Innovate UK, which provides funding and support for business innovation, has made its first wave of Innovation Loans to pioneering UK companies.
It has made 13 loan offers, with a total commitment of £8m in its first competition.
Innovate UK’s new interim executive chairman, Dr Ian Campbell, said: “Innovative businesses require innovative finance, so we’re excited about the opportunities innovation loans are now unlocking for UK businesses to lead the revolution in infrastructure, urban living, energy and connected transport.
“We’ve seen high levels of demand for this new, affordable, flexible and low interest finance option for innovation and we’re confident it will help high potential UK businesses to scale up, create high-value jobs and ultimately accelerate economic growth and improve the quality of life across all regions.”
David Petrie, head of corporate finance at the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), continued: “Many of our 150,000 members are working in, advising and investing in high-growth companies.
“The new programme is another step by Innovate UK to increase the funding options for R&D-based ventures.
“Innovation loans should help the commercialisation of important new technologies because they include elements that are not typically available from high-street banks.
“They should work very well for particular kinds of innovative, early-stage businesses that need more investment.”
The first successful companies include, Lightfoot, CitiLogik and G-Volution.
Lightfoot, received a £1m loan to develop its connected car technology before being launched to consumers in the autumn. It says the launch will offer a wider range of functionality including superior intelligence about users’ cars, including tax records, service alerts, vehicle valuations, mileage reporting and vehicle health alerts.
CitiLogik has developed new ways of identifying and analysing demand activity, which it applies to complex spatial challenges in the sectors of transport, intelligent mobility, smarter cities and the built environment, has recently deployed CitiAnalytics within Hull, to monitor the road network in real time including predictive analysis.
Meanwhile, G-Volution’s technology enables the diesel engine to evolve whilst adopting cheaper, cleaner and renewable fuels.
As some fossil fuels (diesel) run out and become more expensive, the dual-fuel evolution of these powertrains permits them to remain in service but addresses cost and carbon emissions challenges by adopting alternative fuels such as natural gas (methane). G-Volution is headquartered in Newport, Gwent.
If successful in the competitive application process, companies can borrow between £100,000 and £1m and interest rates are currently 3.7% per year.
To find out more about innovation loans, click here.