£6.5m to be shared among 180 firms to boost innovation
Over 180 small and medium-sized UK businesses are to share in nearly £6.5m investment from the government-backed Technology Strategy Board (TSB) to stimulate innovation in a range of technology areas.
The fund will enable 153 feasibility studies to be carried out in areas such as advanced materials, biosciences, information and communications technology, nanotechnology and in Digital Britain, which aims to make Britain a more digital-based society.
The projects will each receive £25,000 worth of support and each one is due to be completed within approximately three months.
A further 31 feasibility studies in regenerative medicine will receive up to £100,000 each, with the studies taking up to six months to complete.
The funding competitions received more than 2,000 applications in total, including many from small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Of the 184 successful applications for funding, all but two were from SMEs.
Commenting on the funding awards, the TSB?s Director of Innovation Programmes, David Bott, said: ?We decided to invest in short-term feasibility studies to stimulate innovation in a range of important technology areas and, in particular, to encourage the involvement of smaller companies. Many small companies have great ideas, but lack the funds to enable them to carry out the important initial feasibility work required to see if their ideas are workable.
?We were delighted, but not surprised, by the huge number of applications. Nearly two-thirds of commercial innovation stems from small companies and they are a vital source of wealth-generating new products.?
After completing the feasibility studies, the companies should be well-placed to seek investment to develop their ideas into new products, processes and services, including through application to further TSB research and development competitions in 2010 and beyond.
Added the 11 January 2010 in category Innovation News