Innovate UK to rapidly support businesses and drive innovation through the coronavirus outbreak


Agency aims for accelerated grant and loan payments and faster application processes.

Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency, has promised to turnaround applications for the £750m grants and loans support package the government recently announced within months.

It will accelerate up to £200 million of grant and loan payments for its 2,500 existing Innovate UK customers on an opt-in basis. An extra £550 million will also be made available to increase support for existing customers and £175,000 of support will be offered to around 1,200 firms including new customers to Innovate UK funding. The first payments will be made by mid-May.

“Innovate UK will rapidly provide cashflow to support businesses to continue to develop products and services of the future. We are also looking at ways in which we can run competitions within a matter of weeks rather than months” said Executive Chair at Innovate UK Ian Campbell. “The demand is there, but we've got to make the right choices and do that quickly.”

“I'd like to remind everybody this package is on top of the standard Innovate UK and UK Research and Innovation programmes which include Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund competitions, Innovation Loans and Investor Partnerships. However, our immediate priority is to focus on the recent announcement, and deploy the grants funding as quickly and effectively as we can,” said Campbell.

Startups looking to pivot away from their current business model are being encouraged to consider Innovate UK grants. Campbell said that qualifying businesses that were looking to attract a different market or needed to fund high-risk innovation were “absolutely in the sweet spot of the funding that has been announced”.

Campbell was speaking on 24 April during a live event hosted by Eagle Labs and was joined by Ben Davey, CEO of Barclays Ventures, Juliet Rogan, Barclays’ Head of High Growth & Entrepreneurs Coverage, Irene Graham, CEO of the ScaleUp Institute, John Spindler CEO of Capital Enterprise and Benjamin Storey, Funding Solutions & Business Insights Lead, Barclays Ventures.

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