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Innovate UK EDGE Scale Up Programme [2022]

Leadership Capacity

Impact for scaleups


scaleups supported since 2017


entered or expect to enter new markets

c. 1,100

jobs created


estimated average growth in turnover between EOI and present day


raised by participating scaleups in grants and equity


scaleups secured new contracts

Key sectors

Impact ventures / Social Impact Life Sciences & Biotech Building & Construction Manufacturing / Advanced Manufacturing Creative, digital, film, games & media Professional services Defence & security Technology & Communications Engineering / Advanced Engineering Transport & Logistics Environmental Science & Technology Farming, fisheries & forestry Finance Food & drink Healthcare

The Innovate UK EDGE Scale Up Programme helps highly innovative, ambitious businesses realise their scaling ambitions. It is aimed at companies already on their scaling journey and able to disrupt existing markets and establish an international markets strategy. The programme is available to those companies achieving, or with the potential to achieve, 50% compound annual growth rates and over. Informed by evidence and insights from the ScaleUp Institute, since its inception in 2017/18 it has supported over 170 scaling businesses.

The programme features a board of 22 ‘Scale Up Directors’ who facilitate the scaling journey and provide a matrix of skills and connectivity across multiple domains, such as finance, M&A, international markets, IP, supply chains, scale up leadership and talent management. Through a structured onboarding process the Scale Up Directors support participants to identify their three key scaling challenges and tailor support to help meet them. Since the commencement of the programme, aligned to the research of the ScaleUp Institute, the key challenges identified are around commercialisation and market access, access to growth capital, talent acquisition, alongside enhancing internal processes, and product innovation. 

Each business has a dedicated account manager from the Scale Up Director team to support them on their journey and facilitate access to wider support as required. Support is delivered through one to one mentoring, drawing on the expertise available across the pools of Scale Up Directors and bespoke workshops. A high level Strategic Advisory Board provides another layer of connectivity and access to resources. 

Participating scaleups can also learn and share experience by joining a structured peer to peer network and further benefit from a new alumni community, launched in 2022, that gives them access to fresh perspectives from diverse industries.  Scaleups are also supported in connecting to the wider ecosystem including through international networks. 

Over its lifetime the programme has created more than 1,000 jobs and participating scaleups have raised £283m in grants and equity. GVA assessments show £16.7m employment-based GVA with a cost benefit ratio of 1:12.2 and £46.7m profitability-based GVA with a cost benefit ratio of 1:25.6.  In addition, 75 per cent of participants expect to develop new products, 72 per cent expect to grow through international collaboration and 78 per cent have entered or expect to enter new markets.

The programme has an ambitious vision for further outreach and is aiming to engage with up to 200 scaling businesses annually. The SUD team will be enhanced with new directors with specialist skills in key areas including net zero, sustainability and medical device regulations.


The work has been driven at considerable pace, and we have been impressed by the commitment of the Scale Up Directors to deliver inputs that help keep this on track. The Scale Up team have helped us to create an exciting and well-founded plan, and we look forward to their further support in delivering this.”  Mark Hewitt, Director – ICAX Ltd

From the outset, the Scale Up Directors got to the heart of our urgent business requirements sharing their extensive knowledge and hands on approach. What became instantly apparent is that each of the Scale Up Team brings with them a unique level of knowledge and expertise that we on the receiving end, feel privileged to be part of. “No problem is too big with a very pragmatic approach to fixing. Additionally, the depth of business connections the Scale Up Team bring with them is immense, with doors opening that previously would have been hard to find, let alone open.” Hayden Allen-Vercoe, Chief Operating Officer – Orbital Media Ltd

Innovate UK EDGE Scale Up Programme [2022] website