Inspiring Technology Innovation By Small Companies

By: Information Daily Staff Writer
Published: Thursday, January 7, 2010 - 13:29 GMT Jump to Comments

* Over 180 new feasibility studies to be undertaken
* £6.5 million of new government investment in innovation
* Unprecedented level of applications for funding support


Over 180 small and medium-sized British companies are to share nearly £6.5 million investment from the government-backed Technology Strategy Board to stimulate innovation in a wide range of technology areas.

The funding is being invested to enable British companies to carry out 153 feasibility studies in areas such as Advanced Materials, Biosciences, ICT and Nanotechnology, and to support the Digital Britain vision. Each project is to receive up to £25,000 support, with the work due to be completed within about three months. At the same time, a further 31 feasibility studies in Regenerative Medicine are to receive up to £100,000 each, with the studies taking up to six months to complete.

There was unprecedented interest in the funding competitions, which received over 2000 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 Technology Strategy Board’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. We were also very pleased to see good applications from every part of the UK, which shows that we have innovative talent across the whole country,” he added.

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 Technology Strategy Board research and development competitions in 2010 and beyond.

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