Innovate UK is offering up to £25million in loans to micro, small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). Loans are for highly innovative late stage research and development (R&D) projects with the best potential for the future. There should be a clear route to commercialisation and economic impact.
Your project must lead to new products, processes or services that are significantly ahead of others currently available or propose an innovative use of existing products, processes or services. It can also involve a new or innovative business model.
We are particularly interested in projects that focus on the future economy areas included in the Innovate UK plan for action.
You must be able to show that you:
The funding available will be allocated across a series of four competitions with the next round opening on the day the previous round closes. The final round 4 will close on 13 July 2022.
You can apply for a loan of between £100,000 and £2million to fund your project’s eligible costs.
Projects can last up to five years, including both the R&D and commercialisation phases. Projects are expected to start by July 2022.
To receive an innovation loan for a new project you must:
We will evaluate whether your business is suitable to receive an offer of a loan for your project.
Individuals, large companies, not for profits, charities, academic institutions, and research organisations are not eligible for innovation loans.
Only single businesses can receive loans, so collaboration with other organisations cannot be funded in this competition.
Subcontractors are allowed in this competition.
Subcontractors can be from anywhere in the UK and you must select them through your usual procurement process.
You can use subcontractors from overseas but must make the case in your application as to why you could not use suppliers from the UK.
You must also provide a detailed rationale, evidence of the potential UK contractors you approached and the reasons why they were unable to work with you.
We expect all subcontractor costs to be justified and appropriate to the total eligible project costs. We will not accept a cheaper cost as a sufficient reason to use an overseas subcontractor.
Your business can only submit one application per round of this competition. If you submit more than one application, only the first application will be considered for assessment.
This competition offers loans to help businesses overcome barriers to their innovations becoming a successful, commercial reality. The aim is to make a considerable economic impact which results in significant, sustainable business growth.
Innovate UK is looking for businesses who can demonstrate that their projects have the best potential for the future.
Your idea must lead to innovative products, processes or services that are significantly ahead of others currently available. It can also involve a new or innovative business model.
Your proposal must demonstrate:
Your project can include:
These can be in environments that represent real life operating conditions.
Your application will be evaluated on our:
We will decline loans for businesses which:
We are looking to fund a portfolio of projects and businesses, across a variety of technologies and markets, with a particular focus on future economy areas set out in the Innovate UK plan for action.
Your project must focus on one or more of the following themes or sub-themes:
Health and Wellbeing
Next generation digital technologies