On 10 March 2022, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy launched a new series of loans worth £150 million to support innovative SMEs and level up the UK.
The loans will support innovations 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.
Businesses with innovative late-stage projects can apply for a loan between £100,000 and £2 million, with flexible repayment terms to help secure their future growth and commercial success. The new programme will start with monthly competition rounds, for which applicants will need to demonstrate evidence of a high quality proposed innovation project, suitability to take on a loan, and inability to access finance for their project from commercial finance providers.
The funding will be delivered through Innovate UK and will be available to SMEs over the next 3 years. The funding 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.