Innovate UK £20m competition for UK businesses that are ‘game changers

18th September, 2018

Last week, Innovate UK announced an opportunity to apply for a share of up to £20 million to deliver game changing or disruptive innovations with significant potential for impact on the UK economy.

The grant is available to organisations that are able to develop cutting edge technology which can be turned into commercial products/ services.

Project ideas are expected to be significantly ahead of anything else in their field and businesses could attract a grant of up to 70% of their project costs (grant intervention rates vary from 25% to 70% depending on size of business and category of research).

I have set out an extract of some of the project and applicant criteria etc. below. For more comprehensive details of the competition and how to apply, please click here.

Competition information:

  • The competition will be open for applications from 24 September 2018, until midday on the 14 November 2018
  • Projects can be led by a business working alone, with partners, or by a research and technology organisation
  • All projects must include at least one SME
  • Projects are expected to range in size between £25,000 and £2 million and to last between six and 36 months
  • All proposals must be business focused, rather than pure research

Projects sought:

  • Applications can come from any area of technology, science or engineering, including arts, design, media or creative industries, and be applied to any part of the economy
  • All projects should demonstrate the potential to generate commercial impact and economic growth
  • Proposals can fit into one or more of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund areas. Applications that fall outside of these areas may also be accepted
  • Projects must demonstrate a game-changing idea that could lead to new products, processes or services

Other Information:

  • Projects must have a team, business arrangement or working structure with the necessary skills and experience to run and complete the project successfully and on time
  • Projects must have a strong and deliverable business plan
  • Projects applying for funding must show an awareness of any potential risks and have realistic management of those risks.

Take care as always on the interaction with R&D grants and R&D tax credits – my corporate tax colleagues can talk you through the issues.

In other Innovate UK news…

On the subject of Innovate UK, in case you haven’t yet seen our other blog post, last week Innovate UK announced the launch of a new round of Innovation Loan Competitions. If this is something you are interested in, find out more here.

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