Innovate UK Smart Grants: January 2022

Funding competition

UK registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £25million for game-changing and commercially viable R&D innovation that can significantly impact the UK economy. This funding is from Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation.

  • Competition opens: Monday 17 January 2022
  • Competition closes: Wednesday 13 April 2022 11:00am


Smart is Innovate UK’s ‘open grant funding’ programme.

Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, is investing up to £25 million in the best game-changing and commercially viable innovative or disruptive ideas. All proposals must be business focused.

Innovate UK secured an uplift in funding in the 2021 spending review, which will enable us to provide an improved range of funding and business support from April 2022. This round of the competition will be the last in the current format.

Future rounds of the Smart grant will be more focused on supporting proposals from UK based innovative businesses that are destined for early, successful commercialisation, growth and exports.

Applications can come from any area of technology and be applied to any part of the economy, such as, but not exclusively:

  • – net zero
  • – health and wellbeing
  • – technologies
  • – the arts, design and media

We welcome projects that overlap with the Innovate UK Plan for Action. This is not a requirement, and we are also keen to support projects in other areas.

Equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) considerations are highly encouraged where appropriate in your proposal. You are prompted to consider EDI as part of the application process. Applications will continue to be assessed on their innovation merit, where innovation is defined as the potential for commercially successful exploitation of ideas.

In applying to this competition, you are entering into a highly competitive process where your chance of success in securing funding will depend on the number and quality of applications submitted.

This competition closes at 11am UK time on the deadline stated.

Funding type:  Grant

Project size

Projects of 6 to18 months must have total eligible project costs between £100,000 and £500,000 and can be single or collaborative. Projects of 19 to 36 months must have total eligible project costs between £100,000 and £2 million and must be collaborative.

Your proposal

Your proposal must demonstrate:

– a clear game-changing, innovative, disruptive, and ambitious idea leading to new products, processes or services

– an idea that is significantly ahead of others in the field, set for rapid commercialisation

– a strong and deliverable business plan that addresses (and documents) market potential and needs

– a clear, evidence-based plan to deliver significant economic impact, return on investment (ROI) and growth through commercialisation, as soon as possible after project completion

– a team, business arrangement or working structure with the necessary skills and experience to run and complete the project successfully and on time

– awareness of all the main risks the project will face (including but not limited to, contractor or equipment failure and recruitment delays) with realistic management, mitigation and impact minimisation plans for each risk

– clear, considerable potential to significantly impact either or both, the UK economy and productivity in a positive way

– sound, practical financial plans and timelines that represent good value for money, which will always be a consideration in Innovate UK funding decisions

For all information on eligibility, scope, how to apply and all the information you will need please click on the link below:

Competition overview – Innovate UK Smart Grants: January 2022 – Innovation Funding Service (