Minister announces “accelerated growth and expansion” as major goal of new Launchpad investment in Glasgow’s digital and creative companies

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The emerging cluster of digital and creative companies in Glasgow are in line for an investment boost of up to £900,000 to promote their “accelerated growth and expansion” in a funding competition launched by the Technology Strategy Board, in partnership with Creative Clyde today (Monday 28th January).

“This investment will help the brightest businesses in Glasgow develop new ideas and solutions. It is important that the UK stays at the forefront of these innovations so we can continue to compete on a global scale.” said Science Minister David Willetts

The emerging cluster of digital and creative companies in Glasgow are in line for an investment boost of up to £900,000 to promote their “accelerated growth and expansion” in a funding competition launched by the Technology Strategy Board, in partnership with Creative Clyde today (Monday 28th January).

Announcing the business innovation competition, known as the Digital & Creative Clyde Launchpad, Universities and Science Minister David Willetts said: “The digital and creative industries in Glasgow are at the centre of new innovations in the UK. From mobile phone apps to new software development, they are ideas that make a difference to people’s day to day lives.

“This investment will help the brightest businesses in Glasgow develop new ideas and solutions. It is important that the UK stays at the forefront of these innovations so we can continue to compete on a global scale.”

Finance Secretary John Swinney said: "Generations of talented Glaswegians and enterprising Scots have helped cement Glasgow's global reputation for innovation and creativity.

"The Scottish Government recognises the importance of capitalising on Scotland's strengths and this £900k investment is tremendous news for the Creative Clyde project. It builds on the announcement last week that Glasgow has secured the £24 million project by the Technology Strategy Board's Future City demonstrator for the UK.

"This activity complement the broad range of work on innovation and entrepreneurship that we already undertake in Scotland and will provide our talented digital and creative communities with a fantastic source of additional support".

Linda McPherson, Director of Creative Industries at Scottish Enterprise said, “The Launchpad approach is designed to help companies in the Creative Clyde area raise their level of innovation and build their competitive advantage.

We know that companies which invest in R&D, even early stage businesses, can accelerate their business growth, exploit new international markets, and increase revenue from new products and services developed. Creative Clyde is a great place to make this happen as it is a vibrant and collaborative business environment and home to many media, technology and creatively-minded businesses”.

The Digital & Creative Clyde Launchpad competition is open to SMEs based in the area covered by Glasgow City Council, those planning to move or set up there and projects involving collaboration with companies already there. It offers companies up to 60% funding for innovative R&D projects up to a maximum of £60,000. For more information please visit

Launchpad competitions, run by the UK’s innovation agency, the Technology Strategy Board, are part of an ongoing programme to support business innovation in a cluster of companies. This is delivered through a combination of R&D project funding, which includes business support and help to attract new private sector investment. They enable businesses to take advantage of being part of a developing cluster and assist them to realise their potential for growth. It is envisaged that up to 15 projects will be funded from this competition.

In each Launchpad the Technology Strategy Board will be working with a local partner organisation, known as a cluster champion, to deliver a full package of support to the competition winners and to engage with the cluster as a whole. The cluster champion for the Digital & Creative Clyde Launchpad is Creative Clyde.

Welcoming the launch of the Launchpad competition, Dougal Perman, Managing Director of Inner Ear and co-founder of creative digital media consortium Yellow Brick House said: "I think creativity and collaboration are vital elements of business development, now more than ever. The Launchpad competition presents an exciting opportunity for innovative, pioneering people to work together to explore potential for developing exciting projects and expressing their creativity. I've got lots of ideas around interactive content creation and distribution that I'd like to pitch already."

Barry Sheridan, Managing Director, Digimania the makers of Muvizu, the 3D animation application that lets anyone create animations easily and quickly, said: “The level of talent in Scotland - Glasgow in particular - for innovation and creativity is astounding. Having something like Launchpad bring out the best and the brightest in the industry will reflect how much Glasgow has grown into the place to be for digital and creative development. Bringing people together with an initiative like Launchpad means that we get to show off this talent in the best possible light.”

Last month the Technology Strategy Board launched a £1million competition – the Space and Satellite Technology Launchpad - for companies working in, or looking to set up in, the space community at Harwell.

This builds on the success of the Technology Strategy Board’s £1.25 million investment in London’s tech and digital hub, Tech City, in 2011. The competition attracted over 200 applications from SMEs to work in the digital space in Shoreditch, London, gaining an additional £1.5 million of private sector funding towards 13 projects now at various stages of completion.

The next planned Launchpad is in the materials and manufacturing sector, which will focus on a cluster of companies around Daresbury and Runcorn Heath.

Notes to Editors:
This competition is being run in two stages:

1. Video submission
From 28 January 2013 applicants will be able to submit a two-minute video describing their ideas, which will be accompanied by a brief application form. The video should address:

  •     the challenge or opportunity being tackled and why it is important;
  •     the approach that will be taken and how it is innovative;
  •     the relationship to the Glasgow Creative & Digital cluster;
  •     how the solution will be commercialised and what impact it could have if successful;
  •     why the Technology Strategy Board investment is needed.

1.    There will be a panel of expert assessors that review the ideas and select a shortlist. The deadline for video submission is noon on Wednesday 6 March 2013. More information will be on the Technology Strategy Board website

2. Written proposal & Pitch session
On the basis of video assessment, the top ranking applications will be shortlisted and invited to submit a written proposal through an application form.

Following assessment of the written application forms, top ranking projects will be invited to present their ideas to a panel of experts who will make the final selection as to which projects will receive funding.

The selected projects will receive a letter of intent to fund from Technology Strategy Board, subject to being able to secure the additional funds needed for the project within 6 months. The selected projects will receive grants of up to £60k from the Technology Strategy Board.

Launchpad competitions are open to SMEs that:

  •     are in the cluster;
  •     plan to start up in the cluster;
  •     move into the cluster;
  •     collaborate with a company already in the cluster.

It is limited to SMEs and aimed at young and early stage companies with significant growth ambition.

The Technology Strategy Board is the UK’s innovation agency. Its goal is to accelerate economic growth by stimulating and supporting business-led 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

2.    Media enquiries only should be addressed to the Technology Strategy Board’s media relations team:
David Hulmes
Media Relations Consultant
Mobile: 07799 777921 and email david(at)humblepr(dot)com and 07766 901150, pressoffice(at)tsb(dot)gov(dot)uk.

3.    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(at)innovateuk(dot)org or phone the Competitions Helpline at 0300 321 4357.

4.    To see all press releases from the Technology Strategy Board please visit the Press Centre at: Press Centre.

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

6.    The Creative Clyde project seeks to build on Glasgow’s growing status as a hub for the digital and creative industries, delivering new jobs and economic growth for the city. Key industries include film, TV and radio, advertising, publishing and design, web and digital media, animation, software and games development. Creative Clyde is a collaborative partnership with a strategic development group comprising senior decision makers from Scottish Enterprise, Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, Creative Scotland, BBC Scotland, University of Glasgow, Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC), STV, Raise the Roof Productions, Film City Glasgow, Glasgow Science Centre and Glasgow School of Art.

For further information on Creative Clyde contact Budge PR on 0141 553 1115, David Budge, david(dot)budge(at)budgepr(dot)com on 07831 156333 or Elizabeth Steel, elizabeth(dot)steel(at)budgepr(dot)com on 07968 258347

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David Hulmes
Technology Strategy Board
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