White Paper | Public Sector

One of the biggest competition challenges Innovate UK has ever faced

White Paper | One of the biggest competition challenges Innovate UK has ever faced featured image

As part of the UK’s response to the COVID-19 crisis, the UK government has rolled out a number of measures, including a range of grants, loans and guarantees, designed to limit fiscal and economic damage over the longer term.

In April 2020, Innovate UK managed a £20 million funding competition. This was set up by the UK government to enable innovative businesses to help build the UK’s resilience against the long-term effects of COVID-19.

The Challenge

16 Days
The competition opened on Friday, April 3rd and closed on Friday, April 19th, a period of just 16 days. A typical Smart competition is run over a 4 month period.

8,500 Applications
Innovate UK received almost 8,500 applications for the competition. The organisation typically receives between 9,000 to 10,000 applications annually.

10,000 Assessor Allocations
Each application is reviewed by multiple assessors. Cobalt Grant Manager assigned more than 10,000 applications to assessors as part of the competition.


“The COVID-19 Competition is the biggest challenge Innovate UK has ever faced in terms of competitions. We would not have met our deadline if it were not for the boost Cobalt Grant Manager provided.”

James Danek
Applications and Assessment Team Leader
Innovate UK

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