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Innovate UK launches support scheme

 

Existing customers with Innovate UK can now access a coronavirus business support scheme. 

As of 15 May, existing customers with Innovate UK have been able to apply for funding through a new support package. The innovation agency is looking to support existing and future developments in the UK’s R&D intensive companies throughout the Covid-19 crisis, and has announced details of new grants, loans, and business advisory services.

A total pot of up to £90 million is available in continuity grants for SMEs and third sector organisations who are already Innovate UK award holders. The funds have been made available for those who are at risk of having to abandon their project because Covid-19 has directly affected their funds, and are now facing a shortage or a complete lack of funding.

Grants for eligible businesses, which expect to have a funding gap of between £25,000-£250,000, are available until 29 May.

Innovate UK has also unveiled up to £210 million in continuity loans for SMEs and third sector organisations who face challenges in continuing a live project for which they already have an award from the agency.

Applications for continuity loans will be open until 31 December, or until all the money has been allocated – whichever comes first. The loan may be suitable for a business in need of funds between £250,000 and £1,600,000.

Business advisory support will be made available to around 6,000 innovative SMEs in the next two years; for both existing and new clients of Innovate UK. The support would be tailored to each business, but is based around access to an Innovate UK EEN Innovation and Growth Adviser to be “a sounding board and a critical friend”, as Innovate UK says. The SME would have up to five days of the adviser’s time over a 6- to 12-month period, and a further three days for businesses with the highest growth potential.

Benjamin Storey, Funding Solutions & Business Insights Lead at Barclays Ventures, said, “The announcement on Friday is a fantastic way in which existing Innovate UK winners can access the government support needed to continue to grow and develop and innovate, even against the headwinds of Covid-19. Parts of the package need to be responded to sooner rather than later, so I would encourage businesses who think that this may be suitable for them to go and apply now or to find out more information on the Eagle Labs or Innovate UK website.”

More information on the new scheme can be found here

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