Innovate UK Investor Partnerships: SME round 8

UK registered SMEs working in creative industries, or XR for digital mental health, can apply for grant funding alongside private investment from selected investor partners.

Opportunity Details

When

Registration Opens

20/06/2024

Registration Closes

14/08/2024

Award

Your project’s total costs will depend on your research category and must be in the ranges: £50k-£300k for feasibility studies; £100k-£1m for industrial research; £250k-£2m for experimental development. The grant from Innovate UK can cover up to 70% of these costs depending on project type and business size. The aligned investment led by the investor partner must always be at least twice as much as the grant funding.

Organisation

Innovate UK

Share this opportunity

Find out more and apply

The future economy investor partnership programme brings together:

  • Innovate UK’s expertise in identifying innovation and using grant funding to change the risk profile of businesses
  • investor partners’ aligned funding and expertise in identifying opportunities and teams that can best use extra investment finance

This approach aims to provide you with support for research and development access to the capital investment you need to develop and commercialise your innovations.

You will need to establish a relationship and a level of investment traction with one of our approved investor partners before you apply for funding. A full list of selected investor partners is provided at Innovate UK Investor Partners – UKRI and Innovate UK Business Connect investor partnerships websites. If you would like help to find an investment partner, contact Innovate UK Business Connect’s Investment team.

The funding available in this round is limited, so only two specific themes are in scope. These are Creative Catalyst (creative industries, underpinned by innovative digital technology or sustainable innovations) and Mindset (extended reality for digital mental health). These are further described in the “specific themes” section below.

  • This competition is open to single applicants only. To apply your organisation must:

    • be a UK registered micro, small or medium sized business (SME)
    • carry out its project work in the UK
    • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK
    • be invited to apply by your investor partner
    • have discussed and agreed your proposal with your investor partner before submitting your application

    Subcontractors are allowed in this competition. An SME can only submit one application into this round of the competition.

  • The eligibility criteria will depend on your research category.

    For feasibility studies projects:

    • your total project costs must be between £50,000 and £300,000
    • the project duration must be between 6 and 12 months

    For industrial research projects:

    • your total project costs must be between £100,000 and £1 million
    • the project duration must be between 6 and 15 months

    For experimental development projects:

    • your total project costs must be between £250,000 and £2 million
    • the project duration must be between 12 and 15 months
  • Innovate UK will cover up to 70% of the costs of your project, depending on business type and project size.

    The investment from the investment partners does not have to directly pay for the costs of the project, but must be at least double the amount received from Innovate UK.

    If you are successful, you will receive grant funding to cover a proportion of the costs of your project. The project will only be allowed to commence once the agreed aligned investment has been confirmed.

  • The aim of this competition is to provide you with support for research and development and access to the capital investment you need to develop and commercialise your innovations.

    Your proposal must have a clear route to market, a clear link to innovation and evidence that you can create a team to deliver your proposal.

    You must be:

    • registered in the UK as an SME by the time the award is contracted
    • able to complete the aligned investment led by the investor partner needed to qualify for the award, through the issue of new shares or convertible debt

    You must also demonstrate that if your project is funded, it will:

    • have significant market impact
    • be scalable
    • be attractive to equity investors
  • Most of the funding for the Future Economy Investor Partnership programme has now been fully committed. The only specific themes with remaining funding available are:

    Mindset

    The application of extended reality for digital mental health, including immersive content that could be delivered as a digital mental health therapeutic in formal healthcare settings

    Creative Catalyst

    Projects within the creative industries which are underpinned by innovative digital technology as well as sustainable innovations, such as circular fashion (Creative Catalyst). Complete list of themes:

    • advertising and marketing
    • animation
    • architecture
    • arts and culture
    • crafts
    • design
    • fashion
    • film, TV and video
    • games
    • publishing
    • music and radio
    • visual art and photography
  • Innovate UK Business Connect held an online briefing event for potential SME applicants on Tuesday 25 June: click here to watch the recording.

    If you would like help to find an investment partner, or have any other queries, contact Innovate UK Business Connect’s Investment team.

Related Events and Recordings

Tue
25
Jun
2024

Future economy investor partnership SME competition round 8 briefing event

10.00 - 12.00 BST | Online

Watch now
See all events
Close

Connect with Innovate UK Business Connect

Join Innovate UK Business Connect's mailing list to receive updates on funding opportunities, events and to access Innovate UK Business Connect's deep expertise. Please check your email to confirm your subscription and select your area(s) of interest.