SBRI: the Small Business Research Initiative

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

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

This pages 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. It will use SBRI to support businesses to provide innovative technology solutions to the public sector.

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

An overview of SBRI

The items in this section provide an introduction to SBRI and an overview of how the programme works. They also include statistics and sample case studies.

SBRI was recognised as a leading programme for procurement in a Local Government Association report, ‘Encouraging innovation in local government procurement’. Read the report (pdf).

  1. SBRI: helping government, helping business
  2. Government challenges, ideas from business, innovative solutions

SBRI review and recommendations

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

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.

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

Smart School Transport in Northern Ireland

Smart School Transport: an SBRI initiative

Fast: Automated staff development

Automated Staff Deployment: an SBRI initiative

  1. New online apps launched to transform careers advice for students
  2. Bionic arm start up secures £4.6 million to go global
  3. Renovagen rolls out lightweight, portable solar power
  4. Innovative healthcare projects deliver millions of savings to NHS
  5. Genomics plc: analytics driving a revolution in healthcare
  6. iGeolise races to its destination with time-based search
  7. nquiringminds: making cities smarter places to live and work
  8. Mastodon C: helping big cities to solve planning challenges
  9. Isansys Lifecare: transforming the way we keep an eye on patients
  10. Shadow Robot: a helping hand to achieve independent living
  11. Ambiental: mapping flood risks from above the rain clouds
  12. StepJockey: health app developer wins £600,000 private investment
  13. C-Enduro: A boat that goes the distance

SBRI in the news

The latest news updates from SBRI projects.


  1. Innovate UK: find out more about how we work
Published 22 June 2015
Last updated 7 May 2019 + show all updates
  1. Added "Competition: Future Screening for Aviation and Borders" to funding competitions collection.
  2. Added Smart School Transport and Automated Staff Deployment videos to the success stories collection.
  3. Added 'Competition summary: Semi-autonomous reconnaissance vehicles for the Army' to the competitions collection.
  4. 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.
  5. Added 'New online apps launched to transform careers advice for students' to success stories collection.
  6. Reordered competitions and news stories, and added 'Improving house conditions' competition
  7. Added Boosting access for SMEs to energy efficiency competition, and updated news stories list.
  8. Added 'Countering Drones: finding and neutralising small UAS threats' to funding competitions.
  9. Added 2 new projects to SBRI success stories.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Latest funding competitions updated, including various opportunities through the Defence and Security Accelerator.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. Added new funding opportunity for the first GovTech Catalyst competition to identify, catalogue and analyse terrorist still imagery online.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. Updated funding competitions: 'Accelerator competition: regenerative medicine at the front line', 'Saving energy with data from smart meters' and 'Designing roads for driverless vehicles'.
  20. Updated latest competitions.
  21. Updated latest competitions.
  22. Updated competitions and added link to SBRI review.
  23. Updated latest competitions and news stories.
  24. Added latest competitions to open and link to Local Government Association report.
  25. Updated latest competitions.
  26. Added link to story about NHS Scotland contract winners.
  27. Updated latest competitions and success story.
  28. Updated latest competitions.
  29. Updated latest competitions and added 2 video success stories.
  30. Added latest funding competition.
  31. Added latest competitions to collection.
  32. Updated latest success stories and removed closed competitions.
  33. Updated new live funding competitions
  34. Linked to all live competitions
  35. Removed competitions that are now closed for applications: automatic threat detection of firearms and Mobuoy Road waste remediation
  36. Added a new competition: Project innovation fund for Prevent
  37. Added "SBRI – Future Proofing Coding for a Digital Health System" funding competition
  38. Added 2 SBRI competition from Centre for Defence Enterprise: "many drones make light work" and "autonomy in hazardous scene assessment"
  39. Added "Reducing animal use in research" funding competition
  40. Created "Live SBRI funding competition" section
  41. Updated to bring in the latest content and organise into sections
  42. Video added
  43. First published.