What is Innovate UK?

Innovate UK is the UK’s Government’s innovation agency and is part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). Its aims are to promote business growth through experimental development of new processes, services and products and acts as an innovation funding service. 

It was created in 2007 and runs several sector-based grant funding competitions. However, the grant application process is highly competitive with the need to demonstrate eligibility and innovative ideas against a framework and scoring system. Innovate also connect SMEs to additional partners and funders and supports new business and research collaborations. 

Who has secured funding?

Beauhurst the data platform which tracks high growth companies tracks the levels of grant funding in order to provide trends and insight.

Since 2011, nearly 7,000 companies have secured funding as part of Innovate UK innovation projects. They have been provided with over 16,000 Innovate UK grants. The biggest grant to date was £27.1m to a green maritime engineering firm to support the decarbonisation of maritime transportation.

The majority of grant recipients have been tech companies, especially software-as-a-service (SaaS) businesses, followed by business and professional services and then the industrials sector.

The biggest Innovate UK grants of 2002 (courtesy of Beauhurst) were:

1 – OX Delivers – Cleantech Sector – £3.91m – manufacturers electric trucks 

2 – Universal Quantum – Quantum Sector – £2.64m – building the world’s first million-qubit quantum computer 

3 – Quantum Motion Technologies – Quantum Sector – £2.03m – developing and commercialising a silicon-based quantum computer 

4 – NRG Therapeutics – Pharmaceuticals Sector – £1.88m – develops treatments for neurodegenerative diseases 

5 – Mobile Power – Cleantech Sector – £1.77m – developing battery packs that run on renewable energy 

6 – Biotangents – Agritech Sector – £1.6m – develops diagnostic sensors for infectious diseases in farm animals 

7 – HiSpeed – Automotive Sector – £1.58m – develops electric drive units for cars 

8 – VisusNano – Medical devices Sector – £1.4m – developing a new type of lens to be used in cataract surgery 

9 – Antikor – Pharmaceuticals Sector – £1.24m – develops antibody drugs conjugates to perform targeted therapy by killing cancer cells 

10 – Mondra – Cleantech Sector – £1.23m – develops a platform for businesses in the food production sector to monitor and reduce environmental impact of their products