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New Data Reveals Fierce Competition for Smart Grants

Recent round’s 95.6% rejection rate emphasises the value of grant funding expertise.

Innovate UK accepted just 45 of the 1019 applications it received for the July 2022 round of its Smart grant. This is a success rate of just 4.4%, which is typical for this popular competition. 

Published following a freedom of information request by GrantTree, these figures demonstrate how difficult it is to secure Smart grants, which help SMEs and their partners accelerate innovative projects by awarding them up to £1.4 million.

Smart’s competitiveness highlights need for expertise

The reason Smart is so competitive is that it is open to companies from any industry. As a result, it attracts many more applications than technology-specific grants, such as the Biomedical Catalyst. 

The higher number of applications raises Smart’s minimum successful score to challenging heights, making it harder for companies and their projects to stand out from the crowd.  

If you are considering an application for Smart, working with an innovation grant specialist like GrantTree can significantly improve your chances of success. 

Our team of consultants and subject matter experts can call upon decades of combined experience to prepare a compelling and comprehensive narrative that maximises your chances of winning funding. 

We have an industry-leading success rate of 65% and a great deal of experience in Smart specifically, having helped 12 companies secure more than £4 million from the April and July 2022 rounds of the competition.

More than 100 applications rejected

Innovate UK also rejected 138 applications (14%) because they were ineligible for the competition. Collectively, these applications will have taken well over a thousand hours to prepare. 

The double-digit rejection rate is a good reminder that Smart, while open to a wide range of technological focus areas, is protected by a strict set of eligibility criteria. Prospective applicants should read and consider them carefully before embarking on the lengthy process of compiling a submission.  

If you are unsure whether your project, company, or consortium qualifies for an Innovate UK competition – including the January 2023 edition of Smart, which is now open – GrantTree would be happy to perform a free, no-strings-attached eligibility check.