Innovate UK innovation loans future economy

UK registered businesses can apply for loans for innovative projects with strong commercial potential to significantly improve the UK economy.

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    This scheme is provided by Innovate UK

    Innovate UK

      Innovate UK is offering up to £25 million in loans to micro, small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). Innovate UK innovation loans are for highly innovative late stage research and development (R&D) projects with the best potential for the future. There must be a clear route to commercialisation and economic impact.

      Your project must lead to innovative 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.

      Your project must focus on one or more of the future economy areas included in the Innovate UK plan for action.

      You must be able to show that you:

      • need public funding
      • can cover interest payments
      • will be able to repay the loan on time

      Who can apply?

      To receive an innovation loan for a new project you must:

      • be a UK registered micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME)
      • carry out your project from or in the UK
      • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK
      • give evidence that your business is suitable to take on a loan

      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.

      Innovate UK encourage innovation involving communities that are typically under-represented including:

      • from regions that have historically accessed lower levels of investment (outside London, Oxford and Cambridge)
      • ethnic minority groups
      • women and other marginalised genders
      • disabled people
      • people with non-traditional education backgrounds

      Eligible projects

      You can apply for a loan of between £100,000 and £2 million to fund your project’s eligible costs.

      Projects can last up to 5 years, including both the R&D and commercialisation phases. Projects are expected to start by 1 November 2024. Your exact project start date and first innovation loan drawdown will depend on the timing of the final credit committee decision and completion of loan documentation.

      Future innovation loan rounds in 2024

      The funding available will be allocated across a series of competitions with the next round opening on the day the previous round closes:

      • round 15 will open on 2 May 2024 and close on 26 June 2024
      • round 16 will open on 27 June 2024 and will close on 21 August 2024

      Talk to one of our team who will help you connect to the support you need to grow and develop your business.

      if your local authority isn't listed above, you can view details of how to get in touch with your local Growth Hub