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Summer 2022 SME Funding Opportunities

As we head towards the end of Summer and into Autumn, what does the funding landscape look like for small and medium-sized (SMEs) looking to innovate? Our Innovation team have compiled the latest funding round-up suitable for SMEs looking to apply for funding in late 2022 and early 2023

What’s happening with Horizon Europe?

Horizon Europe is an EU research and innovation programme. It has a budget of €95.5 billion and runs until 2027.

In January, the government announced that the UK would associate with Horizon Europe. The EU is still in the process of formalising the UK’s association. But UK-based applicants can begin applying straight away. You do not need to wait for the EU to formalise the association.

If you’re a UK-based researcher or innovator, you can apply to most Horizon Europe funding opportunities on the same terms as EU-based applicants.

The EU is still in the process of formalising the UK’s association. But UK-based applicants can begin, and if the delay to the UK association continues, the UK government has confirmed successful Horizon Europe applicants will receive funding from UKRI regardless of the outcome of the UK’s efforts to associate with Horizon Europe.

In summary, Horizon Europe funding is available for:

  • excellent research in any field
  • researcher mobility
  • research infrastructure
  • global challenges and industrial competitiveness:
    • culture, creativity and inclusive society
    • civil security for society
    • digital, industry and space
    • climate, energy and mobility
    • food, bioeconomy, natural resources, agriculture and environment
  • innovation
  • the development of the European research and innovation systems

Horizon Europe: help for UK applicants – UKRI – Open Call until 2027.


Partner with a world-class University to advance and transform your business.

UKRI – Round Three Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP)

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) create dynamic connections between businesses and the UK’s world-class knowledge base to deliver strategic innovation projects. The KTP partnership brings new skills and the latest academic thinking into the business partner to deliver a specific, strategic innovation project.

Transforming your business Knowledge Transfer Partnerships can help your business:

  • Embed expertise, generate new knowledge, expand capability and foster a culture of innovation
  • Drive competitive advantage through accelerated innovation and the possibility of creating Intellectual Property
  • Gain privileged and cost-effective access to the UK’s world-class knowledge base and resources
  • Increase revenue through access to new markets and new product development
  • Improve profits through efficiency gains, increased productivity and better processes
  • Benefit from the strategic input of a highly experienced Knowledge Transfer Adviser and access

Closes: 14 September

Knowledge transfer partnerships (KTP): 2022 to 2023, round three – UKRI


Smart is Innovate UK's responsive grant funding programme

Innovate UK Smart Grants

UK registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £25 million for game-changing and commercially viable R&D innovation that can significantly impact the UK economy. This funding is from Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation.

Applications can come from any area of technology and be applied to any part of the economy, such as but not exclusively net zero, the arts, design and media.

Closes: 26 October 2022

Competition overview - Innovate UK Smart Grants: July 2022 - Innovation Funding Service (


Defence Technology Exploitation Programme (DTEP)

A £16 million programme to boost small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) defence innovation was launched in July.

With the innovation of SMEs, the resources of big suppliers and initial funding from the government, DTEP is designed to bring the key components together to allow pioneering projects to flourish.

The aim is to keep the UK at the forefront of defence technology, improving the capabilities available. The programme is delivered by the Ministry of Defence’s Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA), working with Innovate UK.

Individual grants of up to 50% of a project’s value, to a maximum of £500,000 per grant, will be available through DTEP for collaborative projects between SMEs and larger suppliers.

The grants will support the integration of novel technologies, materials and processes into defence supply chains.

Closes: Open Call

DASA launches DTEP - GOV.UK (


Sign up for the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF)

The Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) addresses the significant societal challenges UK businesses face today.

It’s made up of 23 challenges, covering the four themes of the government’s industrial strategy:

The fund is backed by £2.6 billion of public money, with £3 billion in matched funding from the private sector.

Closes: N/A as various funds sign up to receive alerts on ISCF funding Innovate UK | ISCF

Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund – UKRI


Funding opportunity: Pre-announcement: Design Exchange Partnerships: design the green transition

Apply for funding to develop design-based solutions for specific net zero and climate crisis challenges facing UK coastal and island communities.

You must be based at a UK research organisation eligible for AHRC funding.

We are particularly keen to receive applications from multidisciplinary design researchers, especially those in the early stages of their career.

Your project could focus on:

  • decarbonisation
  • environmental sustainability
  • climate mitigation
  • the circular economy
  • the reduction of waste

The full economic cost of your project can be up to £40,000, plus a 5 to 10% non-academic partner organisation contribution. AHRC will fund 80% of the total economic cost.


Biomedical catalyst 2022 round two: industry-led R&D

UK registered micro, small or medium-sized enterprises (SME) can apply for a share of up to £25 million to develop innovative solutions to health and healthcare challenges.

Your project can focus on:

  • disease prevention and proactive management of health and chronic conditions
  • earlier and better detection and diagnosis of disease, leading to better patient outcomes
  • tailored treatments that either change the underlying disease or offer potential cures
  • transforming the delivery of healthcare

Closes: 12th October

Biomedical catalyst 2022 round two: industry-led R&D – UKRI

Applying for grant funding can be daunting; support is available to you, from finding the right fund to preparing an application. Reach out to your Innovation Advisor today to find out more about how we can help you reach your innovation and business goals in 2023.


If you want to get in touch with the team you can email

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