Innovative ideas to change the world: new business funding

Innovate UK Smart funding launches with £20 million grant competition for ambitious projects that could disrupt a global industry or market.

New government funding – available from today – will help UK businesses to turn their game-changing ideas into major commercial successes. Smart grants are the latest programme from Innovate UK to de-risk innovation and enable business growth.

Since 2007, organisations have benefited from £2.5 billion of Innovate UK support, which has helped to create around 70,000 jobs and add an estimated £18 billion to the UK economy.

Ian Campbell, Interim Executive Chair of Innovate UK said “New business ideas have the potential to improve and transform people’s lives, industries and the world. Our Smart grant funding is designed for businesses with great innovative ideas, and the capacity and appetite to achieve significant growth.”

Projects that are awarded Innovate UK Smart grants will follow a long line of businesses to gain success following funding support.

This includes Swiftkey, the predictive keyboard app bought by Microsoft following a reputed $250 million deal, and 3D printer and resin manufacturer, Photocentric, which expects to sell over £8 million worth of its products by 2020.

Innovate UK Smart grants are for the very best ideas from business, no matter what field they are in, where they are from, and the stage of innovation – from testing the feasibility of an idea through to development and prototyping.

They are for business innovation projects that offer a major step-change, either to what’s already available or by developing an entirely new technology, service or process. These should have a high potential for commercialisation within the UK and wider global markets.