Actually they never really went away. Formerly known as Grant for Research and Development, the TSB simply adopted the ‘SMART’ name used by the DTI years ago. Not surprising as many people still refer to these grants as SMART awards.
Three SMART grants are available:
• Proof-of-Market Grant – Up to £25,000 towards 60% of costs over a max 9 month project to assess commercial viability
• Proof-of-Concept Grant – Up to £100,000 towards 60% of costs over a max 18 month project to explore technical feasibility
• Development of Prototype Grant – Up to £250,000 towards 45% of costs (micro & small enterprise) or 35% of costs (medium enterprise) of developing a commercial prototype
At a time of tough financial constraints on businesses, this is welcome news for SME businesses pioneering new innovations in the market. However, the overall amount of funding is much lower than what the DTI had available. This makes applications highly competitive – so it’s worth getting expert help on this if you want to succeed.