News story

Innovation loans will help UK businesses improve manufacturing

£12 million innovation loans offered to 17 businesses, which will use the funding to undertake innovative manufacturing and materials R&D projects.

Team in office working collaboratively.
Innovation loans are designed to help the UK's most innovative businesses to scale.

In the second round of innovation loans funding, £12 million has been offered to 17 businesses developing innovative manufacturing processes or using new materials in production. The companies will use the funding to carry out R&D projects to scale up production and commercialise new technologies.

Successful companies

Successful applicants to the second round of loans funding include:

  • Callaly: a new feminine care product designed in London and manufactured entirely in the UK
  • KwickScreen: portable printed room partitions, based and manufactured in London
  • The Electrospinning Company: clinical-grade biomaterials
  • Valuechain: manufacturing supply chain software. ValueChain has offices worldwide in China and India, as well as across the UK
  • Ashwoods Electric Motors: smaller, lighter and more efficient permanent magnet electric motors

Patient capital for disruptive businesses

Thang Vo-Ta, CEO and co-founder of loans recipient Callaly, said:

There’s a danger of impatient capital demanding instant returns. If you want to build something right, to the highest standards and without any compromise, keeping all your research and product development here in the UK, you need patient partners.

That’s exactly what we’re getting [with an innovation loan].

Helping UK businesses to scale up

Innovate UK’s deputy executive chair and business officer, Simon Edmonds, said:

Innovation in manufacturing and materials requires finance that understands and accepts the risk in new technologies, so we’re excited about the opportunities that innovation loans are now unlocking for UK businesses to invest in the delivery of new products and services in this important sector for the UK economy.

We’ve seen continuing high levels of demand for this new, affordable, flexible and low-interest finance option for innovation and we’re confident it will help potential UK businesses to scale up, create high-value jobs and ultimately accelerate economic growth and improve the quality of life across all regions.

About innovation loans

Innovate UK introduced its pilot programme of innovation loans to some of the UK’s most innovative businesses to scale. To do this, the programme will help tackle the key issues facing innovative companies. If successful in the competitive application process, businesses can borrow between £100,000 and £1 million.

Apply to the latest innovation loans competition

Up to £10 million is available in the latest innovation loans competition to help businesses turn their game-changing ideas into a commercial reality. Innovate UK is looking for later-stage projects developing new products or services, or using existing ones in an innovative way.

Projects from any area of technology or industry sector will be considered, as long as it will lead to gains in productivity or sustainable business growth.

Published 5 November 2018