Funding competition: £50k grants for “business-led innovation in response to global disruption” - PKF Francis Clark
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Funding competition: £50k grants for “business-led innovation in response to global disruption”

On 3 April the Government announced a £20m fund which will make grants of up to £50k per claimant for the development of technology to help boost the UK’s resilience to the long-term impact of the coronavirus outbreak and similar situations in the future.

The funding competition administered by Innovate UK has a closing date of 17 April.

All the projects will begin by June 2020 and will last up to 6 months, with products and services expected to be available to the public towards the end of this year.

More details including detail of how to apply can be found on webpage – with extracts below.

Projects sought

An application must:

  • Demonstrate either realistic and significant benefits for society (including communities, families and individuals) or an industry that has been severely impacted and/or permanently disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic
  • Focus on a clear need and the proposed innovation to address it. You must have the ability to deliver the project during the working restrictions of Covid-19 pandemic

Innovations could include:

  • New technology allowing retailers to respond better to sudden spikes of consumer demand and improve deliveries across the UK
  • New services for families to connect with and remotely monitor their elderly or vulnerable relatives, giving people peace of mind that their loved ones are receiving the services they require such as food deliveries, doctor’s appointments and paying bills
  • Creating education tools which seamlessly integrate the classroom with the kitchen table, allowing teachers to remotely set dynamic tasks, support vulnerable children and make certain no child is left behind

There is a list of specific themes in the scope section of the funding completion webpage. These include a number of areas in which we have clients including:

  • Education and culture
  • Entertainment (live entertainment, music, etc.)
  • Food manufacture and processing
  • Healthcare
  • Hospitality
  • Retail
  • Social care
  • Sport and recreation
  • Transport

Grant funding

You can claim 100% of your project costs up to the maximum of £50,000. These will be paid in advance of the project start date.


To lead a project your organisation must:

  • Be a UK registered business of any size
  • Carry out its project work in the UK
  • Intend to deliver the proposed outcomes for UK domestic or global benefit

Sole traders are not eligible to apply for this competition.

Interaction with R&D Tax Credits and other State Aid

As with all grants their impact upon the resultant R&D claim will need to be considered. The application portal indicates the funding is de-minimus. From an R&D perspective this does not preclude an SME claim, but does reduce the claim amount pound for pound. As the claim is de-minimus it may impact other forms of grant funding being sought including the employment allowance, SEIS, and other Covid19 emergency funding which is also considered de-minimus state aid.

FEATURING: Stuart Rogers
Stuart is a corporate tax partner who specialises in advising fast growing and complex corporate entities, heading up the innovation and technology tax services group… read more
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