SMART is Innovate UK’s open grant funding programme. Support is for the best game-changing and commercially viable innovative or disruptive ideas, in any type of technology. Must be business focused and address a clear market gap, in any sector. Projects can be at different levels of technological maturity, up to but not including commercialisation. There are typically 4-5 calls per year. Next deadline: 27 July 2022. Interested? Feel free to contact us.


Opportunity to apply for funding to deliver ambitious or disruptive R&D innovations that can make a significant impact on the UK economy.


Competition closes: 27th July 2022, 11am

Applicants notified: 30th September 2022

Project start date: 1st November 2022 – 1st January 2023


Proposals must demonstrate:

  • A game-changing, innovative, and disruptive idea that will lead to new products, processes or services
  • An idea that is significantly ahead of others in the field, set for rapid commercialisation
  • Clear potential to positively impact the UK’s position, productivity and competitiveness globally
  • A clear, evidence-based business plan to deliver significant economic impact, return on investment (ROI) and growth through commercialisation, as soon as possible after project completion
  • Why Smart funding is the right potential funding for your project, and the journey you have already been on to reach the point of application
  • Sound, practical financial plans and timelines that represent good value for money, including the funding of post-project activities

Specific Themes

Proposals must:

  • Take customer and user needs into account and identify who is ready to buy your innovation
  • Be developed, planned and resourced beyond the end of the Innovate UK funded project
  • Fit with and complement your ongoing business planning and development, product offerings and organisational structure to maximise chances of success

Projects that will not be funded

  • Where the technology is available or used in another sector, or do not evidence the potential for their idea to lead to significant return on investment (ROI), positive economic impact, growth and scale-up of the business
  • That do not provide clear and realistic plans to commercialise their innovation as soon as possible post-project completion
  • Where other Innovate UK funding support is available and more appropriate


  • Subsidy Control and State Aid funding rules apply
  • Project must be led by a UK business of any size and must include a UK based SME
  • R&D work must be carried out in the UK and project results exploited from UK

Funding Rates

2 streams:

  • Projects with durations between 6 and 18 months must have total eligible project costs between £100,000 and £500,000. They can be single or collaborative projects.
  • Project durations between 19 and 36 months must have total eligible project costs between £100,000 and £2 million. They must be collaborative projects.

For Feasibility Studies or Industrial Research you could get funding for your eligible project costs of:

  • up to 70% if you are a micro or small organisation
  • up to 60% if you are a medium-sized organisation
  • up to 50% if you are a large organisation

For Experimental Development you could get funding for your eligible project costs of:

  • up to 45% if you are a micro or small organisation
  • up to 35% if you are a medium-sized organisation
  • up to 25% if you are a large organisation

Research organisations collaborating as part of your consortium can share up to 30% of the UK total eligible project costs. (This maximum is to be shared between all participating research organisations).

How PNO can support you

The UK team has a strong track record in securing some of the most competitive national and European grants on behalf of its clients, with a full understanding of how a project should be presented to stand the highest chance of success. Each year in the UK alone, we are responsible for the submission of more than 100 funding applications across all sectors and priority areas. Based on this extensive experience, through careful project selection and using key insight into how a project should be best positioned, we consistently achieve success rates that are more than 5 times the typical success rates for UK national schemes and EU programmes.


Contact us for further information

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