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Innovate UK Investor Partnerships: SME Round 6

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Project Size:
£50,000 to £300,000

Collaboration Requirements

  • Businesses must establish a relationship and investment traction with one of Innovate UK's approved investor partners before applying.
  • The investor partner must confirm the applicant’s position to apply for grant funding.

Project Size

  • Grants range from £50,000 to £300,000 for feasibility studies, £100,000 to £1 million for industrial research, and £250,000 to £2 million for experimental development.

Accessibility and Inclusion

  • Encourages applications from diverse backgrounds, with support available for those needing adjustments.

Proposal Requirements

  • Must have a clear route to market, link to innovation, and demonstrate team capability.
  • Applicants must be registered as SMEs in the UK and complete aligned investment led by the investor partner.
  • Projects should have significant market impact, be scalable, and attractive to other equity investors.

Future Economy Focus Areas

  • Net Zero, Health and Wellbeing, Next Generation Digital Technologies, and Technology Families.
  • Specific themes include critical circular materials, offshore wind, cancer therapeutics, digital mental health, artificial intelligence, and more.
  • Also includes a targeted theme on Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI).

Portfolio Approach

  • Aiming for a variety of projects across different technologies and markets, with a focus on future economy areas and the impact of the grant in accelerating investment.

Research Categories

  • Funding feasibility, industrial research, and experimental development projects.


  • Not funding projects not carried out by SMEs, not part of a company’s growth plan, unable to demonstrate growth potential or ROI, or not working with an approved investor partner.
  • Can't fund projects dependent on export performance or domestic inputs usage.

Contact Information

  • Innovate UK can be contacted for guidance via email or at 0300 321 4357.

Key Takeaways

  • This competition offers an opportunity for SMEs to secure grant funding in conjunction with private investment.
  • Emphasis on innovative projects that align with specific future economy themes.
  • Collaboration with an approved investor partner is a prerequisite for application.

Funding Body

  • Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation.

Funding Type

  • Investor Partnerships


  • To provide grant funding alongside private investment from selected investor partners for UK registered SMEs.
  • Aimed at supporting innovative, technology-led businesses that align with future economy areas as described in Innovate UK's plan for action.

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