Your bright idea could net a share of £15m

Find out how your latest product or service could be supported by Innovate UK

Innovate UK is gearing up to launch its latest competition and your bright idea could net you a share of £15 million.With the aim of driving productivity and growth, Innovate UK helps businesses to realise the potential of new technologies, develop ideas and make them a commercial success.

Submissions open on 1 March and they’re looking for disruptive ideas that could lead to new products, processes or services. With the potential to claim up to 70% of your total project costs, it’s worth taking a look before submissions close on 9 May 2018.

Is the competition open to any business?

To apply, you must:

  • be a UK-based business of any size
  • carry out your project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results in or from the UK and
  • submit your entry by 9 May 2018.


Proposals most likely to result in growth, productivity gains and/or access to new overseas markets through export, will be given priority. However, it’s not black and white, so click here for more information or here for some previous success stories.

How do I enter?

With a potential financial gain as big as this, you won’t be able to complete the submission on your coffee break, but don’t panic, there’s lots of guidance to help you through it.

First, you’ll need to gather together information about the scope of your project, including a detailed description. This should include your project’s title, start date and length. Then, there are ten application questions to answer, including your route to market, the team and resources, and costs. The final part is an Excel form which will need to include all eligible project costs.

I don’t think I meet the criteria

If your business doesn’t meet the scope above, you could still be eligible for a share of a further £10 million through the Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) scheme. It helps businesses in the UK to innovate and grow by buddying-up with an academic institution and a recent graduate.

The deadline for submissions is still 9 May, but the process is different. You’ll need to find out who your local KTP contact is first. They can then check the feasibility of your idea and tell you if it’s suitable. They can also help you find the right academic or researcher for your project.

Baby food brand, Ella’s Kitchen did just that. Find out how the scheme helped them and get more information here.

If I’m successful, what then?

If your application is successful, then your project expenditure for at least one quarter will need to be audited by an independent accountant. Innovate UK will need to know how their grant funding will be used, so this audit is essential (you can see where we’re going with this)to support your claim.

How can THP help?

If this all sounds a bit too daunting and you need assistance in applying for a grant then please get in touch. We work closely with a number of experts who will be able to show you how to lodge your application with the greatest chance of success.

If you are successful with your application then you will need to submit an audit report to validate your expenditure. This is usually done for the last quarter only in the case of smaller grants but may have to be done more than once for larger amounts.

We guarantee to prepare the report and supply it to you within two working days – then all you have to do is submit our report to Innovate UK and make your claim.

Our audit team will need information such as the following, which you can send to us electronically:

  • Payroll data, including labour time on grant activities.
  • Copies of bank statements.
  • Copies of purchase invoices.
  • Travel expenses claims.
  • Other misc. details.


Speak to your local THP advisor at one of our offices in CheamChelmsfordLondon CitySaffron Walden and Wanstead for more information about any of the above and how we can help you with your Innovate UK submission.