SBRI: the Small Business Research Initiative

Information about SBRI for businesses and public sector organisations that might want to use the scheme.

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For up to date information see Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI).

SBRI brings together government challenges and ideas from business to create innovative solutions.

This page on the SBRI programme - delivered by Innovate UK - provides information about how it works and gives examples of public sector bodies and businesses that have taken part.

It is aimed at:

  • businesses that might want to apply to an SBRI competition to find out how it works and what they can get out of it
  • public sector organisations that might benefit from running an SBRI competition and how to get help to do so

Here you can find opportunities in the UK, as well as examples of some of the businesses and organisations that benefit from SBRI.

This includes information on government’s GovTech Catalyst. The £20 million fund was announced in the Industrial Strategy, which will use SBRI to support businesses to provide innovative technology solutions to the public sector, and the Government Technology Innovation Strategy, which sets the foundations needed for government to innovate through emerging technologies.

You can also find out more about opportunities for businesses and public procurers in Europe, known as pre-commercial procurements.

Women In Tech - Jenny Griffiths, Snap Fashion

SBRI in the news

The latest news updates from SBRI projects.

High street revolution where no town is left behind

SBRI funding competitions

SBRI supports a range of competitions with public sector organisations and departments.

You can find the latest SBRI competitions in this collection or by searching the innovation funding service.

Success stories

All of the organisations here have received SBRI support. Learn about some of the programme’s successful projects.

St David Award nomination for rapid sanitisation project

St David Award nomination for rapid sanitisation project

A day in the life of Becky Sage, CEO, Interactive Scientific

What’s it like to be a female entrepreneur in the digital tech sector?

Bethany Koby, Technology Will Save Us, on encouraging children to create with technology

Game Changer: Bethany Koby, Technology will Save Us

SBRI in the public sector

SBRI in the public sector

Smart School Transport in Northern Ireland

Smart School Transport: an SBRI initiative

Fast: Automated staff development

Automated Staff Deployment: an SBRI initiative

SBRI review and recommendations

Government’s review of SBRI into the barriers facing small businesses and recommendations on how to tackle them.


Updates to this page

Published 22 June 2015
Last updated 26 February 2021 + show all updates
  1. Added new SBRI stories to the headings 'SBRI in the news' and 'Success stories'

  2. Added new article to 'SBRI in the news' document collection

  3. Added news story to SBRI in the news collection: £2.8m innovation funding to boost detection of explosives, weapons and illicit drugs

  4. Added SBRI - Transport Priorities Review for UKRI report to SBRI Review and Recommendations document collection

  5. Added story to SBRI in the news collection: "New tech to tackle leaves on the line and de-ice platforms set to revolutionise British rail travel."

  6. Added news story to SBRI in the news section: Defence scientists trial innovation to slash ambulance cleaning time (

  7. Added 'COVID-19: Call for rapid sanitising technology for ambulances' funding call to SBRI Funding Competitions group.

  8. Two new funding opportunities from DASA added

  9. Added the MOD Map the Gap competition to the news listing

  10. Added x3 new funding competitions to the listing

  11. Added news story on Bug Farm Foods' launch of VexO insect protein

  12. New funding competitions added

  13. Removal of out of date funding competitions and addition of recent round-up news

  14. Updated funding competitions collection.

  15. Added 'Competition: stopping it in its tracks - phase 2' to document collection.

  16. Updated competitions list, and included reference of the Government Technology Innovation Strategy.

  17. Updated SBRI funding competitions collection.

  18. Added 'SBRI in the pubic sector' video

  19. Added 'Competition: novel chemistry to reduce the risk from household products' to the funding competitions collection.

  20. Added "Competition: Future Screening for Aviation and Borders" to funding competitions collection.

  21. Added Smart School Transport and Automated Staff Deployment videos to the success stories collection.

  22. Added 'Competition summary: Semi-autonomous reconnaissance vehicles for the Army' to the competitions collection.

  23. Added 'Space to Innovate', 'Do you have an innovative new way to stop a tank?' and 'Competition: developing the Royal Navy’s autonomous underwater capability' to the funding competitions collection.

  24. Added 'New online apps launched to transform careers advice for students' to success stories collection.

  25. Reordered competitions and news stories, and added 'Improving house conditions' competition

  26. Added Boosting access for SMEs to energy efficiency competition, and updated news stories list.

  27. Added 'Countering Drones: finding and neutralising small UAS threats' to funding competitions.

  28. Added 2 new projects to SBRI success stories.

  29. Added a new success story regarding how projects using the SBRI programme have saved the NHS and other public sector organisations £30 million and achieved economic and social benefits. Updated latest competitions that businesses can apply into.

  30. Added a link to the 5 challenges that will be tackled through the GovTech Catalyst in the second of 3 calls for public sector challenges.

  31. Latest funding competitions updated, including various opportunities through the Defence and Security Accelerator.

  32. Added links to several SBRI funding opportunities that are open for applications, including various competitions with the Department of Health in Northern Ireland and the latest GovTech Catalyst to tackle rural isolation.

  33. New link added to GovTech Meetup, monthly events for public and private sector organisations to come together, network and partner on the opportunities through SBRI on this programme.

  34. Added new funding opportunity for the first GovTech Catalyst competition to identify, catalogue and analyse terrorist still imagery online.

  35. Added new competitions for technology for monitoring risk management at home and automated pre-cleaning of surgical instruments to funding opportunities. Removed links to competitions that have now closed for applications.

  36. Added new competition 'SBRI: point-of-use treatment for organic-rich surface water' to funding opportunities. Removed 3 competitions that are now closed for applications on the topics of nuclear, electric vehicle charging and using data from smart meters.

  37. Added note on GovTech Catalyst and how this will use SBRI to support businesses to provide innovative technology solutions to the public sector. Added new section pulling out the SBRI review and recommendations.

  38. Updated funding competitions: 'Accelerator competition: regenerative medicine at the front line', 'Saving energy with data from smart meters' and 'Designing roads for driverless vehicles'.

  39. Updated latest competitions.

  40. Updated latest competitions.

  41. Updated competitions and added link to SBRI review.

  42. Updated latest competitions and news stories.

  43. Added latest competitions to open and link to Local Government Association report.

  44. Updated latest competitions.

  45. Added link to story about NHS Scotland contract winners.

  46. Updated latest competitions and success story.

  47. Updated latest competitions.

  48. Updated latest competitions and added 2 video success stories.

  49. Added latest funding competition.

  50. Added latest competitions to collection.

  51. Updated latest success stories and removed closed competitions.

  52. Updated new live funding competitions

  53. Linked to all live competitions

  54. Removed competitions that are now closed for applications: automatic threat detection of firearms and Mobuoy Road waste remediation

  55. Added a new competition: Project innovation fund for Prevent

  56. Added "SBRI – Future Proofing Coding for a Digital Health System" funding competition

  57. Added 2 SBRI competition from Centre for Defence Enterprise: "many drones make light work" and "autonomy in hazardous scene assessment"

  58. Added "Reducing animal use in research" funding competition

  59. Created "Live SBRI funding competition" section

  60. Updated to bring in the latest content and organise into sections

  61. Video added

  62. First published.