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Smart - 2014-15 - Round 4

Support for innovative SMEs

Smart round 4 will close on Thursday, 27 November at noon.
Smart is a grant scheme which offers funding to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to engage in R&D projects in the strategically important areas of science, engineering and technology, from which successful new products, processes and services could emerge.
The scheme supports SMEs carrying out R&D which offers potentially significant rewards and that could stimulate UK economic growth.
Three types of grant are available:
  • Proof of market
  • Proof of concept
  • Development of prototype.
Any UK SME undertaking research and development may apply; applications are accepted on a rolling basis for assessment by independent experts.
The new batch assessment dates for Smart scheme applications during the financial year 2014/15, which starts on 27 March, are:
2014 close dates: 17 July, 25 September and 27 November
2015 close dates: 29 January and 26 March 
Please note: The batch assessment date for Round 4 of the current financial year 2014/15 is 27 November 2014 12:00 noon
Smart responsive mode is "always open". However to assist Innovate UK in the processing of these applications, we assign them into batches for final assessment and funding.

Smart – Proof of market

This grant enables companies to assess commercial viability, through:
  • market research
  • market testing and competitor analysis
  • intellectual property position
  • initial planning to take the project to commercialisation, including assessing costs, timescales and funding requirements.

Key features

  • Duration – up to 9 months
  • Maximum grant – £25k
  • Funding proportion – up to 60% of total project costs

Smart – Proof of concept

A grant to explore the technical feasibility and commercial potential of a new technology, product or process:
  • initial feasibility studies
  • basic prototyping
  • specialist testing and/or demonstration to provide basic proof of technical feasibility
  • intellectual property protection
  • investigation of production and assembly options.
It also includes pre-clinical research studies for healthcare technologies and medicines, including target identification and validation.

Key features

  • Duration – up to 18 months
  • Maximum grant – up to £100k
  • Funding proportion – up to 60% of total project costs

Smart – Prototype development

This funding is used by companies to develop a technologically innovative product, service or industrial process:
  •  small demonstrators
  •  intellectual property protection
  •  trials and testing, including clinical
  •  market testing
  •  marketing strategies
  •  identifying routes to market
  •  product design work
  •  pre-clinical studies for medicines.

Key features

  • Duration – up to 2 years
  • Maximum grant – £250k
  • Funding proportion – up to 35% of total project costs for medium enterprises; up to 45% for small and micro enterprises

Further information

Who can apply?

Pre start-ups, start-ups, and small and medium-sized businesses from all sectors across the UK, undertaking R&D.

Unsure if your business is an SME?


Previous schemes

Smart replaces the Grant for R&D scheme previously run by regional development agencies.

Devolved administrations

Smart works alongside similar programmes in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Future programmes

In future we may also run themed competitions using the Smart grant scheme in our priority investment areas.

To apply or find out more:

T: 0300 321 4357

Previous Smart competition results