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Innovate UK Investor Partnerships: SME round 4

General & Misc
Project Size:
£50,000 to £2 million

Aim: To fuse Innovate UK's expertise in spotting innovation with investor partners' proficiency in identifying investment opportunities.

Benefit: Selected businesses gain both grant funding and access to the capital investment for R&D and innovation commercialisation.

Pre-application requirements include establishing a relationship with an approved investor partner and confirming the position to apply for grant funding.


  • Type: Investor Partnerships
  • Project Size:
  • Feasibility studies: £50,000 - £300,000
  • Industrial research: £100,000 - £1 million
  • Experimental development: £250,000 - £2 million

Proposal Must:

  • Show a clear path to market and a link to innovation.
  • Prove capability to form a team for delivery.
  • Establish registration in the UK as an SME by contract award time.
  • Complete the aligned investment required through the investor partner.
  • Demonstrate significant market impact, scalability, and attractiveness to equity investors upon funding.

Future Economy Focus Areas:

  • Net zero
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Next generation digital tech and tech families


  • Applications from diverse backgrounds, especially those historically under-represented such as regions outside London, Oxford, and Cambridge; ethnic minorities; women; disabled people; and those with non-traditional educational backgrounds.

Specific Themes:

  • Net Zero: Technologies such as offshore wind, hydrogen, civil nuclear, and more.
  • Health and Wellbeing: Solutions to health challenges, cancer therapeutics, and digital mental health innovations.
  • Next Generation Digital Tech: AI, machine learning, and other digital technologies for business productivity.
  • No Limits (EDI): Innovations from under-represented founders or decision-makers.


  • Create Growth Programme (DCMS)
  • Novel low-emission food production systems
  • Farming Innovation (Defra)

Research Categories:

  • Feasibility, industrial research, and experimental development projects.

Projects Not Funded:

  • Projects not by SMEs
  • Collaborative R&D projects
  • Projects not part of growth plans
  • Projects unable to show ROI and growth potential
  • Projects not working with an investor from the selected pool
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