You must read the guidance on applying for a competition on the Innovation Funding Service before you start.
An application for an innovation loans competition needs different information from one for a grant application. Even if you have applied for funding from Innovate UK before, you are strongly advised to read the innovation loans guidance before you start.
We will run an online applicant briefing webinar on Wednesday 17 May 2023. This webinar will provide essential information on innovation loans, including the scope of the programme, the application process (both the project and financial aspects), the assessment process and the approach to our credit decision making process. This webinar will also be recorded.
We also encourage you to view our previously recorded webinars on creating a strong project application, and on the requirements for the business and financial submissions, which are available on the Innovate UK KTN website.
Applicants in this round will also have the opportunity to join an online financial submission ‘deep dive’ workshop, covering some of the most important financial aspects of suitability for a loan including:
- presenting credible forecasts for future revenues and costs
- demonstrating effective management of liquidity and working capital
- showing adequate capitalisation
Dates and a link to registration for these workshops and the webinars are in the 'dates' section. Places in these workshops will be limited, to allow group discussion with our team.
We will not accept late submissions. Your application is confidential.
Entering into a loan agreement with us is a financial commitment. You need to confirm to us that the loan is for business purposes.
You are wholly responsible for ensuring that it is the right approach to financing your business. You must make sure that your business is legally allowed to borrow and you will be able to fulfil the repayment obligations under the loan. You should take expert advice before submitting an application.
By submitting an application, you are providing authority for Innovate UK (and any subsidiary or agency appointed to assess your application) to do checks on the financial standing of your business.
This might include, but will not be limited to, checks with credit reference agencies (which might be recorded on your record) to determine your credit standing, identity, beneficial ownership and control, and source of existing funds.
The principles that Innovate UK follows when we collect, hold or use your personal information and how you can check what details we hold are set out in Innovate UK’s personal information charter.
In the application process (and as part of the loan agreement) we will require you, or the person appointed by your company to act for it, to enter into a legally binding declaration. You should take independent advice on the content of this declaration.
Before submitting, it is your responsibility to make sure:
- that all the information provided in the application is correct
- your proposal meets the eligibility and scope criteria
- all sections of the application are marked as complete
You can reopen your application once submitted, up until the competition deadline. You must resubmit the application before the competition deadline.
What we ask you
The application is split into 3 sections:
1. Business and financial details.
This includes a link to questions that you must answer about your business. You must complete the spreadsheet template to provide financial information about your business for the full period of your loan request.
2. Project questions.
3. Project finances.
We will make our decision based on:
Quality of the project
This will be assessed by independent experts based on your answers to the project questions in this application and the finances you enter when describing your project.
Suitability of your business to receive a loan
This will be evaluated by Innovate UK’s credit team based on your answers to the business and financial details questions, along with your historic and forecast financial statements. We will include the results of the Early Metrics start-up high growth index as part of this evaluation.
Your application will be considered based on the assessment of the quality of your project and an initial review of the suitability of your business to receive a loan. You will be notified if your application progresses to full credit analysis of your business.
If your application progresses, we may contact you for further information to reach our final decision. We may decide against offering a loan if the information you provide does not make an adequate case for your suitability.
You must complete and submit all parts of the application.
You need to be successful in all parts of the application before we will offer an innovation loan. The Innovate UK Loans Ltd credit committee will decide the final terms of the loan offer.
Accessibility and inclusion
We welcome and encourage applications from people of all backgrounds and are committed to making our application process accessible to everyone. This includes providing support, in the form of reasonable adjustments, for people who have a disability or a long-term condition and face barriers applying to us. Read more on how we are making our application process more accessible and inclusive for everyone.
You must contact us as early as possible in the application process. We recommend contacting us at least 15 working days before the competition closing date to ensure we can provide you with the most suitable support possible.
You can contact us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 0300 321 4357. Our phone lines are open from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays).