The government is handing out funding to Internet of Things (IoT) and energy startups in order to boost innovation in the country’s tech sector.
Innovate UK, the government’s innovation agency, has already given out £8 million to 13 companies that have demonstrated that they are developing innovative solutions for the country’s urban infrastructure, energy and transport challenges. This is part of the £50 million set aside for funding innovation over two years.
Dr Ian Campbell, Innovate UK’s executive chair, 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.”
He added that his organisation has seen “high levels of demand” for the new innovation finance option. He went on to express his confidence that it will help UK businesses to scale up, create high-value jobs and accelerate economic growth, improving the quality of life across all regions.
The Innovate UK programme was introduced at the beginning of the year. The government announced it would be contributing £19 million to the project. According to the government, Innovate UK will help tackle many key issues facing companies with innovative technologies and business models they want to take to market
In order to foster innovation and expand, businesses can apply for loans between £100,000 and £1 million.
David Petrie, head of corporate finance at the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), welcomed the announcement of the funding, saying that innovation loans should help the commercialisation of important new technologies as 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 requiring more investment.