Business Given Longer Term View on New Opportunities from UK’s Innovation Agency

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UK business is to gain a clear line of sight on upcoming opportunities, from the UK’s innovation agency. Thanks to new information published today, businesses will be able to see how up to £250m of new Government investment in around 60 competitions will lead to innovation projects and programmes designed to stimulate business growth. The aim is to ensure that businesses have all of the information they need to make plans to access support from the Technology Strategy Board.

UK business is to gain a clear line of sight on upcoming opportunities, from the UK’s innovation agency. Thanks to new information published today, businesses will be able to see how up to £250m of new Government investment in around 60 competitions will lead to innovation projects and programmes designed to stimulate business growth. The aim is to ensure that businesses have all of the information they need to make plans to access support from the Technology Strategy Board (http://www.innovateuk.org).

The news was welcomed by both Business Secretary Vince Cable and Universities and Science Minister David Willetts today.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said:
"Innovation is a key part of our plan for growth and the Technology Strategy Board is actively supporting industries where the UK is one step ahead of the competition. We already have some great industrial success stories, like our aerospace, energy and healthcare industries where innovations have been effectively translated into commercial use. I want to encourage this in other sectors. That is why the network of Catapult centres, in particular the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, will give a big boost to supporting research and development that is aligned with strategic commercial objectives, strengthening our economy."

Universities and Science Minister David Willetts said:
“We are determined to maintain and strengthen our world leading position in science, innovation and research - that's why the Government is investing £250m through the Technology Strategy Board to develop new and existing products and services. The Technology Strategy Board are experts in supporting innovative businesses, and hopefully by setting out the opportunities available in the coming months, more firms will decide to compete for investment.”

Chief Executive Iain Gray said:
“The Technology Strategy Board is now in a position where it can provide a detailed longer term view on plans about new investment in priority areas, giving businesses up front information about some of the important new opportunities that we are making available up until March 2013.”

The new plans are split into 12 thematic areas for investment and include five that address global challenges: energy, healthcare, built environment, food and transport. The projected financial commitments for the year in these areas are:

  •     Up to £65.7m in Healthcare
  •     Up to £37.5m in the Built Environment (including Future Cities)
  •     Up to £26m in Energy
  •     Up to £23.5m in Transport
  •     Up to £10m in Food

This sits alongside investment in competencies such as space, high value manufacturing (including aerospace) and in technology areas such as biosciences. Information about these themed areas and further planned investment is published today in the Technology Strategy Board’s delivery plan 2012-13.

The Delivery Plan also outlines a package of support for high potential SMEs, including a commitment to double the funding for this year for the Smart programme, a popular single company grant funding scheme. Around 70% of recipients of Smart awards are micro companies and over half are younger than five years old.

Also highlighted in the plan is ongoing activity to establish seven new ‘Catapult’ centres in the UK. The Technology Strategy Board is responsible for setting up a network of seven world-leading innovation centres in specific fields by 2013.

Businesses and other organisations are encouraged to engage with the Technology Strategy Board and access our tools and programmes. It is easy to find out more about funding on our website http://www.innovateuk.org and on our competitions page. Another good way to work with us and collaborate with others is through the Technology Strategy Board’s _connect social networking platform, which provides an effective and powerful way to connect online, network and share knowledge with other innovators.

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Claire Cunningham
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