Smart Ways to Fund Innovation

By Bishop Fleming

In an ever-changing world, businesses are under increasing competitive pressure to be more efficient, more productive, more agile, more lean, and ultimately more innovative. Research and development (R&D) is not therefore something reserved for the few, and as business guru Peter Drucker put it:

“If you want something new, you have to stop doing something old”.

But how do you fund innovation?

R&D Tax Credits

Wise words indeed. R&D Tax Credits are an excellent incentive and have the added advantage of being retrospective. My Tax colleagues are experts in assisting clients to make successful claims in this area and are happy to advise on eligibility.

Grant Funding

Another alternative is grant funding. Innovate UK (part of UK Research & Innovation) runs an array of grant funding competitions. Its Smart Grant programme considers eligible costs ranging from £25,000 to £2.0m, depending on the duration of the project (6-36 months). Projects must be UK-based and include at least one SME.

Intervention rates vary depending on size of applicant and the type of R&D involved. The current Smart Grant competition has £25m allocated and provides funding for innovative R&D from feasibility (including market research), through to technology or prototype testing and development stages up to (but not including) commercialisation.

Details of the current round of grants, loans and competitions can be found here. 

Further Information

For details on R&D Tax Credits, innovation or other forms of grant funding, contact Ewan McClymont, Grants & Business Development Director, on 03333-219000 or email

For more articles, webinars, videos and more visit our Technology and Innovation Knowledge Hub


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