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Disruptive Technology

Innovate UK Open Funding R&D Grant Round Opens

Innovate UK launched an open funding R&D grant application round for UK SMEs this week. Offering up to 70% grants towards a project costing up to £1 Million, it offers SME’s an opportunity to submit any disruptive innovation including ideas from arts, design, media or creative industries.

Most of Innovate UK’s R&D grant funding is targeted in 4 priority growth areas:

·         Emerging and enabling technologies

·         Heath and Life Sciences

·         Infrastructure Systems

·         Manufacturing and Materials

The open funding round allows any innovation to be submitted for funding, including those that fit with the priority areas. The grant funding pays more towards earlier stage R&D activities such as feasibility studies including market research. These are funded at a rate of 50% to 70% of project costs depending on size of business. Closer to market R&D activities, such as experimental development of a prototype, is funded at 25% to 45% of project costs depending on business size.

Innovate UK has allocated £19M in this funding round – which will be super competitive as it only happens twice a year. Applicants will need to present evidence that their business idea has the potential to lead to significant return-on-investment (ROI), positive impact, growth and scale-up of their business.

With Brexit on the horizon, Innovate UK are also prioritising innovations that lead to significant productivity gains or that access new markets overseas to create export-led growth.

Applications close on the 28th February 2018, and it’s clear that only the very best business-led cutting-edge or disruptive innovations that can evidence a strong, deliverable business plan will succeed in winning R&D grant funding. A restricted budget will mean that R&D grants will be allocated on a competitive basis with only the very best proposals winning funding – so you will need a compelling application to succeed.

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