also funds the UK’s involvement in Eureka Eurostars. Through this competition, UK registered organisations can apply for a share of £2.5m for collaborative research with organisations from participating Eureka Eurostars member countries.

How can RedKnight help?

RedKnight has a strong track record of securing Innovate UK funding and can help you develop a competitive application. Speak to the team today.