Innovate UK – Grant Writing

Innovate UK – Key Facts


Who can apply?Most projects must be led by an SME 
PurposeResearch & Development projects
Grant amountsFrom £25k to £2m 
Decision timeTypically 6 – 8 weeks after submission
Application processSingle Stage, online, 10 main questions of 400 words each + 4 appendices + project finances
Funding CallsSmart Grant is the best know and has the widest eligibility scope – Innovate UK also run thematic grant calls, awards, business support programmes and public tenders (SBRI)

Smart Grants Vs Thematic Grants

Innovate UK primarily offers two different types of grants, which each have their own criteria and funding amounts. Visit the pages below to learn more about Smart Grants and Thematic Grants.

Innovate UK Loans

Innovate UK is the UK government R&D funding agency offering grants, loans and support for the development of innovative products, process and services. The Innovate UK Loan is designed for businesses looking to finalise innovation projects (TRL7-9) and lay the foundations for commercialisation at scale. 

Resources for Innovate UK

We have collated some useful resources if you are considering applying for an
Innovate UK R&D grant below.

Check out the available Innovate UK open R&D grant funding calls here. There are normally 10 – 15 live calls at any one time. The Smart Grant runs every quarter (4 deadlines per year). Clicking on the name of the grant from this website will give you details on deadlines, scope, eligibility, the application process and more useful information to help you make up your mind whether or not to apply.

The Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN) that work closely with Innovate UK put together a helpful guide on how to approach an R&D grant application. You can access that here.

You can contact Innovate UK or the KTN with a short project summary to get initial feedback on your concept. Venturenomix has put together a helpful template for this purpose – access that here.

Our R&D Grant Writing Services

We have been writing Innovate UK grants since 2009 with a success rate comparable with the market-leading consultants and freelancers. We work on a part up-front, part success-fee basis so that we are sharing the risk and reward with you.

We can:

  • Lead the entire process – defining the project, sourcing partners, developing a budget, writing the grant application, developing the work plan, creating appendices, managing partners, submitting the application online, managing compliance, organising the kick-off meeting, financial reporting, technical reporting and project management.
  • Work collaboratively – if you are lacking expertise in a specific area of the grant application process, we can fill that gap. Perhaps you have deep technical knowledge, but would like support on the market elements. You might have the technical and commercial aspects in hand, but would like support in creating the project budget and work packages. We are flexible.
  • Improve a past submission – Innovate UK grants are highly competitive – in the past 70% would be enough to secure grant funding – but the most recent round of Smart saw projects scoring 82% being rejected. We can lead the process of improving past grant applications to get you over the line.
  • Expert Review – We are happy to spend a few days reviewing / commenting / editing your grant application to lift your score as high as possible. 
  • Proven Templates – We have developed a set of templates for Innovate UK grants that we can provide. These include a comprehensive project budget spreadsheet that help you structure your project and our own guidance on what the grant assessors want to see in your answers to each question.

Get in touch

We offer a few ways to proceed from here –
Contact Us to:

  • Setup an initial video call
  • Review a project summary
  • Review a pitch deck
  • Review a past application

There are no fees involved at this stage – we just want to add some value by providing honest advice on your chances of success. After that and if you want to work with us, we can talk about how to work together in a way that suits you and your business.

Venturenomix brings 15 years of experience to the process of developing projects and applications for R&D grant funding.

The directors founded and built a market-leading UK-based R&D grant writing consultancy between 2009 and 2019 with specialist knowledge in Innovate UK grant funding. Since 2019, we have expanded our knowledge into European R&D grants under the Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe programmes. 

We have been actively involved in securing over £100m in R&D grant funding for startups, scaleups, established businesses, universities, cities, NGOs, NFPs and more! If you are seeking to bring innovative technologies to market, working on novel research or looking to deploy novel approaches in your city – it is worth exploring R&D Grant funding.

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