The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Klimaschutz (BMWK), and Innovate UK, a division of UK Research and Innovation, will be working together to invest up to £4 million in innovation projects. 

This competition aims to provide grant funding to foster business-led innovation collaboration between the UK and Germany. With the help of Innovate UK, UK companies can successfully partner with German companies and increase their chances of expanding internationally. 

Your proposal must enhance the growth of industrial goods, procedures, or technical services. The collaboration between the participants from the two nations must clearly benefit and bring value to your project. Increased innovation capacity, business opportunities, access to R&D infrastructure, or new application areas are a few examples of these. 

Your project must: 

  • have a maximum grant funding request of £400,000 for all UK partners 
  • start by 1 December 2023 
  • end by 30 November 2026 
  • last between 12 months and 36 months 

Your collaborative R&D proposal must demonstrate: 

  • a clear game-changing or disruptive innovative idea leading to new products, processes or services 
  • a strong and deliverable business proposal within your application that addresses and documents, market potential and needs 
  • sound, practical financial plans and timelines 
  • good value for money 
  • how you intend to deliver significant economic impact, return on investment (ROI) and growth through commercialisation, within 2 to 3 years of project completion 
  • clear potential to significantly benefit the UK economy or national productivity 
  • the benefit of participants from the countries working together and how this adds value 
  • a clear definition of where intellectual property (IP) can be used and shared between the participants and countries 
  • a clear route to market within 2 to 3 years of project completion 


UK project partners are required to complete the majority of their project work in the UK and to plan to use the findings in the UK. Participants from the UK must apply to Innovate UK, while German partners must apply to the German ZIM programme. Grant funding must be awarded to the successful UK and German applications. A consortium must consist of only unrelated, independent legal entities. This is done to make sure that initiatives promote actual international cooperation rather than just corporate research. Under the parent company, connected businesses are treated as a single entity. 


Competition closes: 7 June 2023 11:00am 

Applicants notified: 1 September 2023 


More Information:   

The applications are open until 7 June 2023 11:00am. For more information and registration, please check here 

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.