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Innovate UK innovation loans

Fund Name

Innovate UK innovation loans future economy: round 16

Project Length

Up to 5 years

Project Value

£100k - £2m

Deadline

28.08.2024

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.

You must be able to show that you:

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

Check Your Eligibility

Fund details

Proposals must demonstrate:

  • a clearly expressed and compelling innovative idea
  • a robust and deliverable business plan that addresses and shows evidence of market potential and needs
  • a team with the necessary skills and experience to run and complete the project successfully and on time, and take the outputs forward
  • awareness of all the main risks the project and business will face, with realistic plans to manage, mitigate and minimise the impact of each of these
  • sound, practical financial plans and timelines that represent good value for money and ability to repay the loan
  • why you are unable to fund the project from your own resources or other forms of public or private sector funding
  • a clear, evidence-based plan to deliver significant economic impact, return on investment (ROI) and growth through commercialisation, as soon as possible after project completion

Your project can include:

  • prototyping
  • demonstrating
  • piloting
  • testing
  • validation

These can be in environments that represent real-life operating conditions.

Your application will be evaluated on the quality of your project proposal and the suitability of your business to take on a loan.

Specific themes

  • Net Zero
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Next-generation digital technologies > Technology families

Eligibility

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.

Funding

Innovation loans will be:

  • Available for up to 3 years when the project is underway, but the exploitation has not yet started (the ‘availability period’). You can borrow in stages (‘drawdowns’) during this period and will pay interest at 3.7% per annum on anything you borrow, with additional interest at 3.7% accrued and deferred until the repayment period.
  • Extended until the first commercial sales from the results of the project, up to a maximum of 2 further years (the ‘extension period’) after the end of the availability period. You will not be able to make further drawdowns during this period. You will not have to make repayments, but you will pay interest on the amount you have borrowed at 3.7% per annum, with additional interest at 3.7% accrued and deferred until the repayment period.
  • Repayable over a maximum of 5 years (the ‘repayment period’) after the availability and extension periods. You will have to repay anything you have borrowed, including interest accrued and deferred from the availability and extension periods, on a quarterly schedule. You will pay interest at 7.4% per annum on the outstanding loan amount.
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