The Technology Strategy Board has launched a R&D grant for SME projects which it says could stimulate UK economic growth.
The Grant for Research and Development (Grant for R&D) scheme will support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) working on critical projects in science, engineering and technology.
The Technology Strategy Board says that it will focus on projects which offer potentially significant rewards and could lead to the emergence of successful new products, processes and services.
"Innovative small companies are vital to the UK’s economic future," said Technology Strategy Board’s Chief Executive, 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."
The Grant for Research and Development scheme will offer SMEs three types of grant:
- Proof-of-market grants will enable companies to assess commercial viability through, for example, market research, market testing and initial planning;
- Proof-of-concept grants will help companies to explore the technical feasibility and commercial potential of a new technology, product or process through, for example, a feasibility study, basic prototyping and specialist testing;
- Development of prototype grants will be used by companies to develop a technologically innovative product, service or industrial process. This might include small demonstrators, intellectual property protection, market testing and product design.
The maximum funding available will be £25,000 for proof-of-market grants, £100,000 for proof-of-concept grants and £250,000 for development of prototype grants.
"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," Gray added.
"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."
Find out more about eligibility and how to apply for the Grant for Research and Development Programme