Innovate UK funding and support

How to apply for Innovate UK funding


First step to applying for Innovate UK funding is understanding whether or not you are eligible.

Each competition opportunity has its own eligibility criteria and scope. It's important to carefully read the full eligibility, scope and guidance for the funding opportunity you wish to apply for. Not all businesses will be able to apply for all competitions.

Can you provide the required match funding?

In most cases, grant funding provided through Innovate UK expects some level of match funding. This means applicants are expected to provide a proportion of the total eligible project costs. How much this is depends on the size of your business and the stage of research and development that you are working on (eg feasibility study or experimental development).

To help you decide if competing for Innovate UK funding is right for you and your business, ask yourself:

  • What's the problem you're trying to solve and why?
  • What business need or market opportunity drives your innovation?
  • Does your solution match the opportunity?
  • Is your idea commercially viable? How will you make money from it?
  • What impact might your project have outside your business? Consider the wider economic, social and environmental benefits.
  • How will you manage the project effectively?
  • Is your solution pushing the boundaries of technology in a novel way?
  • Does your project represent good value for public money?

Your application is your chance to show the assessors you've done all the careful preparation and planning needed to bring your big idea to life.

Application process

Innovate UK typically runs two types of application process for funding awards. These are:

  • an online application process through the Innovation Funding Service
  • a document-based file transfer protocol (FTP) application process

Read about the differences in these two processes in Innovate UK's application guidance.

If you need more information, email Innovate UK at or call the competition helpline on 0300 321 4357.