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Grant Competition: Smart Grant July 2022

Innovate UK has launched the latest iteration of Smart, a £25 million grant funding programme supporting early-stage R&D. Here’s what you need to know.

Innovate UK has just launched the latest round of Smart, an industry-agnostic competition designed to catapult early-stage R&D projects towards commercialisation. This popular programme offers grants worth up to £1.4 million to fund feasibility studies and industrial research projects.

Only micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can apply for a Smart grant as sole applicants. Research and technology organisations (RTOs), charities, not for profits, public sector organisations, academic institutions and larger businesses must apply as part of a consortium. 

If you want to maximise your chances of securing funding for your projects, talk to our UK grants experts today.

Smart Grant - Key Details

  • The competition closes on 26 October 2022
  • Your project must start by 1 May 2023 and end by 30 April 2026 
  • Your consortium must include at least one UK-registered SME
  • Your total qualifying project costs must be between £100,000 and £2 million
  • Micro and Small businesses will have up to 70% of their costs funded
  • Medium and Large businesses will receive up to 60% and 50%, respectively 

The Smart competition is extremely competitive, with businesses having less than a 10% chance of winning. Now that Innovate UK has made Smart’s application process more accessible, that figure is likely to fall even lower.

You can significantly improve your chances of success by working with an innovation grants expert like GrantTree

We recently helped nine cutting-edge businesses secure almost £3 million from the April 2022 round of Smart, and our team is standing by to help you access funding from this competition. 

Am I Eligible for an Innovate UK Smart Grant?

Here is a breakdown of the key eligibility for Innovate UK’s Smart Grant. You can find a complete list of criteria here on the competition’s website

If you’d rather save time and have an expert judge your eligibility for you, our grants team would be happy to give you a quick, no-strings-attached assessment. Just get in touch.

Your project

To qualify for a Smart grant, your project must:

  • Be either a feasibility study or an industrial research project  
  • Start by 1 May 2023
  • End by 30 April 2026
  • Be entirely carried out in the UK

If your project is going to last 6 to 18 months, it must have total costs of £100,000 – £500,000. You can deliver projects of this size and duration either as an individual company – provided you meet the project leader criteria – or as part of a group. 

If your project is going to last 19 to 36 months, it can have total project costs of £100,000 – £2,000,000. However, you must deliver it as part of a group.

Leading a Project

To lead a project, you must be a UK-registered organisation and one of the following:

  • A micro, small or medium-sized business
  • A large business applying as part of a group that includes at least one SME 
  • An RTO, so long as you are applying as part of a group that includes at least one SME and another company of any size

Forming Part of a Project Team

To form part of a project team, your organisation must be a UK-registered:

  • Business of any size
  • Academic institution
  • Charity
  • Not for Profit
  • public sector organisation
  • RTO


Subcontractors are allowed as part of this competition, but they must be based in Great Britain and Northern Ireland for the duration of the project, and their development work must be carried out entirely in the UK. 

You must justify the use of subcontractors in your application. For help making this justification, contact our grant specialists.

Maximise Your Chances of Success

You can apply for the July 2022 edition of Innovate UK’s Smart competition through the government portal. The application is split into three sections: project details, application questions and finances. 

Innovate UK recently reformatted the application process, which is likely to make this already highly popular programme even more competitive.

If you want help making your application stand out from the crowd and improve your chances of accessing up to £1.4 million in funding for your development work, just get in touch. 

Our innovation grants experts are ready and waiting to give you the best possible chance of success.