Welcome to Grant Watch, a monthly look at some of the most exciting grant funding opportunities available to UK innovators.
June is upon us. And our grants team has identified another batch of enticing grant-funding competitions that are open this month.
The opportunities we’ve selected touch on a wide range of technologies, from medical diagnostics to sustainable plastic packaging. So be sure to take a look and see there’s anything that’s right for your business.
Nothing suitable? Don’t worry. These competitions are just a fraction of the funding opportunities available to UK innovators.
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Project size: Total eligible costs must be between £250,000 and £4 million
Innovate UK’s £18 million Biomedical Catalyst is looking to fund companies that are developing innovative products, technologies and processes in the healthcare space.
To qualify for funding, your project can address one of a number of technical areas, including, but not limited to:
- Disease prevention and diagnosis
- Management of chronic health conditions
- Tailored treatments and cures
Your project must have total eligible costs of between £250,000 and £4 million and it must start on or after 1 April 2022 and last between 12 and 36 months.
Your company must be a UK-registered SME that will carry out and exploit its development work in the UK.
Opens – 7 June 2021
Closes – 26 August 2021
Project size: Your total eligible costs must no more than £25,000.
The £2.5 million Creative Industries Fund was launched to help creative businesses bounce back from the pandemic.
Through this fund, Innovate UK is helping ambitious companies adapt to changing economic conditions by exploring new revenue streams, launching new products, and adding new services to their portfolio.
To qualify for the Creative Industries Fund, your proposal must:
- Originate in, or support, a creative industry
- Focus on the innovation needed to capitalise on a clear commercial opportunity
- Demonstrate what impact this funding would have on the growth of your business
If your project wins a grant, you will be required to work with one of Innovate UK’s EDGE advisors to maximise your project’s impact.
The Creative Industries Fund is financed by the government’s £750 million Covid Support Fund.
Open – 17 May 2021
Closes – 16 June 2021
Project size: Total eligible costs between £500,000 and £5 million
The Industrial Challenge Funding and Innovate UK have established the £22 million Driving the Electric Revolution competition to fund projects which facilitate the UK’s supply chain and manufacturing capability in power electronics, machines and drives (PEMD).
This competition aligns with the government’s green industrial revolution plan for transport, energy and industry.
To qualify for a Driving the Electric Revolution grant, your proposal must be designed to significantly impact the PEMD supply chain and help the UK’s drive towards net zero.
Open – 8 March 2021
Closes – 30 June 2021
The Funding For Green Jobs competition is helping Scottish businesses create jobs that improve the environment and deliver projects aligned with the Scottish government’s net zero policies.
The competition’s first call, which is now open, offers grants worth between £50,000 and £500,000 to enable the transformation of non-green jobs and the development of sustainable, low-carbon products and services.
Funding for Green Jobs grants will cover 10% to 50% of your project’s eligible direct costs. How much you can receive depends on factors like your company’s size, location and project activities.
Closes – 24 June 2021
The GSMA, an industry body representing mobile providers from across the world, has established an innovation fund to accelerate advances in mobile technologies that serve urban environments.
Through this Innovation Fund for Digital Urban Services, the GSMA is looking to support SMEs and social enterprises in Africa, South and South-East Asia that are leveraging digital technology to provide essential services relating to water, energy, sanitation, or plastic and waste management.
Successful applicants will receive grants worth between £100,000 and £250,000 to finance projects lasting 15 to 18 months.
Opens – May 2021
Closes – 2 July 2021
Project size: total eligible project costs must be at least £30,000 for a feasibility study and £50,000 for an engineering study
The IEFT Deployment of Energy Efficiency Technologies competition is providing up to £40 million in grant funding for feasibility and engineering studies that can accelerate an ‘investment decision’ on energy efficiency and deep decarbonisation solutions. To put it more simply, the competition is looking to fund studies that help the government decide which technologies to finance further.
To lead a project or work alone, you must be the end beneficiary of the study and operate a site in England, Wales or Northern Ireland that is registered as a manufacturing site or data centre (with the corresponding SIC Code).
This competition has two strands: feasibility and engineering studies (this strand) and deployment projects, which you can read more about here.
Opens – 8 March 2021
Closes – 14 July 2021
Innovate UK is offering grants of between £200,000 and £4 million to companies developing innovative projects that support the organisation’s Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging Programme.
Your solution must have the potential to significantly impact the UK Plastics Pact targets and address issues related to the recycling and sustainability of plastic packaging in consumer products.
To qualify for this grant, your project must:
- Improve the sustainability of the plastics supply chain
- Make a significant contribution towards the targets of the UK Plastic Pact
- Utilise at-scale innovation design
- Embed a ‘whole systems’ approach to plastic packaging sustainability
Opens – 18 May 2021
Closes – 8 September 2021
The BEIS Medicines and Diagnostics Manufacturing Transformation Fund is designed to encourage medical innovators to bring prospective manufacturing investments to the UK. This initiative provides capital grant funding for investments relating to human medicines, medical diagnostics and MedTech products.
To qualify for this grant, your total eligible costs must total at least £8 million. There is no upper limit on project size, though you must be able to fund your project by at least the total amount of funding requested before March 2022.
During the application process, you will be asked to confirm that you hold a Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) Human Medicines Directive or Investigational Medicinal Products Directive (IMP) licence. Or that you intend to apply for one of these licences.
Opens – 7 April 2021
Closes – 30 June 2021
Project size: Projects running for 6-18 months must have total eligible costs of between £25,000 and £500,000. Projects running for 19-36 months must have total eligible costs of between £25,000 and £2,000,000.
The SMART competition is Innovate UK’s primary open funding call. Offering a share of up to £25 million in sector-agnostic funding, SMART grants are available to businesses working on any game-changing and commercially viable innovation that could significantly impact the UK economy.
Because they are open to companies in all industries, SMART grants are also competitive, receiving thousands of applications from startups and scale-ups all across the country. So make sure you are eligible for a SMART grant before you begin the application process.
Opens – 28 May 2021
Closes – 25 August 2021