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Innovation Loans


Innovation Loans are a pilot program, run by Innovate UK, which allows UK small or medium-sized businesses the chance to compete for a loan. A business would need to apply into one of two competitions, with up to £10 million available from each. The competitions are yet to be announced, but may be themed with a specific scope, or open to any experimental development innovation project.

The loan can be used for late-stage research and development, or ‘experimental development’ of products, systems or processes. This includes producing plans and designs; developing prototypes and pilots; and, experimental production and testing. This loan is an alternative to a grant, more useful for innovations that are near to market.


To be eligible for an innovation loan you must:

  • be an SME
  • be UK-based
  • be planning a project that fits with the defined scope of the specific loan competition you are applying into
  • apply alone. Only single SMEs may apply
  • demonstrate that you can afford the interest and repayments, without loans from banks or other financial providers

Individuals, research organisations and large companies are not eligible, nor are collaboration with other organisations.