How to apply for an innovation loan

There are 4 stages in the application process, and we will provide you with feedback at each stage.

If you have any questions about your application email

Your pre-application helps us check that your business proposal meets our criteria and provides us with basic information about your business and your proposal for growth. This means that you don't waste time completing a full application if you aren't eligible.

The deadline for pre-applications closed on 7 December 2018. However, if you wish to register your interest in accessing future funding, complete our expression of interest form.

Express your interest

If your pre-application has passed our initial assessment, we will send you a link to our full application form.

Getting to this stage does not guarantee Innovation Investment Loan funding.

The full application form asks for more detailed information about your proposal including supporting evidence.

We will check that you have supplied everything we need to assess your application.

Providing you have, your application will be fully assessed within 40 working days of receipt. The depth of the assessment is proportionate to the level of funding you have requested.

Your application will be assessed for:

  • additionality
  • financial viability and sustainability
  • funding
  • jobs created and sustained
  • state aid compliance
  • value for money and benefits to the wider economy
  • additional factors (such as innovation and creativity)

We will make a recommendation to the Investment Advisory Board based on our appraisal of your application.

The Board will consider each eligible application and you will be required to attend a Board Meeting to present your proposal.

The Board may approve or reject applications, or defer them while seeking more information. The Board may also set the conditions of the loan (e.g. payback periods).