Innovate UK Smart Grants – Competition Opens!

Innovate UK Smart Grants – Competition Opens!

Innovate UK are “the UK’s innovation agency” and are part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) which is a national funding agency investing in science and research in the UK.

Their mission is to “drive productivity and economic growth by supporting businesses to develop and realise the potential of new ideas…” and one of the ways they do this is through grants.

From 27th August to 6th October 2021 the Innovate UK Smart Grants competition is open and UK registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £25 million for “…game-changing and commercially viable R&D innovation that can significantly impact the UK economy.”

If you are considering applying for a UK Smart Grant then you will need a robust IP strategy.

This is where we can help.



To qualify, there are a number of criteria the project must meet.  These are given in detail on the website[1], and include:

  • include at least one micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME) as the lead or a collaborative grant claiming partner
  • start by 1 April 2022
  • end by 31 March 2025


If the project’s duration is 6 to 18 months:

  • it must have total eligible project costs between £25,000 and £500,000
  • it can be single or collaborative


If the duration is 19 to 36 months, it must:

  • have total eligible project costs between £25,000 and £2 million
  • be collaborative


There are also a number of detailed criteria regarding organisation size, location, etc and these are summarised in the below diagram taken from the website[2]:

Innovate UK Smart Grants grid

The Proposal and your IP

Innovate UK also set out clear criteria each proposal must demonstrate in order for it to be considered.  For example, the proposal must demonstrate a “…clear, game-changing, innovative, disruptive, and ambitious idea leading to new products, processes or services…”

If you are creating new products, processes or services, then it is vital you consider protecting your IP.

IP is a very valuable asset that in the early stages of your project can help you secure market share, define your brand and prevent others from using your technical innovation.

We can help you develop a robust IP strategy to form the foundations on which your project is built.

We have a long and proud history of working with SMEs across a huge range of industries and you can read a snapshot of recent case studies here.

If you are considering applying for a UK Smart Grant, then please get in touch with a member of our team, and we can discuss how best to form your IP strategy.




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