Funding competition COVID-19: Continuity grants

Innovate UK can provide additional COVID-19 continuity grants to currently funded project participants to ensure their continuity in and completion of those existing projects.

This competition is now closed.

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Competition sections


£90 million is available in this opportunity to support current project participants to ensure their continuity in and completion of existing projects

These are direct grants for single SME or third sector organisations only who have an ongoing project funded by Innovate UK.

The opportunity closes at 11:00am UK time on the deadline stated.

Funding type


Project size

You can request continuity grant costs for between £25,000 and £250,000.

Who can apply

You must match all of the criteria:

  • be an SME or third sector organisation
  • an organisation that finds themselves facing a sudden shortage or unavailability of funding resulting directly from the COVID-19 pandemic
  • an organisation that were not an undertaking in difficulty as of 31 December 2019
  • are currently a funded project participant in an Innovate UK award

Project partners must apply individually, however Innovate UK will make a funding decision based on the viability of the project as a whole

These are direct awards for single organisations only.

Your application must:

  • have total eligible costs between £25,000 and £250,000
  • be for your continued participation in and completion of, a current live research and development and innovation (R&D) project funded by Innovate UK

State aid

Continuity grants are a form of state aid under the COVID-19 Temporary Framework for the UK.

Aid may be granted to undertakings that were not in difficulty (within the meaning of Article 2(18) of the General Block Exemption Regulation21) on 31 December 2019, but that faced difficulties or entered into difficulty thereafter as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

You must complete a state aid declaration in question 3 to confirm that your organisation was not an undertaking in difficulty as of 31 December 2019.

The cumulative aid that any organisation may receive under the Temporary Framework must not exceed €800,000 in total. You must provide a simple declaration to this effect. This will be uploaded as an appendix to one of the application questions.

In the event that an applicant fails to meet the criteria set out in the COVID-19 Temporary Framework, Innovate UK reserves the right to consider making an alternative award under the de Minimis Regulation. However, applicants do not have an automatic right to be considered under this alternative framework and may need to provide additional information before a determination can be made.

It is your responsibility to make sure that your organisation is eligible to receive state aid. We strongly recommend that you seek independent legal advice before applying into, and accepting the terms of, this funding award.


Funding is to enable SMEs or third sector organisations already supported by Innovate UK to continue and where necessary, complete their projects during the disruption caused by COVID-19.

Grants are between £25,000 and £250,000 and will be capped at the maximum requirement set out in your application. Any cumulative aid awarded under the temporary framework cannot exceed €800,000.

We may decide to offer you a lesser amount than applied for if, for instance, we deem that a lesser amount is within the spirit and intention of the scheme or where the programme is oversubscribed.

We will fund no more than 100% of your remaining eligible costs provided these costs are not already covered in your existing grant.

We may consider further reasonable costs arising from an increase in the cost of delivering your R&D activity as a result of COVID-19 that are not already covered by other government support.

Funding will not be given to support staff who are currently furloughed and who would not otherwise return from furlough or where the project will not be continued or completed during the COVID 19 pandemic. Normal project change requests such as for extensions or changes in scope can be made alongside this funding, as long as the project continues during the COVID 19 pandemic.

Payment will be made in advance (hopefully by early June), however we will hold back 10% to be released when we are fully satisfied that your work has continued as outlined in this application.

Your proposal

The aim of this funding is to support undertakings that find themselves facing a sudden shortage or unavailability of funding resulting directly from the COVID-19 pandemic

We are looking for organisations who can demonstrate that their live projects with Innovate UK are making the best progress in innovation and have the best potential for the future.

Your application will be evaluated on:

  • the quality of your ongoing project with us
  • our satisfaction with the progress of that project
  • our judgement on the viability of your organisation

Your application will be evaluated by Innovate UK based on your answers to the questions, your eligibility and publicly available financial information.

We are looking for applications that show:

  • an appropriate and evidenced grant request
  • a clear route to commercial success
  • a strong management team
  • why you need additional public funding in order to be able to carry out your project
  • evidence of loss or damages due to the COVID-19 pandemic such as reduced access to capital, cancelled orders or increases to your costs.
  • why you are unable to fund the project from your own resources or other forms of private-sector funding amidst the current financing disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic
  • confirmation and evidence that you were not an undertaking in difficulty as of 31 December 2019
  • that this funding will enable the project to continue during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Additional terms

We reserve the right to recover any continuity award in full in the event that your organisation fails to participate fully in the existing research development and Innovation (RD&I) project to which this continuity award applies during the COVID-19 pandemic. Or if you fail to meet the terms of your grant.

