Government backs innovative SMEs

by | Mar 16, 2022

The British hair, beauty and wellness industry is home to some of the most innovative, forward-thinking SMEs, and they now have the opportunity to apply to the Innovation Loans Future Economy Competition to support their research and development projects.

The loans of up to £25 million, will be issued by Innovate UK to SMEs over the next 3 years and will fund projects focused on areas of priority for the future economy as set out in Innovate UK’s Plan for Action.


Projects must focus on one or more of the following themes:

  • Net zero
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Next generation digital technologies
  • The ‘7 Technology Families’ of the Innovation Strategy– advanced materials and manufacturing; engineering biology; electronics; sensors; photonics and quantum; and robotics and smart machines.


The fund aims to support highly innovative late-stage research and development (R&D) projects with the strongest potential to support future economic growth and tackle social challenges.


“As the success of our extraordinary vaccine development and roll-out made clear, the UK is home to some of the most brilliant and innovative minds in the world.
Supporting our talented innovators, not only to develop their ideas but to see these ideas through to commercialisation, will be essential to growing an economy built on the technologies of the future, and securing the UK’s status as a true Innovation Nation.
So, I am thrilled that after an extremely successful pilot programme, Innovate UK are launching this substantial new series of loans to support SMEs working across the country on the most innovative projects for the future economy, entrenching our position as a science superpower.”

– George Freeman MP, Science Minister


This government-backed finance builds on the success of an extended pilot programme which began in 2017, and a programme of innovation continuity loans delivered as part of Innovate UK’s coronavirus support package during the pandemic.


Click here to find out more, and to enter the first round of the Innovation Loans Future Economy Competition.

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