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Grants Watch: November 2023

Welcome to the November 2023 edition of Grants Watch, GrantTree’s monthly roundup of grant competitions open to innovative UK organisations in a wide range of sectors.

In this instalment, we’re looking at grants for companies in biotechnology and renewable energy, plus three schemes – Smart, Innovation Loans, and Analysis for Innovators – that are open to applications from a wide range of industries.

Before taking a look at the competitions below, make sure you subscribe to GrantTree’s newsletter so you’ll receive the latest edition of Grants Watch straight to your inbox. 

And if you want to find out whether your organisation is eligible for any of the grants listed below, GrantTree’s experts would be more than happy to provide a free, no-commitment consultation. Just get in touch!

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Analysis for Innovators (A4I) Round 12 – stage 1

Opens – 13 November 2023
Closes – 3 January 2024 at 12:00 pm

Innovate UK is investing up to £2.5 million in small, collaborative R&D projects involving its analysis for innovation (A4I) partners. 

The A4I partner cohort is a group of organisations, laboratories and councils specialising in a range of scientific and technical fields. 

This competition is designed to help businesses address analysis and measurement problems. No funding is awarded in stage 1, but companies that make it through to stage 2 can apply for grants of up to £100,000.

Eligibility summary:

  • You must involve at least one A4I partner organisation
  • In your stage 1 application, you need to indicate that your stage 2 project would last 3 to 6 months
  • You also need to indicate a stage 2 project start date between 1 September 2024 and 1 December 2024
  • You must intend to exploit the results of your project from or in the UK

Learn more about this competition

Innovate UK Innovation Loans Future Economy: Round 12

While it isn’t technically a form of grant funding, Innovate UK’s Innovation Loans scheme, the twelfth round of which is now open, could be an excellent way to finance your late-stage R&D project. 

Innovate UK Innovation Loans offer between £100,000 and £2 million in debt financing with attractive terms such as a deferred, below-market interest rate of 3.7% during project execution. 

In addition, unlike many grant competitions, you can acquire an Innovation Loan covering up to 100% of your project costs. 

Eligibility summary: 

  • You must be a UK-registered SME 
  • You must carry out your project and intend to exploit its results from or in the UK
  • Your business must be in a position to take on a loan

Find out more about Innovation Loans.

SBRI: Plant Health Innovations for Biosecurity

Opens – 6 November 2023
Closes – 20 December 2023 at 11:00 am

This competition offers grants of up to £150,000 for projects developing and demonstrating innovative solutions for plant health and biosecurity. 

The focus of this competition is regulated pests, diseases and future operational deployment.

The funding for this competition is provided by the Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI), the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Biotechnology Biological Science Research Council (BBSRC).

Eligibility summary:

  • Your total costs must be between £20,000 and £150,000
  • Your project must start on or after 1 April 2024 and end by 31 March 2025
  • Your project must last between 6 to 12 months
  • You must intend to exploit the results of your project from or in the UK

Learn more about this competition

SBRI: Zero Emission Generators (ZE-Gen), Demonstrator

Opens – 6 November 2023
Closes – 13 December 2023 11:00 am

This SBRI-funded competition is providing up to £1 million for projects demonstrating the capability, applicability and scalability of renewable-energy alternatives to fossil fuel generators in official development assistance (ODA) countries. 

Projects must: 

  • Start between 1 April 2024 and 1 October 2024 and end by 31 March 2025
  • Last between 3 and 12 months 
  • Be compliant with ODA funding

You must plan on installing your solution in an ODA-eligible country for testing within 6 months of the start of your project.

You can find a full list of ODA countries and further information about this competition on the government website.

Smart September 2023

Opens – 28 September 2023
Closes – 17 January 2024 at 11:00 am

Unlike most Innovate UK competitions, Smart is open to businesses in any sector…so long as their project is innovative enough.

This highly competitive grant is designed to help cutting-edge SMEs secure the funding they need to drive their project towards commercialisation. 

It offers up to £1.4 million for qualifying projects, with funding availability varying by company size and project type. 

Eligibility summary:

  • Your consortium must include at least one UK-registered SME
  • Your project must be game-changing and disruptive 
  • Your project must last 6 to 36 months and cost £100,000 to £2 million
  • You must start your project by 1 July 2024 and complete it by 30 June 2027
  • You must intend to exploit the results of your project from or in the UK

If you’re a business, you can apply for a grant covering between 25% and 70% of your project costs, depending on your size and what type of project you’re looking to undertake. 

Find out more about the September 2023 round of Smart

Find out if you're eligible!

That brings us to the end of the November 2023 edition of Grants Watch.

If you want to know whether you’re eligible for any of the grants listed above, GrantTree is here to help.

Our experts can give you a free, unbiased assessment of your eligibility and suitability for these grants and any other relevant competitions currently open in the UK. 

To book your eligibility consultation, just get in touch.