We will not fund

We are not funding:

  • new organisations that are not in receipt of funding from Innovate UK
  • organisations without current, live projects
  • organisations that are only looking for a time extension
  • organisations that are not intending to use the funding to support the continuation of their live project
  • a consortium as a whole but may fund individual SME or third sector members
  • sole traders
  • universities
  • large companies
  • research organisations
  • organisations that were an undertaking in difficulty as of 31 December 2019

15 May 2020 3:33pm
Competition opens
4 June 2020 5:00pm
Competition closes
5 June 2020 12:04pm
Applicants notified

Before you start

Data Protection

By submitting an application, you are providing authority for Innovate UK (and any subsidiary or agency appointed to evaluate your application) to do checks on the financial standing of your organisation. This might include, but will not be limited to, checks with credit reference agencies (which might be recorded on your record) to determine your credit standing, identity, beneficial ownership and control, and source of existing funds.

The principles that Innovate UK follows when we collect, hold or use your personal information and how you can check what details we hold are set out in Innovate UK’s personal information charter.

What we ask you

The application is split into 3 sections:

  1. Project details.
  2. Application questions.
  3. Finances

Innovate UK will review your answers to these application questions, your innovation project scores, your recent project reports and publicly available financial information to decide whether to offer you a continuity grant. We may need to contact you for further information or explanations of the information that you have provided in order to make an evaluation of the financial standing of your organisation (although we are not obliged to do so).

We will reserve the right to take a portfolio management approach when reviewing applications, this would take into account geographical spread and sector spread.

1. Project details

This section provides background for the evaluation of your application and is not scored.

Please provide your Innovate UK project number with your answer.

Describe how your application fits the scope of the funding opportunity. If your project is not in scope it will be immediately rejected and will not be sent for validation. Your answer can be up to 400 words long.

2. Application questions

The information you provide in this application is important. It will be a key factor on which a decision is made on whether to award you a Continuity grant. You may wish to seek professional advice and support in preparing your responses.

Your answer to each question can be up to 800 words long. Do not include any website addresses (URLs) in your answers.

1.Your Continuity grant request:

What is the minimum viable amount that you need to continue your project during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Detail the specific costs that remain for your live project and that are not already covered through your existing Innovate UK award.

You can also detail further reasonable costs arising from an increase in the cost of delivering your R&D activity as a result of COVID-19. You should be able to evidence that these costs are not already covered by other government support.

We may ask you for further evidence if your application is successful.

(max 800 words):

2.About your organisation:

Please describe your organisation, its core product offering and its value proposition (max 800 words)


You must state in your answer:

  • how this funding will ensure that your portion of the project will be able to be completed
  • how you will manage the staff needed to continue this project (including returning staff from furlough)

Using the attached template you must tell us about any other awards you have received under the temporary COVID-19 framework. The maximum amount of cumulative aid you can claim under the temporary framework is €800,000. You must also evidence that you were not an undertaking in difficulty as of 31 December 2019.

Please download the declaration provided, complete and sign this and re-upload it as an appendix to this question.

You can submit your declaration as one PDF appendix.

4.Your management team:

Who is the management team leading your organisation, what experience do they have and what is the management structure for your business? Describe (max 800 words):

  • the roles, skills and relevant experience of all members of the management team and any aspects of the project (including both R&D and commercialisation) they will be working with
  • the organisation structure of at least the top level management team.
  • the experience of each individual

5.Commercial Activity:

What is your current business plan and how has it been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic? Describe how you will respond to this challenge. Describe (max 800 words):

  • your business model, showing how you create, deliver and capture value, and how this might change with the success of this project
  • your approach to managing the most innovative aspects of the business
  • how this project could impact the business through success or failure
  • any other products, processes or services that have previously been brought to market in the last 3 years
  • key equipment and staff that are crucial to deliver the business model
  • the financial situation of the business
  • how the business aims to attract and retain customers

6.Funding Need:

What is the financial situation for the business and why do you need public funding in response to question 5? Describe or explain (max 800 words):

  • the current financial situation of your business, including cash availability and needs for the next 12 months
  • how you are going to fund any additional project costs which are not covered by your existing grant funding and this continuity grant
  • what future financial commitments the business will have and how these will be managed
  • why you are not able to fund the project from your own resources or other forms of private-sector funding, including government-supported schemes such as the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) or the Future Fund

7.Key growth challenges

What are the most important risks to your business or the challenges to your growth and how do you plan to mitigate these risks or challenges? Describe (max 800 words):

  • the main risks and uncertainties, including the technical, commercial, financial, regulatory, managerial and environmental risks for the business
  • how these risks will be mitigated
  • what significant milestones and associated risks that the business faces across the expected duration of the funding
  • your confidence in other project partners and in your supply chain.


You should enter zero in the normal project cost categories and use the ‘other costs’ field to detail costs you have incurred as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic and which put at risk your continued delivery of your project.

Background and further information

Innovate UK is working with the Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) to boost its capacity to provide advice to innovative businesses, including around identifying your funding and finance needs and how to produce credible information in making an application to Innovate UK’s schemes.

If you need more information about how to apply email or call 0300 321 4357 between 9am and 5:30pm, Monday to Friday. Or you can speak to your monitoring officer.

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