This competition is the first of two in an extension to the pilot Innovation Loans scheme introduced in autumn 2017 through Innovate UK (IUK). Innovation loans will be made through Innovate UK Loans Ltd; a wholly owned subsidiary of IUK.
The scheme aims to provide finance to businesses that is affordable, patient and flexible for projects that have a clear route to commercial success.
IUK is to offer loans for highly innovative experimental development projects with the best game-changing and/or disruptive ideas or concepts. There should be a clear route to commercialisation and economic impact.
Projects should aim to develop new products, processes or services (or innovative use of existing ones) believed to be significantly ahead of anything similar in the field. Proposals can come from any technology and any part of the economy.
This competition aims to help businesses overcome barriers to the best cutting edge, game-changing innovations becoming a successful commercial reality. This includes making a considerable economic impact and/or resulting in significant, sustainable business growth.
There is a total of £10 million available in this competition. Individual loans of between £100,000 and £1 million are available. Projects should last up to five years and are expected to start by March 2020.
The loans are aimed at innovative micro, small and medium-sized businesses in the UK that will be able to manage a loan but may struggle to access finance from commercial lenders or schemes backed by the British Business Bank.
To take on an innovation loan for a project the business must:
be a UK based SME;
carry out the project in the UK.
The competition is now open with a deadline for registrations of 11 September 2019 and a closing date the following week on 18 September 2019.