Businesses can apply for loans for innovative projects with strong commercial potential to significantly improve the UK economy.
Programme: Innovate UK
Award: Share of up to £20 million
Opens: 26th Apr 2021
Closes: 2nd Jun 2021
Innovate UK is offering up to £20 million in loans to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Loans are for highly innovative late stage projects with the best game changing and disruptive ideas or concepts. There should be a clear route to commercialisation and economic impact.
The aim of this competition is to help businesses overcome barriers to their innovations becoming a successful, commercial reality. The loans are intended to support significant, sustainable business growth which results in considerable economic impact.
Innovate UK are looking for businesses who can demonstrate their projects have the best potential to deliver future growth.
Your idea must lead to innovative products, processes or services that are significantly ahead of others in the field.
Your proposal must demonstrate:
Your project can include:
in environments that represent real life operating conditions.
Innovate UK are looking to fund a portfolio of projects and businesses, across a variety of technologies and markets.
Projects can last up to 4years, of which up to 2 years can focus on late-stage research and development (R&D). Up to 2 more years can be spent establishing a clear route to commercial success.
Innovate UK will require loan repayments over a further period of up to 5 years. However, the overall term of the loan must not exceed 7 years.
Your application will be evaluated on Innovate UK’s:
Innovate UK will decline loans for businesses which:
Innovate UK will evaluate whether your business is suitable to receive an offer of a loan for your project.
Your proposal must demonstrate:
Loans of between £250,000 and £1.6 million are available to fund your project’s eligible costs.
Projects can last up to 4 years, including both the R&D and commercialisation phases. Projects are expected to start by September 2021.
To take on an innovation loan for a project you must:
Individuals, academic institutions, research organisations and large companies 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 and must be selected through a participant’s normal procurement process.
Your organisation can only submit one application per competition round. If you submit more than one application, only the first application will be considered for assessment.
Innovate UK have allocated up to £20 million in this competition as an extension to the innovation loans pilot programme.
Innovate UK will offer loans of between £250,000 and £1.6 million. This is based on your project proposal and our judgement of the suitability and affordability of a loan for your business. The Innovate UK Loans Ltd credit committee will decide the final terms, amount and length of the loan offer.
Innovation loans will be:
These are the longest periods Innovate UK will consider and, since the overall term of the loan must not exceed 7 years, your application should propose how long your project (which includes the availability and extension periods) will last and how long the repayment period should be.
You could get a loan of up to 100% of your eligible project costs. Since the loan will have favourable terms (particularly a below-market rate of interest) the value of this benefit over the life of the loan will be the equivalent of a grant. The gross grant equivalent will be the present value, at the date of commitment of the loan, of the difference between the market cost of interest and fees of a similar loan (using reference rates for interest) and the cost of an innovation loan. For experimental development projects this grant equivalent, as a proportion of the eligible project costs, can be:
In this competition Innovate UK are not providing grant funding.
Innovate UK will not provide funds to match the grant funding of any projects.
Innovate UK are not funding projects that are: