£150m Loan Fund Established to Assist Innovative SME Firms with Strong Potential
Funding from Innovate UK will be available to SMEs over the next 3 years and projects focussed on the most important areas of the future economy (as sent out in the Innovate UK Plan for Action) will be prioritised. Businesses with late-stage projects can apply for loans between £100,000 and £2m, with flexible repayment terms to help secure their future growth and commercial success. Please read the news bulletin below, which was issued by Insider Media, for further details.
Roger Mundy, Managing Director, Beardsley Theobalds, 10th March 2022
UK Government Unveils £150m Loan Scheme for Innovative Firms
Innovative businesses across the UK are set to benefit from a new series of loan competitions offering up to £150m to support their research and development projects, it has been announced.
The loans will support innovations deemed to have the strongest potential to support future economic growth and tackle social challenges, across fields such as net zero, health and wellbeing, and next-generation digital technologies, as well as the "7 Technology Families" of the Innovation Strategy - advanced materials and manufacturing; engineering biology; electronics; sensors; photonics and quantum; and robotics and smart machines.
The funding, to be provided through Innovate UK, will be available to SMEs over the next three years and will prioritise projects focused on the most important areas of the future economy as set out in the Innovate UK Plan for Action. Businesses can apply for funding through the Innovation Funding Service.
The loans are part of the Government's plan to build on the measures outlined last year in its Innovation Strategy.
Science minister George Freeman said: "Supporting our talented innovators, not only to develop their ideas but to see these ideas through to commercialisation, will be essential to growing an economy built on the technologies of the future, and securing the UK’s status as a true innovation nation.
"So, I am thrilled that after an extremely successful pilot programme, Innovate UK are launching this substantial new series of loans to support SMEs working across the country on the most innovative projects for the future economy, entrenching our position as a science superpower."
Businesses with innovative late-stage projects can apply for a loan between £100,000 and £2m, with flexible repayment terms to help secure their future growth and commercial success.
This government-backed finance builds on the success of an extended pilot programme that has been delivered by Innovate UK Loans Limited since 2017, and the programme of innovation continuity loans delivered as part of Innovate UK’s coronavirus support package.
Innovation loans are designed to support suitable micro, small and medium sized-businesses (SMEs) in carrying out late-stage research and development projects, with a clear route to commercial success to drive productivity and growth across the UK.
Indro Mukerjee, chief executive of Innovate UK, said: "Innovation loans are an important part of the investment support that Innovate UK offers to help UK businesses achieve their growth ambitions. We have tested this new form of support rigorously and I am pleased that we can now offer £150m over the next three years through innovation loans as part of our commitment to support innovative businesses to grow rapidly and achieve scale."