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Innovation 4 Growth - South West of England

25th of February 2014, 0 comments, category: Grants'n Funds

by Onclaude

The University of the West of England, Bristol, launches a £4 million grant programme to support businesses in the South West to develop innovative products, processes and services.

Not only enterprises based in the Bristol area will benefit from this excellent opportunity but companies located across the whole region, including Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Somerset, Dorset, Devon and Cornwall.

“Any company with plans for research and development, or thinking about an innovative project, should consider applying. We would typically fund 35% of project costs for SMEs, and a bit less for larger companies (25%) so a significant portion of expenditure can be claimed”, explains Professor Martin Boddy (Pro-Vice Chancellor, Research and Business Engagement) at the launch of the initiative on the University's Frenchay Campus.

Financed by the UK government's Regional Development Fund the Innovation 4 Growth programme will fund research and development projects with grants of between £25,000 and £150,000. 

Both small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and large companies can apply to develop new or improved products, technologies, processes or services safeguarding existing jobs as a result. Recipients will be required to pay an admin fee equating to 7% (+VAT) of the total grant amount issued.

The application deadline is Monday, 10 March 2014 and you can register your interest through an online form

Be sure your read the Guidance for Applicants before applying, which you can download as a pdf from the How to apply page. 

Applications will be evaluated by a panel of business experts. There may be a further call after the 10 March deadline, but this will be dependent on the availability of funds after the initial submission. 

Two types of projects will be supported: 

Industrial Research 

Original investigation undertaken in order to acquire new knowledge directed primarily towards a specific practical aim or objective. This type of research may involve the creation of a project to take forward the results of a previous basic research investigation. 

Experimental Development

Systematic work, drawing on existing knowledge gained from research and practical experience that is directed to producing new materials, products and devices; or to installing new processes, systems and services; or to improving substantially those already produced or installed. The project could lead to a pre-production prototype of a technologically innovative product, service or industrial process, including small demonstrators, IP protection, trials and testing (including clinical), market testing, marketing strategies, identifying routes to market, product design work and ‘Phase 0’ pre-clinical studies for medicines, including target identification and validation.

Projects must be completed by April 2015.

The following costs are all eligible: 

Reasonable overheads 

Reasonable overheads are eligible for support, but you will need to explain unusually high costs. You should include an explanation of your calculation of overheads.   

Materials Used

Materials used are those you have bought from other organisations, not including VAT costs. If waste or scrap material has value beyond the course of the project, you must deduct the residual value from the cost. 

External costs

External costs such as consultancy, or sub-contract charges and fees for trials and testing, are eligible. However, you must explain why the work on the project cannot be carried out more effectively and cheaply in house.

Intellectual property

Intellectual property costs may, for example, include the costs of patenting your own technology or registering your own design and buying in the right to use the intellectual property of others. These will be capped at 5% project costs. 

Market assessment

This kind of activity includes work during the lifetime of the project to identify possible future markets for the end product or process. The activity should prepare the way for the development and exploitation phases of a specific project. Market research and market survey costs are not eligible. 

Capital equipment and tooling costs

Capital equipment and tooling costs are only eligible if they are needed for the project. The residual value at the end of the project should be shown in the table of costs and the final total reduced appropriately. By ‘residual value’ we mean the value of an asset beyond the length of the assisted project (for example, if a machine is purchased for £3,000 and has a likely life of three years, the residual value of the machine at the end of a 12-month assisted project might be £2,000).

Training

Training costs are eligible if they are necessary for the project work. 

The University of West England have been particularly successful at supporting innovation through their world-leading research and academic expertise. This new programme builds on their experience in supplying skilled graduates in the region and helping businesses find the skills they need and is further evidence of their commitment to promote economic growth as par of their 2020 strategy. 

Please note that Onclaude is currently researching the area as one of the ideal contexts where to develop our Women in Action Sports Project so please get in touch if you're an enterprise based in the South West of England which offers products/services in the outdoor industry and you are seeking new ways to innovate your process and your offerings.

This grant might be an opportunity to work together on an interesting challenge! Females are currently the fastest growing demographic in action Sports.

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