Creative Catalyst 2024

UK registered micro or small businesses in the creative industries sector can apply for funding of up to £50,000 with a package of tailored support to grow their business.

Opportunity Details

When

Registration Opens

23/01/2024

Registration Closes

06/03/2024

Award

You can claim 100% of your eligible project costs up to the maximum of £50,000. Your project costs must not exceed £50,000.

Organisation

Innovate UK

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Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, will invest up to £10 million for innovation projects as part of the Creative Catalyst.

The aim of this competition is to support the growth of untapped innovative businesses and to increase investment in creative talent. We do this by providing a package of targeted and continuous support to develop projects that will propel business growth plans.

Your proposal must:

  • have an innovation that clearly demonstrates benefit to the creative industries sector and the wider UK economy
  • focus on a clear opportunity and the proposed innovation which addresses it
  • demonstrate the impact funding and support can have to the growth plan of your business within the next 12 months

Your project’s total costs and grant funding request must be up to a maximum of £50,000 (100% funded). You must not have previously received funding from Innovate UK.

We welcome and encourage applications from people of all backgrounds and are committed to making our application process accessible to everyone. This includes making reasonable adjustments, for people who have a disability or a long-term condition and face barriers applying to us.

  • To lead a project your organisation must:

    • be a UK registered micro or small business (to be eligible as a UK registered business you must have a Companies House registration number)
    • have not previously received funding from Innovate UK
    • be from or support the creative industries sector
    • have a demonstrable ambition for growth
    • engage with Innovate UK EDGE to maximise business growth opportunities
    • have operations and a project team based in the UK

    More information on the different types of organisation can be found in our Funding rules.

    Subcontractors are allowed in this competition. You cannot attribute more than 75% of your project costs to subcontractors. Your subcontractors can be from anywhere in the UK and you must select them through your usual procurement process.

    An eligible business can only submit one application.

  • Your project must:

    • have total project costs and grant funding request of no more than £50,000
    • start between 1 August 2024 and 1 October 2024
    • end by 31 March 2025
    • last between 3 and 6 months

    You must carry out all of your project work in the UK and intend to exploit the results from or in the UK.

  • Grant funding in this competition is awarded as Minimal Financial assistance (MFA). This allows public bodies to award up to £315,000 to an enterprise in a 3-year rolling financial period.

    In your application, you will be asked to declare previous funding received by you. This will form part of the financial checks ahead of Innovate UK making a formal grant offer.

    To establish your eligibility, we need to check that our support added to the amount you have previously received does not exceed the limit of £315,000 in the ‘applicable period’.

    The applicable period is made up of:

    (a) the elapsed part of the current financial year, and

    (b) the two financial years immediately preceding the current financial year.

  • The aim of this competition is to support the growth of untapped innovative businesses and to increase investment in creative talent across the UK. We will do this by providing a package of targeted and continuous support to help creative industries businesses to develop innovation that will propel their business growth plans.

    We are looking to fund and support a diverse portfolio of innovative award holders. Your project must:

    • be from or support the creative industries in the UK
    • demonstrate a clearly innovative and ambitious idea which addresses an industry challenge
    • be a significant improvement on what is currently on offer in your existing business, with a demonstrable impact to your growth plan
    • create a new revenue stream, for example, new products, services or IP
    • be market ready within 12 months after project completion
    • demonstrate value for money

    We encourage proposals that can demonstrate benefit to the wider creative industries sector, especially those that are underrepresented in innovation, for example:

    • architecture
    • crafts
    • photography
    • publishing
    • radio

    This list is not exhaustive and innovations from across the creative industries are welcome.

  • The creative industries projects supported by this fund must focus on one or more of the following subsectors:

    • advertising and marketing
    • animation
    • architecture
    • arts and culture
    • crafts
    • design
    • fashion
    • film, TV and video
    • games
    • publishing
    • music and radio
    • visual art and photography
  • As part of your application, you must include a short video, up to 2 minutes in length. You must host your video on Vimeo or YouTube.

    In your video, tell us:

    • the problem your innovation will solve
    • your solution
    • your market
    • why you are best placed to solve it
    • include any additional information about you, or your team, or your project that will help to strengthen your application

    If the assessors cannot view your video or it is hosted on a platform other than Vimeo or YouTube without approval from Innovate UK, your application will be made ineligible.

    If you are experiencing any issues with your video you must contact Innovate UK support@iuk.ukri.org at least 10 working days before the competition closes for advice, or to ask permission to use an alternative platform.

  • We are not funding projects that:

    • are not led by a UK registered micro or small business
    • have total project costs and a grant funding in excess of £50,000
    • attribute more than 75% of their costs to subcontractors
    • do not fall within the subsectors of creative industries outlined for Creative Catalyst, for example, construction, education, tourism, manufacturing without demonstrable subsector ties
    • do not intend to use the full award package, for example, requesting just the funding and not the wider support package
    • come from organisations that are not profit driven
    • have previously received funding from Innovate UK
    • are commissioning business as usual (BAU) activities, for example, a new game or film that do not have an innovative edge to the way your company usually addresses new projects
    • lack evidence that their proposed innovation is expected to lead to significant and positive economic impact, or that value for money will be achieved
    • lack research and development or innovation, for example, the creation of information only websites
    • are not allowed under De minimis regulation restrictions
    • are not eligible to receive Minimal Financial Assistance
  • Innovate UK KTN will hold the following support events:

    We welcome and encourage applications from people of all backgrounds and are committed to making our application process accessible to everyone. This includes making reasonable adjustments, for people who have a disability or a long-term condition and face barriers applying to us.

    You can contact us at any time to ask for guidance.

    We recommend you contact us at least 15 working days before this competition’s closing date to allow us to put the most suitable support in place. The support we can provide may be limited if you contact us close to the competition deadline.

    You can contact Innovate UK by email or call 0300 321 4357. Our phone lines are open from 9am to 12pm and 2pm to 5pm UK time, Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays)

    If you would like advice on your application, or help to find subcontractors etc., please contact Innovate UK KTN’s Creative Industries team.

Related Events and Recordings

Thu
25
Jan
2024

Creative Catalyst 2024 Competition Briefing and Q&A

11.00 - 12.30 | Online

Watch now
See all events
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