Innovation agency to invest £10m in technology 'breakthroughs'

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The Technology Strategy Board (TSB) is inviting business-led project proposals from small businesses as part of a £10m programme of research and development investment in areas such as advanced materials, biosciences, electronics and photonics.

The TSB said proposals “should focus on projects that advance the development of a recent technological discovery or breakthrough in the context of significant and identifiable technological risk, which can be broadly applied across a wide range of market opportunities and needs”.

The funding will support “collaborative, business-led, projects at the applied research stage, containing a significant and identifiable element of technology innovation and risk, though there is also support for experimental development”.

The application of multi-disciplinary innovation is encouraged, the TSB said, with a view to technical developments or breakthroughs that could have applications in a range of markets.

Additional funding may be available from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) for projects in line with the scope of this competition that contain a significant, high-quality academic research component and demonstrate added value by building on, or being complementary to, their existing research programmes and portfolios.

The TSB said that all projects must be collaborative and business-led, and that the competition for funding has two strands.  The first is a single-stage, fast-track, process for projects lasting between six and 12 months that must be led by a SME.

The second is a two-stage process for projects lasting between 12 and 24 months, which can be led by a company of any size though each consortium must contain at least one SME partner.

Details of the funding competition can be found here.