Government introduces £150 million funding to support innovative SMEs

Innovative businesses in the UK can apply for a new series of loans worth £150 million, the Government announced this month.

Distributed through Innovate UK, the funding will assist Research and Development (R&D) projects that can demonstrate a positive impact on the UK economy, as well as tackle social challenges across areas such as:

  • Net zero
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Next-generation digital technologies.

Additionally, the ‘seven technology families’ of the innovation strategy will be able to seek support, including:

  • Advanced materials and manufacturing
  • Engineering biology
  • Electronics
  • Sensors
  • Photonics and quantum
  • Robotics and smart machines.

Science Minister, George Freeman, commented on the announcement:

“Supporting our talented innovators, not only to develop their ideas but to see these ideas through to commercialisation, will be essential to growing an economy built on the technologies of the future, and securing the UK’s status as a true Innovation Nation.”

Who can apply?

The programme will be open to eligible businesses over the course of the next three years. To be considered, you must:

  • Be a UK registered micro, small or medium-sized business
  • Perform the project from or in the UK
  • Aim to develop the results from or in the UK
  • Provide evidence that your business is appropriate for the loan.

If you are an individual, large company, not for profit, charity, academic institution, or research organisation, you will not qualify for the funding.

How much can you apply for?

Based on the project’s proposal, innovators with late-stage projects can apply for a loan of between £100,000 and £2 million. Innovate UK will decide based on the suitability and affordability of the loan for the business in question.

The first round of funding opened on 10 March 2022 and will end on 13 April 2022.

Businesses can apply now through the Innovation Funding Service.

For help and advice with related matters, please get in touch with our expert team today.

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