Need to know…R&D finance

Businesses involved in leading-edge research and development projects have the opportunity to bid for a share of £80 million, as part of a Government initiative to boost the level of innovation in the UK.

The funding, part of the Department of Trade & Industry’s (DTI) Technology Programme, will be available for companies to carry out collaborative research and development in nine technology areas. These include design, simulation and modelling, micro- and nanotechnology, pervasive computing, waste management and minimisation, and smart materials.

‘This money will give a massive boost to companies developing exciting technology with long-term applications. The DTI is responding to what businesses need – backing the research and development that will bring commercial advantage to the UK,’ commented Graham Spittle, chair of the Technology Strategy Board.

Bringing products to market

Trade and Industry Secretary Patricia Hewitt added that the investment provides vital support to businesses to help take new ideas and technologies ‘out of the lab and into the market.

‘It’s not about picking winning companies – it’s about providing investment where there are clear gaps in the market. We want to kick-start research and development in these areas.’

The funding forms part of the DTI’s Technology Programme. A mix of business support and information, it will be delivered through open competitions in the spring and autumn of every year from 2005 to 2008.

£320 million up for grabs

A total of £320 million in grants is available in two support products: Collaborative Research & Development (CRN) and Knowledge Transfer Networks (KTN).

CRN will supply part funding to encourage businesses to jointly explore ideas at an early stage of development with the eventual aim of commercialising them.

KTN will give financial support to enterprises with the capacity to establish or enhance “networks”. These networks will gather information and contacts, which will be made available to the business community at large.

The closing date for applications for the first tranche of funding is 5 February 2005. To find out more, see www.dti.gov.uk.

Marc Barber

Marc Barber

Marc was editor of GrowthBusiness from 2006 to 2010. He specialised in writing about entrepreneurs, private equity and venture capital, mid-market M&A, small caps and high-growth businesses.

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