Government to make loans of up to £1.6m available for defence innovations by SMEs

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The government’s Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) has launched the Defence Innovation Loan, a new competition with a pot of £10 million to lend for innovative defence solutions.

Accessible to SMEs, and with a below market interest rate of 7.4 per cent per annum, the Defence Innovation Loan offers the opportunity for smaller businesses to apply for affordable funds to help convert a mature defence innovation into a viable business proposition that can compete for defence procurement

This new opportunity is delivered through a partnership between DASA and Innovate UK.

The total of £10 million is available for the Defence Innovation Loan competition this year.

Businesses can apply for a loan between £250,000 and £1.6 million with a below market interest rate of 7.4 per cent per annum. This loan can cover up to 100 per cent of eligible project costs to help the commercialisation of the solution and overall term of the loan must not exceed 7 years.

Innovate UK will be carrying out the Defence Innovation Loan credit evaluation of this competition and participants will enter into a loan agreement and security agreement with Innovate UK Loans Ltd

To apply for a Defence Innovation Loan businesses must be a UK registered SME, intend to exploit the results in the UK or overseas to make a significant and positive impact on the UK economy and/or productivity, give evidence that your business is suitable to take on a loan

Individuals, academic institutions, research organisations and large companies are not eligible for innovation loans.

The Defence Innovation Loan is open to innovative ideas to improve the defence of the UK. The innovation must be mature at TRL 6 or above, to ensure the solution can be commercialised within the time scale of the Innovation Loan. There also must clearly be evidence of a defence need for the innovative solution.

Click here for the full DASA Competition document