Business grants



Are you a small or medium-sized business seeking to develop a new product, process or service? Our SMART: SCOTLAND grant can support technically focused feasibility studies to help discover if your idea will work in the real world. Check your eligibility and start the application process.


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 conducting feasibility studies. 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 


A female developer gazes at code on an iMac
Kanika Bansal, of MediCen Devise and University of Edinburgh with medical innovation product

What projects can SMART: SCOTLAND funding support?

We can support feasibility studies that help to show your idea could work in the real world.

Your business will need to own any intellectual property (IP) generated from your project.

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

All companies which are awarded a SMART: SCOTLAND grant will have the opportunity to work with our specialist teams to review their approach to Fair Work. This will include:

  • Appropriate channels for effective voice and employee engagement, such as trade union recognition
  • Investment in workforce development
  • Action to tackle the gender pay gap and create a more diverse and inclusive workplace
  • No inappropriate use of zero-hours contracts
  • Payment of the Real Living Wage

Real Living Wage guidance from the Living Wage Foundation

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.

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

Do I have to apply by a certain date? 

No, SMART: SCOTLAND accepts new applications all year round.

Application review process


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


Submit an application form and other relevant documents. You’ll be assigned a case officer who will take you through the whole process. Project proposal example.


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


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

Claims process


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


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


Submit your claim to the contact named in your contract.


Funding will be released within 30 days of claim approval.


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 business enquiry team

Can't find what you're looking for? Get in touch to find the right option for your business.