Growing your business

SMART: SCOTLAND grant

SMART: SCOTLAND grants

Take your research to the next level by conducting feasibility studies and creating prototypes.

What is SMART:SCOTLAND?

The SMART:SCOTLAND grant is one of our research and development (R&D) grants that aims to support high risk, highly ambitious projects.

It covers two key areas of R&D: conducting feasibility tests and developing prototypes. It’s only available to small and medium enterprises (SMEs)* based in Scotland and supports activities that have a commercial endpoint.

*European Commission's definition of an SME

 

Jamie Bruski Tetsil with Staff from We Love Shapes

What projects can SMART:SCOTLAND funding support?

We can support feasibility studies that help to show your idea could work in the real world. We can also support the development of prototypes to test your idea further before it goes into production.

Your project will need to generate intellectual property (IP) that your business will own.

The details

If you’re interested in a SMART: SCOTLAND grant, here are some of the key details you’ll need to know.

Am I eligible?

You may be eligible if:
  • You’re a small or medium sized business, university spin-out or an individual
  • You’re based, or planning to set up, in Scotland
  • Your project represents an advance in technological innovation for the UK industry or sector concerned
  • There are technical risks and challenges associated with defining and developing the technology
  • You own, or have rights to use, the intellectual property required to undertake the project
  • You’ll own all intellectual property developed throughout the project
  • You have the necessary management and technical expertise and resources (either in-house or brought-in) to make the project a success
  • Both the project and the business are financially viable
  • Financial assistance from SMART:Scotland is essential for the project to go ahead

What level of funding is available for feasibility studies?

We can support up to 70% of the eligible costs for a small enterprise and up to 60% of the eligible costs for a medium enterprise.

Studies must last between 6 and 18 months, and the maximum grant is £100,000.

Feasibility is paid with a third of the grant in an upfront instalment and the rest is quarterly in arrears.

What level of funding is available for prototype development?

If your project aims to develop a pre-production prototype of a new product or process, we could offer up to 35% of the eligible project costs.

We can only support projects with a total minimum cost of £75,000 and the maximum amount of grant support we can offer is £600,000.

Projects must last between 6 and 36 months. The grant is paid quarterly in arrears.

You’ll be asked to provide evidence to support your claim before you can receive grant payments. Details of the evidence we need will be included in the grant offer.

European Commission's European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF)

We’ve been awarded funding from the European Commission's European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) to contribute towards the support we provide to eligible SMEs. This applies across all SMART: SCOTLAND awards.

If you’re awarded a SMART: SCOTLAND grant and meet ESIF eligibility criteria, the grant offer letter will confirm this. This won’t affect how much support you’re eligible for, it just means your grant will come from two different sources.

Is it essential that a patent arises from the project?

No. Many inventions are protected by patent but this is not the only way to protect intellectual property (IP). Our assessment process does, however, include a patent search to determine the level of innovation and identify any prior art.

While patent protection isn't essential, it is essential that you demonstrate that you will own all IP generated through the project. You'll also need to tell us of how you will protect that IP.

Need help with IP? Contact our intellectual assets team

How to apply

To get things started, you’ll need to tell us a bit about your company and project so we can see how we can help you.

Application review process

1

Submit your initial enquiry form. We’ll get in touch to discuss your options further.

2

Submit a full application. You’ll be assigned a case officer who will take you through the whole process. Completed application example.

3

We’ll assess your application and conduct intensive due diligence checks and a worldwide patent search.

4

If successful, you’ll receive a contract by email. Once you’ve signed and returned it, you can start your project.

Claims process

1

We’ll allocate a dedicated grant manager to your project who’ll be responsible for managing your claims.

2

On your claim date, complete the claims form and gather relevant evidence. Your grant manager will help make sure you submit the right things.

3

Submit your claim to the contact named in your contract.

4

Funding will be released within 30 days of claim approval.

Confidentiality

Your application for SMART: SCOTLAND funding may be referred to other Scottish Enterprise departments, Government agencies and to non-Government bodies with sources of technical expertise for help in appraisal.

External technical, financial and intellectual property advisers will undertake due diligence checks of applications.

We have confidentiality agreements with each of the organisations to ensure that all material sent to them relating to grant applications is handled in strictest confidence.

The UK Intellectual Property Office has confirmed that SMART: SCOTLAND does not constitute public disclosure for patenting purposes. The information provided in confidence is not in the public domain.

Contact our team

If you’re interested in applying or just want some more information, get in touch to discuss your business and project.