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Research and development tax credit support is not the only funding available for innovative UK companies. Business support grants available include Smart Innovate UK’s new open grant funding program which will invest up to £25 million in the best innovative and disruptive ideas that are game-changing and commercially viable.

Importantly, all proposals are business-focused, and applications can come from any area of technology and apply to any part of the economy. The grant is not limited to the industries typically associated with R&D tax support, such as science and engineering- It should be noted that they do not have to be exclusive to the arts, design, media, creative industries, science or engineering.

This business grant programme will be open until May 26th. At this stage, Smart Grants do a call every quarter. If you miss out, the announcement for the following call will be made close to the 26th of May.

Who are Eligible Applicants?

Sourcing small business grants, and start up business grants that you don’t have to pay back can be challenging. However, companies of all sizes that are based in the UK, as well as research and technology organizations, may be eligible for Smart. Likewise, companies carrying out their innovation activity in the UK, or those intending to commercially exploit the results of the project from, or in, the UK.

If a large company, or an RTO, is considering participating with other companies, public sector organizations or beneficiary organizations, it is essential to include at least one SME. Research and technology centres are also eligible.

How Large do the Projects Have To Be?

Individual or collaborative projects, with a duration between 6 and 18 months will be eligible to claim the Smart business grant. The total eligible project costs are between £25,000 and £500,000.

Collaborative projects, with a duration between 19 and 36 months and total eligible project costs between £25,000 and £2 million.

What Percentage Will be Funded?

The research organizations in your consortium can share up to 30% of the total eligible project costs. If your consortium contains more than one research organization, this maximum is shared between them.

In the case of feasibility studies and industrial research projects, you can obtain funding for the eligible costs of your project of

  • up to 70% in the case of a micro or small enterprise
  • up to 60% in the case of a medium-sized enterprise
  • up to 50% in the case of large companies.

In the case of experimental research and development projects closer to the market, you will be able to obtain financing of the eligible project costs of

  • up to 45% in the case of a micro or small company
  • up to 35% if it is a medium-sized enterprise
  • up to 25% in the case of a large company

If you would like to talk about whether your company is eligible for UK Smart Grants, then get in touch with our friendly team today.