Technology Strategy Board given £440m budget

The Technology Strategy Board has received a boost after it was announced its budget would be £440m for this year, an increase of £50m.

Sectors standing to benefit from the investment in the public body, whose task is to help companies commercialise their ideas, include energy, the built environment, high-value manufacturing, and healthcare.

Universities and science minister David Willetts, who announced the proposal, said: “The UK has some of the most innovative business in the world. The £440m budget means that there will be more funding available than ever before for businesses across the country to bid for and help turn their ideas into reality, bridging the so called ‘valley of death’.

“The TSB is making a real difference in driving growth and keeping the UK at the forefront of the global race for innovation. Over 60 per cent of funding is going to small and medium sized businesses, meaning that there are great opportunities for businesses to thrive, grow and generate jobs.

“The TSB works across business, academia and government, helping companies take ideas through to commercialisation. Independent research shows that every £1 invested by the TSB returns £7 to the UK economy.”

The proposal, outlined in the 2013-2014 Delivery Plan, will also open up opportunities for UK innovation to access wider, global markets such as India, China and Brazil through its Missions, involvement in EU programmes and bilateral agreements with other countries.

SMEs remain a key focus, with a number of support mechanisms. The budget for the Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) will be increased to £100 million in 2013/14 and £200 million the following year, giving SMEs access to public sector procurement contracts.