Innovation Loans

The Government has launched a new series of loans to support innovative SMEs with research and development projects at all stages of innovation.

These innovation loans will support innovations deemed to have the strongest potential to support future economic growth and tackle social challenges, across fields such as net zero, health and wellbeing, and next-generation digital technologies, as well as the ‘7 Technology Families’ of the Innovation Strategy - advanced materials and manufacturing; engineering biology; electronics; sensors; photonics and quantum; and robotics and smart machines.

The funding, to be delivered through Innovate UK, will be available to SMEs over the next 3 years and will prioritise projects focused on the most important areas of the future economy as set out in the Innovate UK Plan for Action. Businesses can apply for funding through the Innovation Funding Service.

Projects supported via the successful loan programme to date have included portable freezers able to safely deliver vaccines to care homes and surgeries, a platform designed to protect hospitals and healthcare centres from cyber-attacks during the pandemic, and patented hospital screens preventing the transmission of pathogens and viruses.

Micro, small and medium sized-businesses (SMEs) with innovative late-stage projects can apply for a loan between £100,000 and £2 million, with flexible repayment terms to help secure their future growth and commercial success. The new full-scale programme will start with monthly competition rounds, for which applicants will need to demonstrate evidence of a high quality proposed innovation project, suitability to take on a loan, and inability to access finance for their project from commercial finance providers.

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