Innovate UK Grants & Funding
Innovate UK is the UK’s innovation agency and business funding body, part of the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy. Its remit is to drive the science and technology innovations that will grow the UK economy.
Innovate UK focuses on specific industry sectors in which they want to accelerate growth. These key areas are Materials & Manufacturing, Emerging & Enabling Technologies, Infrastructure Systems and Health & Life Sciences.
For all the other innovative companies out there who don’t clearly align with those sectors, an Open programme is available to encourage all ground-breaking, disruptive business ideas to be submitted.
For a national funding body, Innovate UK takes an innovative approach to funding and the types of funding streams it makes available. Alongside the ‘usual’ bi-annual sector competitions, they have recently launched some funding streams offering different solutions to barriers a company might be facing. For example, “Analysis for Innovators” (AfI), where there was no need to write a proposal in the first phase, or on-board partners, or even pitch a potential solution. Companies just had to explain the existing problem and added-value its resolution would bring to the business. Innovate UK proposed this funding opportunity alongside Science & Technology Facilities Council (STFC), National Physical Laboratory (NPL), LGC (formerly the Laboratory of the Government Chemist) and NEL (formerly the National Engineering Laboratory), who invested up to £6.5 million in innovation projects to improve business performance and productivity through the use of advanced analytical and measurement technologies.