Government backs innovative businesses with new £150m loan scheme

Innovate UK has introduced a new three-year programme of innovation loans, offering businesses up to £150 million to support their research and development projects.

Innovate UK is the UK’s national innovation agency. Part of UK Research and Innovation, it supports business-led innovation in all sectors, technologies, and UK regions.

Innovation loans are designed to support suitable businesses in carrying out late-stage research and development projects, with a clear route to commercial success to drive productivity and growth across the UK.

The loans are part of the Government’s plan to build on the measures outlined last year in its innovation strategy.

The measures enable UK innovators to access the right finance at the right time in order to grow.

It builds on our world-leading research capability and helps to secure the UK’s position as a science superpower.

What are innovation loans for

The loans will prioritise projects focused on the most important areas of the future economy as set out in the Innovate UK plan for action such as:

  • innovations deemed to have the strongest potential to support future economic growth and tackle social challenges such as net zero, health and wellbeing, and next-generation digital technologies
  • the ‘seven technology families’ of the innovation strategy: advanced materials and manufacturing, engineering biology, electronics, sensors, photonics and quantum, robotics, and smart machines.

Businesses with innovative late-stage research & development projects can apply for a loan between £100,000 and £2 million, with flexible terms to help secure their future growth and commercial success.

For more information, please visit the Innovate UK website.

Helping businesses achieve their ambitions

The innovation loans programmes to date have committed £163 million to around 200 businesses in all parts of the UK as seen in this infographic.

It has enabled new product development and commercialisation activities, supporting investment in research jobs and delivering growing levels of sales.

Over a third of businesses in the portfolio have accessed additional private investment, leveraging new capital of over £110 million, with an average raise of £1.8 million.


Net zero technologies company CATAGEN is based in Belfast.

CATAGEN has received two loans totalling £2.6 million in the innovation loans pilot in 2018 and in the innovation continuity loans programme in 2020.

CATAGEN delivers advanced solutions that have a direct impact on our cities and air quality.

Reducing tailpipe emissions remains one of the biggest challenges facing the global mobility industry.

CATAGEN is currently using its specialist emissions expertise to develop new technologies in green hydrogen and e-fuel to impact net zero and climate change targets.

Invatech Health Ltd

Based in Bristol, Invatech Health Ltd has used an innovation loan and an innovation continuity loan, together totalling £1.8 million, to develop Titan PMR, its fully NHS accredited Pharmacy PMR system.

This disruptive technology fundamentally changes the way that pharmacies work, creating new efficiencies and delivering a platform that unveils new possibilities for the future of the industry.

The Titan patient medical record system aims to free up 80% of the pharmacists’ time from the dispensary through the use of innovative processes, design and technology.

In a relatively short space of time Titan has gone from prototype to a fully commercial product that is transforming the pharmacy landscape.

The innovations, including the first artificial intelligence system for pharmacy, are changing the way pharmacy is practiced.

Titan’s appeal in the market is also translating into a commercial success story.

The Electrospinning Company Ltd

Since receiving a £714,000 innovation loan in late 2018, The Electrospinning Company Ltd has been scaling the manufacturing processes for its nanofibrous biomaterials for use in tissue regenerative devices.

The Electrospinning Company was a spin-out from the Science and Technology Facilities Council, part of UK Research and Innovation and is located in a purpose-built cleanroom facility in the Harwell Campus in Oxfordshire.

The company has also made use of the Innovate UK EDGE programme’s support at this important growth inflection point in their journey towards scale.

Since taking on their innovation loan, the company has raised investment in:

  • a £1.5 million series A round led by Downing
  • a £4.5 million round led by strategic investor Confluent Medical Technologies Inc.

Reference to any organisation, business and event on this page does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation from the British Business Bank or the UK Government. Whilst we make reasonable efforts to keep the information on this page up to date, we do not guarantee or warrant (implied or otherwise) that it is current, accurate or complete. The information is intended for general information purposes only and does not take into account your personal situation, nor does it constitute legal, financial, tax or other professional advice. You should always consider whether the information is applicable to your particular circumstances and, where appropriate, seek professional or specialist advice or support.

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