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Innovate UK Smart Grants: January 2023

Looking for funding for a game-changing research and development project? You may be eligible for up to £1.4 million in grant funding through the January 2023 round of Innovate UK’s Smart competition. Here’s what you need to know.

If you are:

  • A UK-registered SME or working with one
  • Developing a game-changing, innovative and disruptive idea
  • Able to deliver a 6-to-36-month project with total eligible costs between £100,000 and £2 million
  • Able to start your project by 1 December 2023

Then you may be able to acquire a large grant from the January 2023 round of Innovate UK’s Smart competition, which closes on 14 June 2023. 

Smart is an industry-agnostic competition, meaning businesses from all sectors can apply so long as their project is innovative enough. 

In this blog, I’ve broken down which companies are eligible for Smart, how much funding you can apply for, and how to apply. 

If you want a free, easy, expert assessment of your eligibility, our grants experts would be happy to help. Just drop us a line.

Am I eligible for Smart?

Your eligibility for Smart is determined by two things:

  • Your organisation
  • Your project

Let’s look at both in more detail.

Your organisation

To apply for a Smart grant, your organisation must:

  • Be registered in the UK
  • Carry out all of its development work in the UK
  • Plan on exploiting the results of its project from or within the UK
  • Be an SME or include at least one SME in your consortium

Not sure what a ‘SME’ is for the purposes of grants? Check out our detailed blog.

Your project

To qualify for Smart, you must be working on a disruptive project with the potential to quickly generate a return for your business and the UK economy.

Your idea must be genuinely new and novel, not just disruptive within your sector.

In addition, your project must:

  • Have total qualifying costs of between £100,000 and £2,000,000
  • Start by 1 December 2023
  • End by 30 November 2026
  • Last between 6 and 36 months

How much funding could I get?

To apply for Smart, your total project costs must be between £100,000 and £2,000,000. 

The competition is separated into two streams: 

  • Funding stream 1 – For projects lasting 6-18 months, with total costs of between £100,000 and £500,000
  • Funding stream 2 – For project costs lasting 19-36 months, with total costs between £100,000 and £2,000,000 

In the table below you can see what percentage of your eligible project costs you can claim back in grant funding based on your company’s size and your project type. 

Project Type Micro Small Medium Large
Industrial Research Project
Experimental Development Project

So, if you’re a small business looking to deliver a £1,000,000 Experimental Development Project, you could earn a grant for up to £450,000.

Not sure whether you’re a micro, small, medium or large company? Check out this blog.

How do I apply?

The Smart application has three parts: Project details, application questions, and finances.

1. Project details

This consists of five subsections, including your application team, application details, and the scope and project summary, which sets the scene for assessors. 

2. Application questions

This section consists of seven questions, including your innovation, your justification for funding, and the potential market for your technology.

3. Finances

This is where you’ll enter your project costs, organisation details and funding details.

Maximise Your Chances of Winning

If you’re considering applying to the January 2023 round of Innovate UK’s Smart competition, working with a specialist like GrantTree can significantly increase your chances of winning. 

In the April 2022 round of Smart, we helped nine companies secure almost £3 million in funding.

Two-thirds of the applications we worked on were successful – that’s an acceptance rate more than 15 times higher than the Smart average.

Whether you want support writing your application from scratch or an experienced pair of eyes to review a submission you’ve prepared yourself, GrantTree is here to help.

Just drop us a line below!