£1 Million Funding Competition to Support Creative and Digital Businesses In East London Opens Today

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Tech City Launchpad, a funding competition that will see the Technology Strategy Board (http://www.innovateuk.org) invest £1 million to support the growth of creative and digital businesses working in the Tech City area around Old Street and Shoreditch in east London, opens today (6 May 2011).

Companies have the opportunity to apply for funding of up to £100,000 for their projects through a competition designed to support and extend the existing east London tech community. The Technology Strategy Board will help the companies find the match funding they need to deliver their ideas.

Businesses entering the Tech City Launchpad will also be introduced to the IC tomorrow digital test bed programme that will be relocating to Shoreditch during the summer. IC tomorrow removes barriers to innovation and provides a trial management system for application providers, service providers and rights owners.

Opening the Tech City Launchpad competition at the Digital Shoreditch festival today, David Bott, the Technology Strategy Board’s Director of Innovation Programmes, said:

“This unique competition is designed to promote the community dynamic within the Tech City area, encourage cooperation and grow business in the area. We want to support this hotspot of digital and creative industries by enabling companies to go further and faster towards commercial success. We are looking for projects that may be too risky for companies to go for alone, or that may take them into new areas.”

Explaining how the funding will work, Nick Appleyard, Head of Digital at the Technology Strategy Board, said:

“We will provide the base funding for the projects and this will then act as a catalyst to attract more investment. Projects will be up to 50% funded by the Technology Strategy Board, up to a maximum grant of £100,000. We will then help approved projects gain the remaining 50% funding through a funding workshop involving key investors such as business angels, venture capitalists and other larger companies in these industries, who will then invest in the companies. By showing our financial support, we hope to make it much easier for the business to secure co-funding.”

The three-stage application process starts with an open invitation to submit ideas through a two-minute video. Using both community and expert assessment to prioritise the proposals, about 20 project applications will then be invited to submit written proposals. Some of these will then be selected and offered up to £100,000 funding each from the total £1m budget. It is hoped that businesses from outside the area will also participate in this competition, by basing their projects in the area or partnering with businesses established in the cluster. The Technology Strategy Board will work closely with UK Trade & Investment, the government department tasked with bringing new talent, entrepreneurs and investment to east London.
David Bott concluded:

“This is a pilot competition. There are a number of such clusters of excellence across the UK. If successful, we may run further localised competitions to build on them.”


Notes to Editors

1.    The Technology Strategy Board is a business-led government body which works to create economic growth by ensuring that the UK is a global leader in innovation. Sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the Technology Strategy Board brings together business, research and the public sector, supporting and accelerating the development of innovative products and services to meet market needs, tackle major societal challenges and help build the future economy. For more information please visit: Technology Strategy Board website

2.    For more information about Digital Shoreditch please visit: http://digitalshoreditch.com/

3.    Further information about the Tech City LaunchPad competition for R&D funding in digital projects can be found at: https://ktn.innovateuk.org/web/tech-city-launchpad-1

4.    Projects will be 50% funded by the Technology Strategy Board, up to a maximum of £100,000. The Board will then help the companies with the approved projects to gain the remaining 50% funding (up to £100,000) through a funding workshop. The companies will have twelve months to obtain match funding. Once obtained, the projects can start. The projects will then last up to a year.

5.    David Bott, Director of Innovation Programmes at the Technology Strategy Board, and Nick Appleyard, Head of Digital, are available for interview about this initiative. To arrange an interview or request more information on this story please contact:
Claire Cunningham - Tel: 01793 442901, Mobile: 07554 115745 Email: claire.cunningham(at)tsb(dot)gov(dot)uk

6.    Media enquiries about Tech City should be directed to: Susan Grieve, UK Trade & Investment, Tel: 0207 215 4644 or susan.grieve(at)ukti(dot)gsi(dot)gov(dot)uk

7.    Companies and other organisations seeking information about Technology Strategy Board funding competitions should visit the Competitions page of the Technology Strategy Board website – Competitions page, email competitions@tsb.gov.uk, or phone the Competitions Helpline at 0300 321 4357

8.    To see all press releases from the Technology Strategy Board please visit: Press Releases

9.    To subscribe to the Technology Strategy Board’s RSS newsfeed please visit: RSS newsfeed

10.    Digital content providers participating in the IC tomorrow programme include Beggars Group, Crytek UK, EMI Music, Endemol, Faber & Faber, FremantleMedia, Getty Images, Haymarket Media Group, Lionsgate, PRS For Music, Sony Music, The Orchard, The British Library, Universal Music and Warner Music

11.     Digital Shoreditch festival celebrates the outstanding digital creativity developed in Shoreditch and east London. During this year’s festival, running between 3rd to 7th May, over 200 digital studios and companies take part in 40 events. Where Shoreditch is transformed into a digital playground with open studios, eye-catching displays, gigs, conferences, workshops, interactive installations, and augmented reality games. As an ongoing enterprise, Digital Shoreditch nurtures and supports an extensive community through ongoing online and offline platforms, including monthly meet ups.

See http://digitalshoreditch.com

Emily Memarzia
Media Relations
020 7749 3742 or 07889 336 153


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