More than one door to look behind
There is so much more to grant funding than Innovate UK.
I know they are the national innovation agency, a great name to be able to say you have achieved funding from but you will be missing out on grant funding opportunities if you don’t look wider than Innovate UK.
So where can you look?
You can look to Europe but at the moment not with a great sense of comfort that your application will be looked on favourably. Indeed, with fewer people from the UK applying via H2020 and other funding streams Innovate UK must have seen an increase in applications.
But don’t despair there are lots of other places to look for funding from.
UK Research Councils
Find the one relevant to your organisation, despite being part of the Innovate UK family their calls don’t tend to appear on the Innovate UK website. Here is a link to them https://www.ukri.org/funding/funding-opportunities/ (scroll to the bottom for the links).
Other Government Departments
Not all government departments run their innovation grant funding calls through Innovate UK e.g. Ministry of Defence, NHS, DfT, DCIMS
Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), Growth Hubs, Mayor of London
Look to your bit of the country, what is your LEP or Growth Hub offering?
Find your local LEP here: https://www.lepnetwork.net/about-leps/location-map/
Find your local Growth Hub here: https://www.lepnetwork.net/growth-hubs/
The Mayor of London also makes various funding streams available at different times of the year.
Funding bodies focused on the development of specific technologies such as the Advanced Propulsion Centre or the Aerospace Technology Institute to example just two. Check whether there is anything specific in your area.
The Market Place
Different trade bodies that represent areas of industry have their own grant funding calls too. For example, the Energy Networks Association that supports innovation in electricity and gas.
Energy Networks Association http://www.nicollaborationportal.org/
Theme Based Funding
Foundations and Trusts who support and want to fund innovation in specific areas for societal good, themes such as health, food, the environment etc. e.g. Wellcome Trust, Nesta, Esmee Fairbairn Foundation and there are so many more.
How do you best approach this?
None of this is easy or quick and takes a consistent approach once you have identified the different funding bodies. Quite often turnaround times are tight and grant funders don’t always show you what calls will be released later in the year.
One of the services that we offer clients is to complete a review of the grant marketplace and make suggestions on a regular search process.
There are online subscription services available but I haven’t found one that covers the full range of grant providers out there and quite often the information isn’t as up to date as it should be given the speed with which you often need to complete an application.