UK registered businesses can now apply for loans for innovative projects with strong commercial potential that will significantly improve the UK economy.

Innovate UK has launched a series of four Innovation Loan competitions from 10 February (Round 1)  till 13 July (Round 4).

Innovation Loans has launched following a pilot phase, Innovate UK Loans. Since 2017, Innovate UK Loans have supported almost 200 businesses to finance late-stage R&D. Innovation Loans provide credit between £100,000 and £2,000,000 for high growth UK SMEs which are working on late-stage research and development projects.

Discover more about the impact of Innovation Loans here, and learn about previous successes here.

Innovation Loans focus on projects leading to new products, processes and services that are currently available or utilising existing products, processes or services in an innovative way.

In addition, there is a focus on projects that address future economic areas in the Innovate UK Plan of Action, including, but not limited to:

  • Net Zero
  • Health and Wellbeing
  • Advanced materials and manufacturing
  • Artificial intelligence, digital and advanced computing
  • Bioinformatics and genomics
  • Engineering biology
  • Electronics, photonics and quantum
  • Energy and environment technologies
  • Robotics and smart machines

Learn more and apply here.


  • Round 1 opens: 10 March (closes at 11am on 13th April)
  • Round 2 opens: 14 April
    • Briefing event: 20 April
  • Round 3 opens: 12 May
    • Briefing event: 18 May
  • Round 4 opens: 8 June
    • Briefing event: 13 June

Your Project

Projects can last up to 5 years, including both the R&D and commercialisation phase, with an expected start of July 2022.

Loan Term:

  •   Availability Period – Up to 3 years
  •   Extension Period – Up to 2 years
  •   Repayment Period – Up to 5 years
  •   Overall Loan Term – Up to 7 years

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.

To find out more about your eligibility go here.

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