Finance · 27 March 2018

£10m innovation fund launched for small UK companies

Funding will be awarded to late-staged projects with strong commercial prospects

UK business owners will soon be able to apply for innovation loans worth up to £1m to fund late-stage projects with strong commercial prospects.

Britain’s innovation agency, Innovate UK, is going to invest up to £10m into game-changing projects from small or medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Innovate UK is looking for the most disruptive ideas and concepts.

Successful projects will have a clear route to commercialisation and economic growth for the business and the UK economy.

A statement from Innovate UK read: “The programme recognises that innovations need different types of funding support. It offers flexible, low-interest loans for innovation projects that are nearer to market than those which typically receive grant funding.”

Only single, UK-based business owners can apply and successful applicants will be offered between £100,000 and £1m.

Projects must aim to develop new products, processes or services that are ahead of others in the field and be classified as late-stage experimental development.

Ideas can be in any technology area, including the arts, design media and creative industries, as long as they last a minimum of five years.

The competition will open on April 9 2018 and the deadline of registration is midday June 6 2018.

There will also be a number of briefing events all across the UK throughout April and May 2018.

This is the third of five loan competitions. A total of £50m will be made available.

Other competitions focused on helping 18 to 30-year-olds progress with their business ideas and projects which improve productivity in manufacturing and infrastructure.

Innovation loans will be made available through Innovate UK Loans Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Innovate UK.

Innovation loan competitions are being run as part of a two-year pilot programme where up to 100 per cent of eligible project costs are up for grabs.

Take a look at other funding projects open to entrepreneurs:

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Carly Hacon is a reporter for Business Advice. She has a BA in journalism from Kingston University, and has previously worked as a features editor for a local newspaper.

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