The Technology Strategy Board has launched a funding scheme to encourage small companies to invest in R&D in the fields of science, engineering and technology.
The Technology Strategy Board, an independent body that promotes high technology business that reports to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, expects the fund to encourage what it sees as some of the most important innovation in the UK manufacturing sector.
“Innovative small companies are vital to the UK’s economic future,” said chief executive of TSB Iain Gray. “Nearly two-thirds of all commercial innovations originate in small companies and we need to nurture and encourage this vital source of exciting new innovations. Small companies may under-invest in innovation because of the high degree of risk and uncertainty around both the development and commercial exploitation of new ideas. Offering partial funding through this initiative should help many innovative small businesses to overcome this barrier and to invest in innovation, helping to generate future business success.”
The different types of grants available to SMEs range from £25,000 for market research and assessment of an idea’s commercial viability, to £250,000 for the development of prototypes or small demonstrator products. The scheme is designed to take some of the burden off those that are creative enough to succeed but who do not have the financial means to invest in their own ideas.
Previously, regional development agencies were responsible for such financial aid, but many companies have run into trouble since last summer’s government directive to the RDAs to cease many payments on these schemes.