Deadline: 26 july, 2022

Innovate UK is offering small and micro-businesses a share of up to £30 million in grants alongside tailored business support delivered by Innovate UK EDGE. You can apply for up to £50,000 for highly innovative ideas that have a clear route to commercialization through business growth.

Your project must lead to new products, processes, or services that are significantly ahead of others currently available, or propose an innovative use of existing products, processes, or services. It can also involve a new or innovative business model.

In your application, you must be able to show that you:

  • have a great idea
  • need public funding
  • have the capability to deliver the project
  • will deliver the project

Your idea must focus on either achieving net-zero or self-driven healthcare, and how new technology can enable affordable, adaptable, and investable innovations in these areas. We are particularly interested in proposals that will help you:

  • develop both your idea and your business
  • create a new revenue stream
  • evidence and enable your market, funding, and commercialization plans
  • show what’s feasible, helping you decide whether to pursue your idea further
  • catalyze further innovation on your path to commercial success
  • respond to changing market conditions

Innovate the UK runs many different competitions, and each will have different eligibility and scope requirements. The guidance in this competition brief will always supersede any other guidance. If you are unsure or have any questions, please contact our Customer Support Service who will assist you further.

In applying to this competition, you are entering into a competitive process. This competition closes at 11 am UK time on the deadline stated.


Your project

Your project must:

  • have total project costs between £25,000 and £50,000
  • start by 1 November 2022
  • end by 30 April 2023
  • last between 3 and 6 months in duration
  • carry out its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK

You must only include eligible project costs in your application. If you exceed the total project costs of £50,000 you will be ineligible and your application will not be sent for assessment.

Under current restrictions, this competition will not fund any procurement, commercial, business development or supply chain activity with any Russian entity as lead or subcontractor. This includes any goods or services originating from a Russian source.

You will be made ineligible if you exceed the Minimal Financial Assistance limit. You must submit a completed declaration as part of your application.

Lead organization

To lead a project your organization must:

  • be a UK-registered micro or small business
  • not have previously been awarded funding from Innovate UK
  • not have exceeded your £315,000 limit of de minimis or minimal financial assistance funding during the current and previous 2 fiscal years


Subcontractors are allowed in this competition.

Subcontractors can be from anywhere in the UK and you must select them through your usual procurement process.

You can use subcontractors from overseas but must make the case in your application as to why you could not use suppliers from the UK.

You must provide a detailed rationale, evidence of the potential UK contractors you approached, and the reasons why they were unable to work with you. We will not accept a cheaper cost as a sufficient reason to use an overseas subcontractor.

All subcontractor costs must be justified and appropriate to the total project costs.

Number of applications

You can only apply to this competition with 1 application. We will only award grant funding to 1 project per business.

You can be a subcontractor in any number of applications.

Previous applications

You can use a previously submitted application to apply for this competition.

This means you can submit an application that was unsuccessful in one previous competition.

If you submit a new application this time you can only submit an updated application to one future competition that allows this.

They will not award you funding if your business has been funded by Innovate UK previously.

Companies with Directors who have previously received a grant or an Innovation Loan from Innovate UK as part of a different company are eligible to apply but will be considered on a case by case basis.

A company with a previous award to a parent or subsidiary would also be eligible to apply but the parent company must be classified as a micro or small business and again will be considered on a case by case basis. If you are unsure, contact our customer support team by email at least 10 working days before the submission deadline.

Eligibility Tree

Attached is a visual representation of the eligibility criteria.

Eligibility Tree FastStart 2022 (3) (5).pdf (opens in a new window)


Up to £30 million has been allocated to fund innovation projects in this competition. Each organization can apply for a grant of between £25,000 and £50,000.

You can claim 100% of your eligible project costs up to the maximum of £50,000. We will aim to pay:

  • 70% of the grant within a month of your agreed project start date
  • A further 20% is to be paid in arrears after approval of your 70% claim and evidence received for your 20% claim
  • the remaining 10% of the grant 10 to 14 days after Innovate UK approves your claim

For more information on company sizes, please refer to the Company accounts guidance. This is a change from the EU definition unless you are applying under European Commission De minimis.

If you are applying for an award funded under European Commission Regulations, the definitions are set out in the European Commission Recommendation of 6 May 2003.


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