Contracts for Innovation

Enabling innovators to work directly with the public sector to develop new technologies and processes.

Procuring tomorrow’s solutions today

Innovate UK Contracts for Innovation, formerly known as The Small Business Research Initiative or SBRI, offer innovative organisations the chance to work directly with the public sector to solve complex challenges. This relationship is mutually beneficial and brings about unique benefits for both parties.

Contracts for Innovation competitions are open to any size or type of organisation, including businesses of any size, academic and research organisations and not-for-profits and charities.

Access public sector opportunities

Contracts for Innovation provides a route to market for new ideas and technologies, a chance to work with the public sector as an early adopter of cutting-edge innovation, and a way to create and retain intellectual property with the aim of commercialising solutions, helping to achieve business growth and success.

For successful organisations, Contracts for Innovation offers 100% funding to a single legal entity to help develop their proposed solution. Working with the public sector, organisations are able to access opportunities and build relationships that would otherwise be unavailable to them.

Benefits to business

Turnover impact per firm per year

£127k

Turnover impact per firm per year

Business growth

9%

Business growth

Private investment leveraged

£290m

Private investment leveraged

Find solutions to improve public services

For public sector organisations, Contracts for Innovation allows new solutions and technologies to be developed, and for these to be quickly adopted, helping meet efficiency targets and improving public services.

To date, over 100 public sector organisations have invested more than £1.5bn through Contracts for Innovation. Public Sector organisations who use Contracts for Innovation include:

  • Department of Energy, Security and Net Zero (DESNZ)
  • Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC)
  • Department for Transport
  • Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)
  • Devolved Administrations (DAs).
  • NHS
  • Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA)
  • UK Space Agency
  • UK Atomic Energy Authority
  • Network Rail

A 2022 independent review shows how Contracts for Innovation has helped some of the most exciting and innovative projects that have made the public sector more efficient and effective.

Innovate UK Tools and Support

Business Growth

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Business Growth

The Scaleup Programme Alumni Community brings together like-minded and ambitious individuals.

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Catapult Network

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Catapult Network

The Catapult Network provides cutting-edge R&D facilities and world class technical expertise to support UK business growth.

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Innovation Hub

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Innovation Hub

The Innovation Hub brings together the most relevant government backed innovation support.

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Investor Connect

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Investor Connect

Investment Connect is a community determined to find, fund and amplify solutions for economic growth.

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Innovation Canvas

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Innovation Canvas

The Innovation Canvas supports the development of an innovative product, service or process.

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Related Case Studies

Enhancing travel accessibility: Transreport's Passenger Assistance App revolutionises rail travel for disabled passengers

Enhancing travel accessibility: Transreport's Passenger Assistance App revolutionises rail travel for disabled passengers

With Innovate UK Contracts for Innovation funding, Transreport has developed an award-winning Passenger Assistance app which makes travel more inclusive for passengers requiring assistance.

Innovating water security: Watermarq's data-driven solutions for drought response and investment planning

Innovating water security: Watermarq's data-driven solutions for drought response and investment planning

Watermarq received Contracts for Innovation funding to develop innovative water supply and demand analytics solutions, which can help governments and other organisations plan responses to drought. 

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