General guidance - Innovate UK


Before you start an application

You need to read the full eligibility, scope and guidance for the funding opportunity you wish to apply for. All information about how to complete the application is made clear in the opportunity guidance.

We strongly advise you not to leave your submission to the last minute before the deadline. If you experience technical difficulties there will be no extension. Late submissions are not considered and Innovate UK is not able to enter into any discussion regarding this.

Your previous projects

Before you start your application you must make sure that any previous projects have been completed fully.

If you applied to a previous competition as the lead or sole organisation and were awarded funding by Innovate UK or UKRI, but did not make a substantial effort to exploit that award, we will award no more funding to you, in this or any other competition. You will not be able to contest our decision.

We will:

  • assess your efforts in the previous competition against your exploitation plan for that project
  • review the monitoring officers’ reports and any other relevant sources for evidence
  • document our decision, which will be made by 3 team members, and communicate it to you in writing.

Under the terms of Innovate UK funding, you must submit an independent accountant’s report (IAR) with your final claim. If you or any organisation in your consortium failed to submit an IAR on a previous project, we will not award funding to you in any other competition until we have received the documents.

We will not send your application for assessment if:

  • you deliberately increase word count using punctuation
  • you use unprofessional, aggressive or threatening language
  • you submit with a notable lack of content
  • you apply with no clear innovation
  • the application is the same as, or very similar to, a project that has received public funds previously
  • the application is the same as, or very similar to, another application
  • the application has already been submitted for assessment in two other competitions
  • the competition does not allow a previously submitted application.

You can submit an application that was unsuccessful in one previous competition. You can improve your application based on the assessors’ feedback and the scope of the competition.

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

If you need more information

Telephone: 0300 321 4357

Monday to Friday 09:00 to 17:00 (except public holidays)

To make a complaint please follow the Innovate UK complaints procedure. For information on whistleblowing, see the UKRI whistleblowing policy.

Last updated: 25 April 2022

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