Innovation loans - Innovate UK



This guidance is for UK small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) who want to apply for an innovation loan.

Innovate UK’s pilot programme of innovation loans started in 2017 and, through seven competitions, has now committed £80 million to over 100 successful applicants.

As part of our coronavirus response package Innovate UK has approved approximately £77 million in innovation continuity loans to nearly 100 SMEs that had a challenge in continuing innovation activity as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Further competitions will be delivered as a further extension to the innovation loans pilot programme during 2021. The delivery of a long-term programme will depend on the allocation of funding in a future government spending review.

Innovation loans aim to provide flexible and patient capital to support business growth through innovation. This will be delivered through Innovate UK Loans Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of UK Research and Innovation.

Innovate UK is working to broaden the range of innovation finance support available to businesses, so they can access funding at all stages of innovation.

You can only obtain an innovation loan by applying into Innovate UK’s competitive loans process.

If you would like to apply for an innovation loan, this guidance will help you to find a relevant opportunity and complete an application. It includes information on what happens after you have submitted an application and if you are successful.

You should follow this guidance in conjunction with the overall guidance on applying for a competition on the Innovation Funding Service and specific competition guidance for the opportunity you intend to apply into. Before making an application you should take independent advice.

Last updated: 28 January 2022

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