Public sector grant funding for innovation is provided to:

“… accelerate UK economic growth by nurturing high-potential SMEs in key market sectors, helping them become high-growth, mid-sized companies with strong productivity and export success…”

Well over £0.5Bn of grants are awarded by the UK government annually, with significantly more distributed via European Commission programmes.

Grant funding works by offsetting the costs of product development allowing you to take greater risks, grow faster and collaborate with technology providers and/or your supply chain.

Grants are accessed via competitive themed programmes.   An up to date list of opportunities is provided below covering UK schemes (Innovate UK, SBRI), EC schemes (H2020) and the joint UK/EC Eurostars programme.

For more advice and support contact

Innovate UK:
Supporting UK companies to establish, grow and expand into new markets, with a focus on SME’s and export.
Innovate UK run four core programmes with several calls each year:

  • Emerging and Enabling Technologies
  • Manufacturing and Materials
  • Infrastructure Systems
  • Health and Life Sciences

There is also an “Open” scope programme.
Innovate UK also run competitions in specific topics within the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.
Innovate UK also run competitions on behalf of other government departments, including the DBEIS, DfT and DCMS.


The Small Business Research Initiative uses the government’s role as a lead customer through public procurement to spur the development of new technologies and innovative products.  Contracts are awarded to competition winners to develop innovative solutions to specific problems.  The SBRI scheme is administered by Innovate UK.

Horizon 2020:
Providing €10bn of funding per year covering fundamental research through to industrial commercialisation.  This survey covers the grant types and topics of interest to for-profit SME’s and larger companies with whom they may collaborate.
The programme for runs through to the end of 2020 and the UK’s participation for the whole programme has been confirmed.

Promoting international cooperation with a wide-ranging scope, and two submission deadlines each year.  Up to €360k is available for companies who can jointly apply with at least one other partner from another qualifying country.