Investor Partnerships Future Economy

A three-year initiative to boost Future Economy-focused SMEs through aligning grant funding for R&D development with investment from partnerships with credible investor partners.

Driving investment into high-growth innovative UK companies

The Investor Partnership Programme is a unique opportunity for high-growth, innovative UK companies to access the funding they need to thrive and succeed. This programme is designed to support micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that are working on cutting-edge technology in the Innovate UK Future Economy areas of:

  • Net Zero
  • Healthy Living and Agriculture
  • Digital and Technologies
  • Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Innovate UK has and continues to partner with a diverse group of credible investor partners, including venture capital funds, corporate investors, business angel groups, and social impact investors from the UK, Europe, and the US. These investors are committed to supporting innovative companies and providing the financing they need to grow and scale.

Past programmes and impact

In 15 investor partnership programmes between 2017 and March 2022

Grant funding to SMEs


Grant funding to SMEs

Aligned equity investment


Aligned equity investment

Additional partner investment


Additional partner investment

The Investor Partnership Programme

Investor partnerships aim to address the ‘equity investment gap’ by encouraging highly innovative micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to attract investment that is aligned to research and development grant support at an early stage, so that they are also better able to attract the necessary level of follow-on investment as they scale and grow.

The programme aims to deliver impact through economic growth by ensuring that innovative businesses are adequately capitalised and by attracting additional equity investment into risky SMEs from (or led by) selected investor partners.


This new three-year programme focuses on supporting highly innovative small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in key areas of the future economy.

This programme is designed to help SMEs that are:

  • Carrying out research and development projects
  • Seeking equity funding to deliver their technology or research

The model not only allows Innovate UK to directly fund companies who have a research and development project. It encourages companies to seek equity investment, so that they are not just funding their project, but also accessing capital from equity investment to grow their business.

Related Projects

Bloc Ventures

Bloc Ventures is an early-stage venture capital investment company, focused on deep tech companies in the UK and Europe.

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Boundary Capital Partners

Boundary Capital Partners LLP is an impact, for-profit, B2B technology investor.

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LCR Ventures Limited

Our funding is for Liverpool City Region (LCR) based startups.

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Chrysalix Venture Capital

Chrysalix is a global venture capital firm that specializes in transformational industrial innovation.

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Invested in growth, we connect investors to innovators, industry and government, by demystifying the UK Innovation landscape and shaping the future economy.

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Our Experts

Related Opportunities

Future Economy Investor Partnerships: Investor Selection Feb 2023

Opens: 20/02/2023 Closes: 29/03/2023

Investors can apply to partner with Innovate UK to invest in innovative SMEs aligned with grant funding.

More Information

Future Economy Investor Partnerships SME round 1

Opens: 16/03/2023 Closes: 10/05/2023

UK registered SMEs, invited to apply by an investor from our pool of selected investor partners, can apply for grant funding alongside private investment.

More Information

Related Events and Recordings


Briefing Event: Future economy investor partnership SME competition round 1

14.00 - 16.00 | Online

Register for this event
See all events

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