Innovate UK Loans

Innovate UK Loan – Key Facts


Who can apply?UK-based businesses (micro, small, medium and large)

Late-stage Research and Development and scaling

Grant amounts£100k to £2m
Decision time

6-8 weeks from submission + Due Diligence 

Application processSingle projects. Online Portal. 10 main questions (innovation) + 7 main questions (business) + 4 appendices + business finances + project Finances
Funding CallsInnovate UK Loans run 2-3 time a year with deadlines announced as new rounds are confirmed.

What is an Innovate UK Loan?

Innovate UK is the UK government R&D funding agency offering grants, loans and support for the development of innovative products, process and services. The Innovate UK Loan is designed for businesses looking to finalise innovation projects (TRL7-9) and lay the foundations for commercialisation at scale. 

Innovate UK Loans are now in round 11 (at the time of writing in late 2023) and offer attractive terms – including <4% interest and a 5+ year repayment period.

Am I eligible for Innovate UK Loans?

To be eligible to receive loan funding from Innovate UK Smart Grant, applicants must be based in the UK and an SME. As an SME, you can apply alone or with partners. There are more details on eligibility provided with Loan Call under the ‘Eligibility’ tab of IUK by searching ‘loan’.

 In our experience, companies applying for Innovate UK loan funding should be revenue generating, have established market presence, be a viable business concern – in short – at least at scale-up stage or later.


Resources for Innovate UK Loan

We have collated some useful resources if you are considering applying for an Innovate UK R&D loan (or grant) below.

Check out the available Innovate UK open R&D loan and grant funding calls here

The Innovate UK Loan runs at various times during the year. Clicking on the name of the loan from this website will give you details on deadlines, scope, eligibility, the application process and more useful information to help you make up your mind whether or not to apply.

The Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN) that work closely with Innovate UK put together a helpful guide on how to approach an R&D loan application. There is also a dedicate Loans Team you can contact.

You can contact Innovate UK or the KTN with a short project summary to get initial feedback on your concept. Venturenomix has put together a helpful template for this purpose – access that here.


Our R&D Loan Writing Services

We have been writing Innovate UK loan & grant applications since 2009 with a success rate comparable with the market-leading consultants and freelancers. We work on a part up-front, part success-fee basis so that we are sharing the risk and reward with you.

We can:

  • Lead the entire process – defining the project, sourcing partners, developing a budget, writing the grant application, developing the work plan, creating appendices, managing partners, submitting the application online, managing compliance, organising the kick-off meeting, financial reporting, technical reporting and project management.
  • Work collaboratively – if you are lacking expertise in a specific area of the grant application process, we can fill that gap. Perhaps you have deep technical knowledge, but would like support on the market elements. You might have the technical and commercial aspects in hand, but would like support in creating the project budget and work packages. We are flexible.
  • Improve a past submission – Innovate UK grants are highly competitive – in the past 70% would be enough to secure grant funding – but the most recent round of Smart saw projects scoring 82% being rejected. We can lead the process of improving past grant applications to get you over the line.
  • Expert Review – We are happy to spend a few days reviewing/commenting/editing your grant application to lift your score as high as possible.
  • Proven Templates – We have developed a set of templates for Innovate UK grants that we can provide. These include a comprehensive project budget spreadsheet that help you structure your project and our own guidance on what the grant assessors want to see in your answers to each question.
  • Financial Forecasts – we have FD / CTO level expertise in our network of partners. So if you need support on developing comprehensive financial forecasts that incorporate the Innovate UK Loan drawdown, we can help.

Get in touch

We offer a few ways to proceed from here –
Contact Us to:

  • Setup an initial video call
  • Review a project summary
  • Review a pitch deck
  • Review a past application

There are no fees involved at this stage – we just want to add some value by providing honest advice on your chances of success. After that and if you want to work with us, we can talk about how to work together in a way that suits you and your business.

Venturenomix brings 15 years of experience to the process of developing projects and applications for R&D grant funding.

The directors founded and built a market-leading UK-based R&D grant writing consultancy between 2009 and 2019 with specialist knowledge in Innovate UK grant funding. Since 2019, we have expanded our knowledge into European R&D grants under the Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe programmes. 

We have been actively involved in securing over £100m in R&D grant funding for startups, scaleups, established businesses, universities, cities, NGOs, NFPs and more! If you are seeking to bring innovative technologies to market, working on novel research or looking to deploy novel approaches in your city – it is worth exploring R&D Grant funding.

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