The Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) is introducing Defence Innovation Loans to find and fund solutions to defence themed problems. The new competition will receive support from Innovate UK.


A total of £10 million will be available this year. From this, SMEs can apply for loans of between £250,000 and £1.6 million. These loans can cover up to 100% of eligible project costs to aid the commercialisation of their innovative solution. They will have a below-market interest rate of 7.4% per annum and a maximum loan term of seven years.


The Defence Innovation Loan is open to innovative ideas to improve the defence of the UK, which can come from any area of technology. However, there must be a strong defence requirement for the capability. In addition, innovations must be at TRL 6 or above to ensure you can commercialise your solution within the time scale of the Innovation Loan.


To apply for a Defence Innovation Loan, you must fulfil the following criteria:

  • 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

As a result, individuals, academic institutions, research organisations and large companies are not eligible to apply for Defence Innovation Loans.

How to Apply

There are two elements to the Defence Innovation Loan application: firstly, an Innovation Proposal – submitted through the DASA submission service and secondly, an Innovation Loan Request Application (Business and Financial Assessment) – submitted through Innovate UK. The first deadline for applications is 11th August, with another to follow on 20th October.

For more information, please see the competition document. Alternatively, contact RedKnight if you’re looking for external support with the Innovation Proposal.

If you’re looking for grant funding, you may also be interested in DASA’s Open Call for Innovation.