Innovation loans are for SMEs that want to scale up by developing new or improved products, processes or services through late-stage research and development projects that have a clear route to commercialisation.
Innovate UK commissioned SQW to evaluate the pilot phase of the innovation loans programme.
The report looks at the innovation funding landscape, the interest and demand for innovation loans and ends with conclusions and lessons learnt.
At this interim stage, SQW concluded that the innovation loans pilot has been very successful.
The report highighted that in delivery, Innovate UK has built up good relationships and the support is highly valued, reflected in the levels of satisfaction reported by the businesses.
Further, businesses understand what is expected of them at each stage and generally value the prompt decision making.
Communication and bespoke support from the innovation loans team is considered to be more responsive than from private sector and other grant funding programmes, the report found.