Innovate UK came to the Bradfield Centre, Cambridge, in July to introduce the new Innovation Loans that they are adding to their portfolio of support for business innovation.
Innovation loans of between £100k and £1m are available to small and medium sized businesses on flexible, affordable terms, for close to market projects that can be in any technology area but must have strong commercial potential.
Innovate UK is part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), the new organisation that will ensure the UK maintains its world leading position in research and innovation. This is the first time Innovate UK has offered a new funding mechanism other than matched grants, a move that is part of the government’s Industrial Strategy, which recognises the importance of new ideas to the UK economy.
Nigel Walker, Head of Innovation Lending at Innovate UK said, “Innovation Loans are for small and medium sized business that are doing a highly innovative, game-changing, later-stage research and development project, with a clear route to commercial success. We want to offer funding on flexible, patient and affordable terms to help those businesses to grow.”
As with Innovate UK’s grants, applications are competitive, and businesses must apply before this round closes on 5 September.
Claire Johnsen, Innovation Adviser at Enterprise Europe Network based at St John’s Innovation Centre said, “It’s important to understand where the money will come from at each stage of your idea’s journey from concept to market. No single source of funding will support you all the way, so you need to have a strategy for accessing the right finance at the right time.”
We also got a view on how to succeed in innovation from business. Bradley Keenan Founder & CEO of DSMN8, explained that involving customers or users very early on in development is vital to help your innovation progress at pace and succeed and said, "Your greatest competitors are procrastination and time!".
Find out more about Innovation Loans and other support from Innovate UK
For advice and guidance on finding the right funding, at the right time for your inovation project, contact the Enterprise Europe Network 0300 123 3066
Enterprise Europe Network Website