Innovate UK is to offer up to £10 million in loans to SMEs for innovative manufacturing or materials projects.

The second competition in Innovate UK’s innovation loans pilot programme, for manufacturing and materials readiness projects, will open for applications on 26th February.  A series of briefing events will be held by Innovate UK and the Knowledge Transfer Network to introduce this competition with the launch event being in London on 6th March. Details to follow shortly.

Innovate UK is to offer up to £10 million in loans to SMEs for innovative manufacturing or materials projects.  The aim of this competition is to provide loans to help SMEs increase manufacturing readiness.  Innovation loans will offer affordable, patient, flexible, repayable funding for later-stage research & development projects with a clear route to commercial success.  More information can be found here.

The competition scope will cover innovations in:

  • manufacturing systems, technologies or processes, and/or
  • materials development, properties, integration or reuse.

Proposals should focus on the scale-up of recent or ongoing manufacturing process innovation and/or materials development activities. The project’s aim should be to enable UK based companies to progress innovative manufacturing or materials developments to commercial readiness.

Projects should last up to 5 years, of which up to 3 years can focus on research and development (R&D), and up to 2 more years to establish a clear route to commercial success. Loan repayments will be required over a further period of up to 5 years.

Businesses will need to show that they can cover interest payments, will be able to repay the loan on time and need public funding.

At the briefing events Innovate UK will provide information for businesses that are considering applying for an innovation loan.  They will outline the scope of this competition, set out the rationale for innovation loans and where they sit in the landscape of innovation support, outline the key features and obligations of the loans and explain how they will be delivered and operated.

The main briefing event will be in London on March 6th.  We will have briefings in the Midlands and across the North of England, as well as Bristol and Glasgow.  Further information will be published in our events calendar shortly.

Full details of the competition and guidance for applicants will be published in the latest funding opportunities section of the Innovate UK website later in February.

Check back soon for updates.

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