With SMART, Innovate UK is supporting the development of 400+ high-tech projects each year. The next opportunity to apply is closing on January 8th, 2020.
Is your project eligible for a SMART grant? Find out below.
✓ Your company
Applications to SMART can be "single or collaborative", i.e:
if you are a UK-based micro, small or medium-sized enterprise, you can apply on your own under certain circumstances (cf. "your project" below), or collaborate with other companies or RTOs.
if you are a RTO or a large company, you need to work in a consortium with at least a UK SME.
✓ Your project
Your project must fit within the scope of SMART. You need to be able to demonstrate that:
Your project is at the right stage: SMART covers projects from the feasibility study to the development of the final prototype
It is a game-changer: a disruptive idea, rather than a step-change in its market
It will have a strong impact on global markets
It is significantly ahead of competing solutions
You will be selling the results of the project within 3 years
It will have a large impact on your business, help it grow and scale rapidly
You have a clear, documented, deliverable business plan
Your payrolled team has the necessary skills to deliver the project, and if skills are missing you will acquire them (hiring, subcontracting, partnership, etc.)
✓ Your costs
To be eligible, your project must fit within strict criteria. The maximum total costs of your project depend on its duration (minimum 6 months) and on the nature of the applicant(s) – see table below. Your project will not be evaluated if your total costs are above the limit.
The grant you will receive is a fraction of the eligible costs: from 25% to 70% depending on the type of organisations applying (Small/Micro, Medium, Large enterprises, RTO/research organisation) and your project type (Feasibility study, Industrial research, or Experimental development).
Innovate UK projects are refunded quarterly in arrears. You need to spend upfront, and declare your costs to Innovate UK, who will check and refund as agreed.
✓ Our advice
Preparing an application for SMART is a major undertaking.
As it is very competitive: less than 1 in 10 applicants get funded.
Start preparing your application early, at least 2 weeks in advance (a month would be preferable)
Be systematic and address all elements of each question (the online template is very detailed)
Adapt the total amount requested to the type of project you are conducting; for example, a £443,000 feasibility study sounds quite expensive indeed.
Avoid conducting your risk analysis as an afterthought: it is quite critical; a list of 10+ risks with associated mitigation strategies is expected
Don't forget to prepare appendixes for the relevant questions
Still not sure if you should apply?
We offer a free eligibility check of your project.