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Innovation Loans Future Economy: Round 12

General & Misc
Project Size:
£25 million

Opening & Closing Dates:

  • Opens: Thursday 9 November 2023
  • Closes: Wednesday 10 January 2024 at 11:00 am

Description: Innovate UK is offering up to £25 million in innovation loans targeted towards micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). These loans are specifically for advanced stage research and development (R&D) projects that exhibit a high potential for future economic impact and have a clear path to commercialisation.

Key Project Requirements:

  • Projects should lead to groundbreaking new products, processes, services, or business models.
  • They must align with at least one of the future economy areas outlined in the Innovate UK action plan.
  • Applicants must demonstrate a need for public funding, the ability to manage interest payments, and the capacity to repay the loan promptly.

Funding Type: Loan

Project Size: Loans ranging from £100,000 to £2 million.

Proposal Criteria:

  • Proposals should present a compelling innovative idea with a solid business plan.
  • They must show market potential, a skilled project team, and awareness of associated risks.
  • Financial plans should indicate value for money and a plan for repaying the loan.
  • Proposals must prove the inability to fund the project through other means.
  • A clear plan for significant economic impact and ROI post-completion is essential.

Project Inclusions:

  • Prototyping, demonstrating, piloting, testing, and validation in real-life conditions are supported.
  • Applications from diverse businesses, including those outside the ‘Golden Triangle’ or with founders from underrepresented groups, are encouraged.

Evaluation Criteria:

  • Quality of the project proposal.
  • Business's suitability for a loan.


  • Businesses unable to manage loan repayments.
  • Projects reliant on export performance or domestic inputs usage.
  • Commercial activities like marketing and sales are not funded.

Portfolio Approach:

  • A diverse range of projects across various technologies and markets, particularly those focusing on future economy areas, will be funded.

Specific Themes:

  • Projects must focus on themes like Net Zero, Health and Wellbeing, or Next Generation Digital Technologies.

Research Categories:

  • Only experimental development projects will be funded.


  • No grant funding or matching of grant funding.
  • No support for projects dependent on export performance or domestic inputs usage.

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