Innovate UK funding and support

Find Innovate UK funding opportunities

Guide

Innovate UK's funding support, in the form of grants and loans, provides opportunities for businesses to innovate faster, more intensely, or more collaboratively than they would otherwise. The key to this is finding the right competition for your business.

You can use Innovate UK's Innovation Funding Service to:

  • search and apply for innovation funding
  • submit, track and manage your applications online

Not all projects and businesses may be eligible to apply to all competitions. Some competitions focus on specific challenge areas; others are open to all businesses and sectors.

Find out how Innovate UK funding works.

Using the Innovation Funding Service

You can browse announcements of new competitions via this service without registering. However, if you're planning on applying you will have to create an account in the service to start an application, or sign in to your existing account.

Once registered, you can invite project partners to work together on your application, assign tasks to specific partners, and ask them to work collaboratively on answering application questions.

Some funding opportunities, such as a few of the international competitions, are not yet able to use the Innovation Funding Service. These will use a secure file transfer site (FTP) application process instead.

Find out more about the Innovate UK application process.

Where to find out more about competitions

You can sign up for Innovate UK email alerts to hear about funding competitions relevant to your business.

For many competitions, Innovate UK will hold briefing events to present the scope of the competition, the application process and eligibility criteria. During these events, you can meet the Innovate UK team and ask questions. Registration links for the events are typically available on the competition website page for each competition.

Innovate UK partners such as Invest Northern Ireland, the Knowledge Transfer Networks or the Catapults may also be able to tell you about the various competitions and discuss partnering and wider funding opportunities for your business.

Before you apply

Each competition opportunity has its own eligibility criteria and scope. You should read the full eligibility, scope and guidance for the funding opportunity you wish to apply for. The announcement of the opportunity will have links to the relevant pages.

You should also carefully consider the category of R&D you're applying for as different funding rules will apply to different categories. See categories of R&D supported by Innovate UK.

If you have been previously awarded Innovate UK funding, make sure that you complete those projects fully. Not making an effort to exploit a previous award is likely to affect your subsequent applications.

See how to apply for Innovate UK funding.