UK businesses to receive £125m cash boost from Government

Government-funded body, Innovate UK, is providing £125 million to help businesses develop their ideas. Here's how to apply.

Innovate UK has announced that it’ll be giving an extra £125m to businesses across the country.

The cash will be split in two – £100m of the money will be available as part of the Government’s Smart grants programme with the remaining £25m going to late-stage research and development projects.

Smart grants supplies funding for innovative R&D from early stage feasibility (that includes market research), through to technology or prototype testing and development stages up to (but not including) commercialisation.

Previous grantees include a 3D printing company; a machine learning company which was sold to Twitter; and a company who developed a prototype for screening liquids to identify explosives at airports.

The cash boost comes in addition to a new £3m investment accelerator scheme, the Regional Angel Investment Accelerator Pilots. This hopes to encourage business angels from across the country to channel investment and expertise into innovative small and medium-sized companies.

These companies will also receive Government grants to deliver innovation projects with the potential for longer-term angel involvement and future commercial success.

How do I apply Smart grants?

The Smart grants scheme will have a rolling schedule of competitions throughout the year – the latest round of applications is open until noon on July 24. Innovate UK says that proposals must be business focused as opposed to full research. Applications can come with any area of technology – that includes arts, design, media or creative industries – science or engineering and applied to any part of the economy.

For more information, visit the competition website.

What about the innovation loans?

The competition to win an innovation loan is currently open. These loans are for businesses with innovations that are near to market.

Previous recipients have been in sectors including clean growth, advanced manufacturing, healthy ageing and AI and data analytics.

Read more

A complete list of Scottish business grants

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Anna Jordan

Anna is Senior Reporter, covering topics affecting SMEs such as grant funding, managing employees and the day-to-day running of a business.

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