A group of young professionals discussing business and looking at a laptop
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Grant Competition: Innovation Loans Future Economy Competition

Are you an SME working on a late-stage, commercially-viable R&D project? You may be eligible for a loan of up to £2 million through Innovate UK’s Innovation Loans Future Economy Competition. Here’s what you need to know.

Innovate UK is providing up to £25 million worth of loans to help SMEs turn their R&D projects into “successful, commercial realities”. 

This funding comes from Round 4 of the Innovation Loans Future Economy Competition. The competition runs from 9 June 2022 to 13 July 2022 and will provide loans worth between £100,000 and £2 million.

Here are the key things you need to know about the Innovation Loans Future Economy competition. 

If you want a quick-and-easy eligibility assessment or to talk to a specialist about improving your chances of success, our Grants team is standing by to help you.

Am I Eligible For This Competition?

Here are the key eligibility criteria for the Innovation Loans Future Economy Competition – Round 4. You can find a complete breakdown of the eligibility criteria on the competition page.

Your Company

To apply for the Innovation Loans Future Economy Competition, your company must: 

  • Be a UK-registered micro, small or medium-sized business (SME)
  • Carry out your R&D project in the UK
  • Plan on exploiting the results of your project in the UK
  • Prove that your business is in a position to take on a loan 

Individuals, large companies, not-for-profits, charities, academic institutions, and research organisations are not eligible for this competition.

Your Project

Your project can last up to 5 years, including both R&D and commercialisation phases. Your project is expected to start by 24 October 2022 and must focus on one or more of the following themes: 

  • AI
  • Bioinformatics and genomics 
  • Digital and Advanced Computing
  • Electronics, photonics and quantum technologies 
  • Energy and environmental technologies 
  • Engineering biology
  • Health and Wellbeing 
  • Materials and manufacturing 
  • Net Zero
  • Next-generation digital technologies
  • Robotics and smart machines

Your Proposal

Innovate UK wants your proposal to demonstrate:

  • A clear and compelling innovation
  • A robust business plan describing the innovation’s market potential
  • That your team has the skills needed to complete your project
  • Awareness of the main project and business-related risks and your plan to manage them
  • Sound financial plans demonstrating a return on investment and your ability to repay the plan
  • The reasons you were unable to fund the project through other means 
  • A plan to deliver significant economic impact and ROI

Terms of the loan

If successful, you’ll be able to access a loan on the following terms:

  • You can draw down your loan for up to 3 years once your project is underway
  • You have another 2 years to draw down debt after you’ve received the first commercial sales from your project 
  • You can draw down the loan in multiple stages
  • There’s a 3.7% interest rate on any money you borrow. Additional interest at 3.7% accrued and deferred until the repayment period 
  • You have 5 years to repay your loan
  • You’ll have to pay 7.4% interest on anything you don’t pay back within 5 years 

You can find the full terms of the loan here.

Maximise Your Funding Chances with Help from GrantTree

Thinking about applying for the Innovation Loans Future Competition? The best way to improve your chances of securing funding is by working with a specialist like GrantTree.

Our experts have decades of experience preparing highly effective applications for Innovate UK competitions. Offering a variety of services to suit your company’s needs, our team can help you secure the funding you need to propel your business to the next stage of growth. 

If you have any questions about your application or want to discuss using specialist support, your team is standing by to help you – just get in touch.