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Current funding opportunities for businesses from Innovate UK

Innovate UK has published a list of its current funding opportunities for businesses and researchers. Please check individual competition dates as they may have been extended.

Innovation loans: April 2021 open competition

Businesses can apply for loans for innovative projects with strong commercial potential to significantly improve the UK economy.

Innovate UK SMART grants May 2021

UK-registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £25 million for game-changing and commercially viable research and development innovation that can significantly impact the UK economy.

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ISCF smart sustainable plastic packaging: business-led research and development

UK-registered businesses can apply for a share of up to £7 million for research and development projects with the potential to significantly impact the 2025 UK Plastic Pact targets.

Creative Industries Fund: fast start business growth pilot

UK-registered micro and small businesses in the creative sector can apply for a package of support to grow their business. This package includes ongoing support from Innovate UK EDGE and funding of up to £25,000 for innovation projects.

Young Innovators Awards 2021/22 (Competition opens: Monday 14 June 2021)

Young people can apply for an award to make their business idea a reality, which includes a grant for £5,000, a living allowance, and tailored business support.

Biomedical catalyst 2021: early and late-stage awards

UK registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £18 million to develop innovative healthcare products, technologies and processes.

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Addressing limitations in manufacturing nucleic acid therapeutics

Apply for funding to set up a research consortium addressing challenges in the manufacture of nucleic acid therapeutics.

Innovation in time dissemination and application

UK registered organisations can apply for support for business-led innovation in resilient time, frequency and synchronisation.

Hydrogen transport hub: demonstration

UK registered businesses can apply for a share of £2.5 million. This is to demonstrate how green hydrogen can be used to power transport solutions for end users.

Expression of interest: Automotive Transformation Fund round 11

UK registered businesses can apply for a share of up to £1 billion for capital-centric investment projects. The project must help industrialise the electrified automotive supply chain at scale in the UK.

Driving the electric revolution: supply chains for net zero

UK registered businesses can apply for funding to research supply chain development for power electronics, electric machines and drives.

Knowledge transfer partnerships: 2021 to 2022, round two

UK registered academic institutions, research and technology organisations (RTOs) or Catapults can apply for a share of up to £6 million to fund innovation projects with businesses or not-for-profits.

SBRI funded competitions

SBRI supports a range of competitions with public sector organisations and departments. Find out more about SBRI: the Small Business Research Initiative.

Latest SBRI competitions:

SBRI: Fusion industry challenges

Organisations can apply for a share of £2 million, inclusive of VAT, to develop solutions that accelerate fusion power plant design and reduce their fuel requirements.

Source: Cambridge Network

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The Importance of Continued Innovation for Future Economic Growth

2020 delivered a year like no other. The economic devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic has been felt across all sectors, imposing challenges unseen in a generation. Additionally, the continued uncertainty of Brexit has left so many companies in an indeterminate state. Both events have had the potential to stunt any business growth, forcing a fire-fighting style of management.

And now in 2021, we find ourselves digesting the strategies emerging from December’s dramatic Brexit withdrawal and somehow navigating through a continued stop-start style of working as a result of COVID restrictions, still at a point where there is no clear roadmap to normality.

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Research and development: the key to success

The COVID pandemic has been a huge disruption, both personally and professionally. If we are to extract anything remotely positive, it has demonstrated the vital importance of science, development and innovation, areas in which the UK excel.

Research and development will be critical to economic and social recovery. It will provide opportunities for companies to improve and develop new processes and products that will enhance the way we work, allowing innovation to pave the route to success.

Companies who innovate are always going to be resilient in a crisis, more likely to expand into new markets during disruptions and more likely to be able to hold on to staff and grow in difficult trading conditions.

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Adrian Coles, Relationship Director at Natwest Cymru, specialises in helping companies grow and believes that R&D needs to be embedded into company culture:

‘Now more than ever, a modern trailblazing leadership mindset is crucial in setting a company’s forward thinking strategy, and implementing it. Our Future Fit: traiblazing in the fourth industrial revolution research tells us that whilst manufacturers recognise the importance of leadership, many find it difficult to dedicate the time as they are working ‘in’ the business. Leaders actions on innovation and R&D do not always measure up to their good intentions to innovate and prepare for the future – to be ‘Future Fit’.’

Chancellor’s Budget: appetite for innovation

The government has continued to vocalise their support for research and development, recognising its contribution to the growth of the UK economy.

Yesterday, the Chancellor delivered arguably one of the most highly anticipated budgets seen in a generation, with hope that it will boost the UK’s economic recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic. It provided clarification on just how big of an economic impact COVID-19 has had and demonstrated the Government’s appetite to deliver a strong fiscal response, indicating that innovation remains an important factor of future growth plans.

