There are three parallel strands for innovation continuity loans:
•           Strand 1: for applicants who are continuing and completing a live project with an Innovate UK award
•           Strand 2: for applicants who have a new project that follows on from a project with an Innovate UK award that was completed in the last 36 months
•           Strand 3: applicants who are continuing, completing or following on from innovation activity that has not been supported by an Innovate UK award in the last 36 months. This strand is open to new applicants to Innovate UK, and also to some applicants who are already recipients of Innovate UK funding.

Strand 1 details

This strand 1 innovation continuity loan may be suitable if you need funding of between £250,000 and £1,600,000 to continue and complete your live project with an Innovate UK award. Funding of between £25,000 and £250,000 was made available to support the continuation of live projects through continuity grants, but these are no longer open for applications. We will not permit an applicant to receive both a continuity grant and an innovation continuity loan in relation to the same project, but if the grant is paid back, this is possible: the loan can be used to pay back the grant.

You must match all of the criteria:

  • SMEs (the definition of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) used by Innovate UK is set out in the European Commission Recommendation of 6 May 2003.) and third sector organisations
  • undertakings that find themselves facing a sudden shortage or even unavailability of funding resulting directly from the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Organisations that were not an undertaking in difficulty as of 31 December 2019 unless exempt as a micro or small company
  • currently funded project participants in an Innovate UK award

Click here to find out further details of strand 1 and apply.

Strand 2 details

This strand is for applicants who have a new project that follows on from a project with an Innovate UK award that was completed in the last 36 months. We are looking to support highly innovative late stage projects with a clear route to commercialisation and economic impact.

Your project must aim to develop new products, processes or services which are significantly ahead of anything similar in the field. You can also propose an innovative use of existing products, processes or services.

Applications can come from any area of technology and be applied to any part of the economy.

Your project must focus on commercialisation, growth or scale up. We will give priority to proposals likely to lead to growth and gains in productivity.

You must be able to show that you:

  • are facing a sudden shortage or even unavailability of funds resulting directly from the COVID-19 pandemic
  • can cover interest payments
  • will be able to repay the loan on time
  • need public funding

You must be a UK registered SME or third sector organisation and have successfully completed a project supported by an Innovate UK award in the last 36 months.

Loans of between £250,000 and £1.6 million are available.We may consider further reasonable costs arising from an increase in the cost of delivering your R&D activity as a result of COVID-19 that are not already covered by other government support. Projects must last up to 3 years and are expected to start by 1 March 2021.

For further details and to apply for strand 2, click here.

Strand 3 – open to companies who have not received an Innovate UK award

This strand is for applicants who are continuing, completing or following on from innovation activity that has not been supported by an Innovate UK award in the last 36 months.

We are looking to support highly innovative late stage projects with a clear route to commercialisation and economic impact. We will particularly welcome applications relating to innovation activity that has been supported through other forms of government or public sector support.

Your project must aim to develop new products, processes or services which are significantly ahead of anything similar in the field. You can also propose an innovative use of existing products, processes or services.

Applications can come from any area of technology and be applied to any part of the economy.

Your project must focus on commercialisation, growth or scale up. We will give priority to proposals likely to lead to growth and gains in productivity.

You must be able to show that you:

  • are facing a sudden shortage or even unavailability of funds resulting directly from the COVID-19 pandemic
  • can cover interest payments
  • will be able to repay the loan on time
  • need public funding

To take on an innovation continuity loan for a new project you must:

  • be a UK registered SME or third sector organisation
  • be continuing, completing or following on from innovation activity that has not been supported by an Innovate UK award in the last 36 months

Your proposal must demonstrate:

  • a clear game-changing and/or disruptive innovative idea
  • a robust and deliverable business plan that addresses (and documents) market potential and needs
  • a team, business arrangement or working structure with the necessary skills and experience to run and complete the project successfully and on time
  • awareness of all the main risks the project and business will face, with realistic plans to manage, mitigate and minimise the impact of each of these
  • sound, practical financial plans and timelines that represent good value for money
  • a clear, evidence based plan to deliver significant economic impact, return on investment (ROI) and growth through commercialisation, as soon as possible after project completion.

We are looking to fund a portfolio of projects and organisations, across a variety of technologies and markets.

Projects can last up to 3 years in length. For the first 12 months we expect your project to focus on research and development (R&D). For the remainder of the project we expect you to establish a clear route to commercial success. We will require loan repayments over a further period of up to 5 years. However, the overall term of the loan must not exceed 7 years.

Click here to find out details of strand 3 and how to apply.

 

A briefing event for all three strands will be held on 9th December 2020 – details will appear here once they are confirmed.