Innovation is being seen by government as even more essential in the post-Covid 19 world. It should not be a surprise that the innovation section on our Finance 2020 webpage was the most viewed (so far).
We will be focusing on the theme of funding and finance for innovative companies in the November edition of our Funding News e-newsletter, but for now here is a quick heads up on some of the grant and business support schemes available now.
Innovate UK (National)
As you may be aware Innovate UK administer and/or manage a number of funding competitions. These are predominately aimed at a specific problem. For example designing sustainable plastic solutions (one of the 26 competitions currently open).
There are also the more general competitions known as Smart Grants where the brief is “to deliver disruptive R&D innovations that can significantly impact the UK economy”. The latest round of this one opened last week (25 August). Details can be found at link.
It is also worth mentioning a couple that are currently open and are very much representative of competitions we anticipate seeing more of in the future:
- The Sustainable Innovation Fund: round 3 (temporary framework) – UK registered businesses can apply for a share of up to £10 million for new projects focusing on sustainable economic recovery from COVID-19
- Transforming food production: series A investor partnership programme – Investors can apply to partner with Innovate UK to align their investments with up to £5 million grant funding in UK registered SMEs to transform food production towards net zero by 2040.
Business Innovation Fund (West of England)
If your business is an SME based in the West of England – Bath & North East Somerset, Bristol, North Somerset or South Gloucestershire you may be eligible for grants and business support to “help develop innovative projects and products that not only fulfil market demand, but also deliver industrial growth.” The package of funding and support includes:
- Grants of £20,000 or £50,000 to invest in innovation
- Support and guidance to move from concept to commercialisation
- Collaborate with the region’s leading research institutions
- Advice on intellectual property, testing and research and development roadmaps
- Development of a bespoke research, development and innovation action plan for your business
For more details please and a link through to “How to Apply” please see link.
This scheme is open for applications at various points through the year where you can express your interest and start the application process. It is currently open to receiving Expressions of Interest. The window is now open until 5pm on 18 September 2020.
Marine-I; Aerospace Cornwall, Agri-tech Cornwall and Acceleration through Innovation (all Cornwall and Isles of Scilly only)
Current links to read further on these schemes aimed at supporting innovation in Cornwall are below:
- Marine i: https://www.marine-i.co.uk/
- Aerospace Cornwall: https://aerospacecornwall.co.uk/
- Agri-tech Cornwall: https://www.agritechcornwall.co.uk/
- Acceleration through Innovation: https://aticornwallinnovation.co.uk/
PKF Francis Clark – Do not forget R&D Tax Credits
Our innovation tax team would also like me to mention R&D Tax Credits in the context of R&D grant funding. I would suggest you speak to one of the team to understand the interaction between grants and R&D Tax Credits (or to discuss whether any innovation you have already undertaken is eligible for R&D Tax Credits).