Innovate UK – SMART Grants Explained

To follow on from last week’s post about R&D tax claims, we thought this might also be interesting to you lot in the research and development space:

Innovate UK, which is the UK’s innovation agency, provide grants for research and development projects. The latest round of SMART grant funding has opened up £25m to be invested into small and medium sized businesses in January 2022.

What’s the funding for? It’s to encourage game-changing and commercially viable innovative or disruptive ideas, which could have the potential to significantly impact the UK economy. The scope details that applications need to be significantly ahead of others in the field, and set for rapid commercialisation.

Who can apply? The application must include one micro, small or medium sized enterprise (SME). This could be the lead or a collaborative grant partner, so a large business could also apply but as a collaborative partner.

What funding is available? A total of £25m has been allocated to the latest scheme starting this year.

For feasibility studies and industrial research projects, applicants could get the following funding for eligible project costs:

  • Micro or small business – up to 70%
  • Medium business – up to 60%
  • Large business – up to 50% (would need to apply together with an SME)

For experimental development projects nearer to market, the below funding may be available:

  • Micro or small business – up to 45%
  • Medium business – up to 35%
  • Large business – up to 25% (would need to apply together with an SME)

Timelines? The project needs to start no later than 1st October 2022, and end no later than 30 September 2025. Projects 6-18 months long must have eligible project costs of £100,000 – £500,000.

Applications need to be made by April 2022, more details on how to apply here –

There are a number of PennyBooks clients who have successfully applied to previous versions of this grant, so get in touch if you think you stand a chance! Email us at

Elspeth Vincent