Innovate UK Thematic Grant Writing

Innovate UK thematic grants – Key Facts


Who can apply?UK-based businesses (micro, small, medium and large), Universities and RTOs, Public Bodies, Charities

Research and Development project funding

Grant amountsFrom £25k to £2m 
Decision time

6-8 weeks from submission

Application processSingle or collaborative projects. Online Portal. 10 main questions + 4 appendices + project Finances
Funding CallsThematic R&D Grants from Innovate UK are live all year round with a broad range of themes covered.

Thematic R&D Grants from Innovate UK are live all year round with a broad range of themes covered.

What is a Thematic Grant from Innovate UK?

Innovate UK is the UK government R&D funding agency offering grants, loans and support for the development of innovative products, process and services. Innovate UK have a set of priority sectors, technologies and societal challenges laid out in their
Strategy Paper

Throughout the year, Innovate UK launch calls for proposals (grant applications) relating to specific themes (thematic grants). It is hard to predict when calls for specific themes will be launched, so keep an eye on open R&D grant funding calls.

Examples of Innovate UK Grants

The themes that Innovate UK are seeking to support will evolve, but given here are a few examples of Innovate UK Thematic Grants that have had multiple rounds – and therefore, it is likely there will be more:

  • Energy Catalyst
  • Biomedical Catalyst
  • Creative Industries
  • Professional and Financial Services
  • Quantum Computing
  • International Collaboration (Germany, Singapore, Taiwan, Isreal and more)
  • Battery Technology
  • Transport and Mobility
  • Agritech
  • Low Carbon Foods and Supply Chains
  • Manufacturing 
  • Robotics
  • Artificial Intelligence (Machine Learning, Natural Language Processing, Neural Networks, Big Data and more)
  • ….. and more ….

Am I eligible for Innovate UK Grants?

Each thematic grant call will have its own eligibility criteria – and by definition – your project must align with the scope of the call. There is a ‘Scope’ tab provided with each published call for proposals (grant applications). It is best to check open and forthcoming thematic funding calls on the
Innovate UK website. Pay close attention to ‘Scope’ and ‘Eligibility’ sections. 

Often, Innovate UK will host a webinar to cover the main points of any new call – this is also a chance to ask your very technical and specific questions to make sure your project will be well received. 

Resources for Innovate UK Thematic Grants

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.

The Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN) works closely with Innovate UK to put together a helpful guide on how to approach an R&D grant application.

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.

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.

Ready To Make A Real Change?

Let’s Get Started

“I am very pleased to announce that the application for grant funding was approved! Well done Team Venturenomix – couldn’t have done it without you!”

Louise Morpeth

CEO, Brain In Hand

“We had secured some EU grant funding as a partner in a collaborative bid and I suspected there was more to be had. Alex (now Venturenomix Director) and I worked on a strategy to target 5 CleanTech R&D Grant funds over a 12 month period. Altogether, we won 4 out of 5 and added more than €2m in non-dilutive funding to the company. Alex has been writing these kinds of bids since 2009 – he understands what the funders need to see.”

Simon Harris

Funding Director, Zap&Go

”This is an excellent application for grant funding and the applicant has provided a thorough and well supported argument to support their proposal.”

Assessor Comments

Innovate UK Edge

“The Venturenomix team did an excellent job writing our grant application and we have now secured the R&D Grant Funding that we need for the next 12 months!”

Jordi Fernandez

CEO, Benetalk

“The grant funding we were able to secure with the help of Mareike (now Venturenomix Director) enabled us to buy the IP rights that underpinned the whole business. Furthermore, that funding covered 70% of the tech team costs and secured us a valuable industry partner. Alex (now Venturenomix Director) managed the whole process smoothly – we can highly recommend the services and would advise getting these guys involved at the positioning and structuring stage.”

Laurence Ellis

CEO, Magpie Education