Innovate UK: Open funding programme

Information about Innovate UK’s ‘open’ programme for innovative businesses with high-growth potential.

Innovate UK Smart funding is the new name for the Open programme.

Find out more about Smart grants and the latest opportunities.

What the programme is

Innovative ideas can come from any technology, from any industry - including science, engineering, creative industries, design and the arts - at any time.

So, as well as the challenge-focused opportunities through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, we have a funding programme that’s open to innovative businesses of any size, from any technology or challenge area.

What we support

Innovate UK’s Open R&D Funding programme provides businesses with grants to develop game-changing or disruptive ideas. These can be for a completely new product, service or process, or an unprecedented use for an existing one that take it above and beyond what’s currently available.

Our programme supports innovation at various stages. It helps companies develop projects from feasibilities studies including market research, through to prototype testing, development and demonstration.

It can also help businesses to work with the research base to improve their ability to innovate and increase their competitiveness while supporting the next generation of innovators.

In all cases there should be a clear route to market and potential for rapid commercialisation, to keep the UK globally competitive.

Apply for funding

Each year we will run several rounds of competitions to provide funding for the very best businesses with the very best ideas.

You can find all live competitions on our Innovation Funding Service.

Success stories

See some of the successful business projects funded through previous competitions.

Published 7 April 2016
Last updated 18 February 2019 + show all updates
  1. Sign-posted to Innovate UK Smart grants guidance, which replaces the Open programme:

  2. Added link to delivery plan 2017 to 2018.

  3. Fixed broken links

  4. First published.