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UK Grants & Funding

Innovate UK is the primary innovation fund for the United Kingdom

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Helping companies innovate is essential to a country’s economic health and development. That’s why Governments across the globe have mechanisms in place to maintain a skilled workforce, attract companies, and promote inward investment.

The UK is no different. It has a variety of funding streams available for innovative companies. The primary innovation fund is Innovate UK.

Ayming has many years’ experience, and extensive knowledge of innovation grants, writing competitive funding applications, and creating business plans. We work hand-in-hand with your team to create the best proposal or application possible. We aim to improve your chances of winning competitions for Innovate UK funding.

What is Innovate UK?

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. Since 2007, Innovate UK funding has committed over £1.8 billion to innovation. It has helped 8000 organisations with projects estimated to add over £16 billion to the UK economy and created roughly 70,000 jobs.

Innovate UK funding focuses on specific industry sectors in which they want to accelerate growth. These key areas are:

  • Materials & Manufacturing
  • Emerging & Enabling Technologies
  • Infrastructure Systems
  • Health & Life Sciences

An Open programme is available for the other innovative companies who don’t align with those sectors. This is to encourage all ground-breaking, disruptive business ideas to be submitted.

Innovative approach to Innovate UK funding

For a national funding body, Innovate UK takes a unique approach to grants funding and the types of funding streams it makes available. Alongside the ‘usual’ bi-annual sector competitions, they have recently launched other 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 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.

Brexit & Innovate UK grants

With some kind of Brexit looming, Innovate UK’s role and remit is becoming even more important. There is a direct link between the money the UK spends on innovation funding, such as Innovate UK grants, and how attractive we are to companies wanting to maintain investment in R&D and manufacturing here. In turn, these are the companies who will employ skilled people, coming from UK or EU Universities, nurturing future talent to work on the big challenges affecting our society.