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This builds on the announcements made in the 2020 budget, when the Chancellor revealed a record increase in public investment in R&D, committing to reaching £22bn per year by 2024/25. This vision is supported by a variety of actions to help companies achieve their R&D activities, including:

  • Introducing a new R&D People and Culture Strategy in a bid to attract, retain and develop talented, diverse professionals UK wide.
  • Publication of a new subsidy aid regime which identifies innovative industries as a key area.
  • Reviewing the R&D tax credit relief to ensure that it encourages innovation.
  • Supporting entrepreneurs and start-ups by increasing the flow of capital into firms carrying out R&D, enabling them to scale up.

Source: Business News Wales

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£80,000 Awarded to Projects from the Welsh Creative Sectors

Clwstwr announces latest cohort of innovators to benefit from research and development (R&D) support.

Creative freelancers and micro-businesses are developing new ways of working thanks to an initiative led by Cardiff University.

Clwstwr, which works to drive innovation in the creative industries in South Wales, has awarded grants to eight projects in its latest funding round. The cohort will work to find improved techniques in areas including remote interviewing, the workflow of set design in high-end television, mimicking the look of shooting in film using digital tools and Welsh language news for young people.

Proposed innovations also have the potential to improve sustainability, tourism and inclusion.

The 2021 Clwstwr seed cohort was chosen following a two-day Ideas Lab, where attendees learned about the principles of research and development (R&D) for innovation. The group will now work closely with industry experts and academics to develop their ideas over a three-month period.

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Sara Pepper, Chief Operating Officer for Clwstwr, said:

“We have been really impressed by the progress of the projects that we funded from our first Ideas Lab in 2020 and are looking forward to seeing what this new cohort will develop and deliver.

“Our commitment to early-stage innovators is a key part of our work. COVID-19 has had a significant impact on freelancers and businesses working in the cultural industries. We hope that by providing development opportunities such as this one, we are helping to maintain a thriving and vibrant creative sector in South Wales which will grow further in the years to come.”

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Yeota Imam-Rashid, of Cardiff production company Little Bird Films, received funding for a project called Green Screen. Yeota said:

“Green Screen will explore how we can achieve as close to a zero-net carbon footprint as possible in media production, by looking at every aspect of the process.

“Little Bird Films is very excited to be part of something that could have far reaching effects for generations to come. It has huge potential to put Wales on the map as a leader in sustainable media production.”

Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas, said: “Clwstwr is providing a wide range of Welsh creative businesses with the opportunity to explore new products and services through their next funding round. I’m delighted that Creative Wales is providing the match funding to enable these businesses to get this much needed boost through the well regarded Clwstwr programme.”

Clwstwr, led by Cardiff University in partnership with the University of South Wales and Cardiff Metropolitan University, is a five-year research and development programme that aims to nurture a thriving media production hub around the Welsh capital.

Funded through the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy, with match funding from Creative Wales, Clwstwr brings together all major Welsh broadcasters including BBC Cymru Wales, S4C and ITV Wales with independent film and television production companies, Wales’s national companies and creative organisations, creative coworking spaces, tech start-ups, strategic agencies including Arts Council of Wales, local authorities including Cardiff Council and Welsh Government.

Since 2019, Clwstwr has awarded £2 million to 66 projects to develop their ideas for new products, services and experiences for screen and news.

By STEVE MCNALLY

Source: BusinessNewsWales

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E-Gistics wins government grant for online booking platform

Road and air freight distribution specialist E-Gistics Ltd has earned a £131,000 government tax credit for research and development into a new online booking platform for smaller logistics companies.

The new E-Gistics digital platform seamlessly networks smaller, independent distribution companies together to lower their costs and improve efficiencies for themselves and customers. Hauliers, pallet members and forwarders can now digitise the way deliveries are carried out, working together to fix a price for end-to-end deliveries instead of doing so by email or phone.

This effort qualified for the UK Government’s R&D tax credit scheme, that either pays a lump sum or reduces an annual corporation tax bill.

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Fraser Harper, CEO of E-Gistics Ltd, said: “The freight forwarding sector has a digitisation requirement but some companies have been unsure how to go about it.

“In the end, it was probably inevitable that a third party software specialist would bring them all together and that’s what we’ve done.

“Digital freight is destined to become more like other areas of the transport sector where automation and digitisation have turned things on their head. Uber in the personal transport space is a prime example.

“We knew we were investing heavily in technology and tax incentives like these make it so much easier to continue to do that. The Government was clever to introduce this scheme. It encourages businesses to invest in technology and if companies don’t embrace digital, they don’t have a great future ahead of them.”

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Richard Armstrong commented:“Fraser and the team are a great example of a SME that is using the R&D tax credit regime to support the future growth of their business.

“Technology is at the heart of what they do and their innovations promise to revolutionise the way the parcel delivery sector functions, not just in the UK but across Europe.

“It’s important to remember that R&D tax credits still apply to projects that don’t succeed. There really is no good reason not to innovate with such valuable incentives on the table.”

Source: Apex Insight

To find out more about how we can assist you with your R&D Tax Reclaims please click here