It takes a significant amount of time, effort, and (possibly) frustration to prepare and submit a high quality Innovate UK application. In order to be successful, you must ensure you present the strongest possible case for why your technology is more valuable and stronger than all other applications being considered. This blog post intends to assist you in creating the best possible application for Innovate UK competitions. Below are some Do’s and Don’ts you should consider to make your application stand out from the crowd. 


  1. Keep it structured – Tell a compelling story that is gripping and has a theme running through it. Make it simple for the assessors to grasp your idea by putting yourself in their position, and read the assessor criteria to understand what they are looking for. 
  2. Information is key – Your project will have been created to solve a problem, fill a market gap, or meet the need of a target audience. You will need to provide strong proof, facts, and figures to back up your claims. 
  3. Be truthful and reasonable – Especially if your proposal is very technical, make sure it is sensible and believable. Assessors that have some expertise or knowledge of your field will evaluate your application, and they will understand what is realistic and what is merely imaginative. 
  4. Give yourself time – at least two months’ notice and 12–15 days to work on your application if you want to do it justice, especially if you’ve had little to no prior experience writing funding applications. 
  5. Proofread, again, and again – Before submitting your application, get it proofread by another person (e.g. bid writing professional, colleague, academic). Preferably somebody with bid writing experience who can assess the technical, market and management aspects of your project, as well as the language, grammar and spelling. 


  1. Leave any questions unanswered- Read every question, including the sub-questions, very carefully. The most common reasons for low scores is where a response is incomplete, inconsistent, or hasty. 
  2. Forget to submit all the needed documentation – List all the supporting materials you must supply. Once you have prepared them, cross reference the information with the application narrative to ensure they are consistent. 
  3. Submitting your application at the last minute – It is important to know the competition closing date and time and submit the application as early as possible, in case of technical issues with the portal at the last minute. 

Download our step-by-step guide on How to Write Successful Innovate UK Grant Application 

RedKnight has a strong track record of securing Innovate UK Smart Grants and can help you develop a competitive application! If you would like help putting together a competitive proposal, please contact us today.