SQW commissioned to undertake a follow-on interim evaluation of the Innovation Loans pilot programme

Delivered by Innovate UK, the Innovation Loans programme is a government funded repayable finance product. It bridges the funding gap for innovative businesses whilst also providing value for money for the taxpayer. In the pilot, SMEs were able to borrow between £100,000 and £1 million to scale up and grow, focusing on late-stage R&D projects with a clear route to commercialisation. The programme supports a portfolio of businesses across a range of technologies, sectors and markets (e.g. advanced manufacturing, clean energy, healthcare and education).

In 2019, SQW completed an interim evaluation of the pilot programme (report available here) focusing on early outcomes. SQW, supported by IFF Research and Middlesex University, have now been commissioned to undertake a follow-on interim evaluation to assess programme delivery and the extent to which additional outcomes and impacts have been achieved as a result of the programme. The evaluation findings will help to inform programme funding decisions in a future government spending review, and allow Innovate UK and UKRI to learn about alternative R&D financing mechanisms.

For more information about the evaluation or SQW’s wider work in innovation and enterprise, please contact Osman Anwar.