Posts By / jcodling

£500,000 funding – Better interactions between people and machines

Investment up to £500,000 in feasibility studies in the area of user experience (UX). The aim is to encourage new and improved ways for machines, their computing systems and people to interact.

Innovate UK is to invest up to £500,000 in feasibility studies in the area of user experience (UX). The aim is to encourage new and improved ways for machines, their computing systems and people to interact. Proposals may address technologies that contribute to these new approaches, such as sensing information about the user, or they may address technologies that help with specific types of experience, such as mobile or wearable devices. Projects must be collaborative and business-led. The competition is open only to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, with the option to collaborate with one additional SME or research organisation/academic partner. 

Small businesses could receive up to 70% of their eligible project costs and medium-sized businesses up to 60%. 

Projects are expected to last between 3 and 12 months and to have total project costs of up to £50,000. 

The feasibility studies are part of a £1.5m Innovate UK programme to stimulate innovations in user experience (UX). This competition runs in parallel with a £1m Knowledge Transfer Partnership competition. For details, visit the competition page.

 This competition opens on 16 February 2015 and the deadline for registration is noon on 25 March 2015. The deadline for applications is noon on 1 April 2015. A briefing day (with webinar option) for potential applicants will be held in London on 18 February 2015.

SW businesses can benefit from £5k of funding from Creative England

Creative England is offering creative digital businesses in the South West the chance to apply for a third round of Business Strategy and Innovation Vouchers.

The scheme provides companies with £1,000 – £5,000 to subsidise much of the cost of procuring expert third party services in order to aid growth.

Funded by the Creative Industries iNet programme through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Regional Growth Fund (RGF), the initiative focuses strongly on digital innovation and business strategy.

The Creative England Innovation Programme helps creative companies build and sell innovative products and services more successfully. This work is delivered through structured projects – which include seed investment, mentoring, marketing, and business support, planning and strategy. These projects help companies jump over business barriers to grow more quickly and profitably.

In order to apply to this round, businesses must be based in Bristol, Bath, Dorset, Devon, Wiltshire, Somerset or Gloucestershire, and be able to provide a total equalling 30% of the requested amount in match funding.

The voucher scheme is part of a wider £314k programme of support through the Creative England Innovation Programme.

Applications for the Voucher Scheme close on February 27th, 2015. For more information please read the guidelines below. Companies can apply directly here.

 

Searching for innovative salt replacement and shelf life extension technologies

Strategic Allies are looking  for new solutions for food products in two specific areas:

 Salt substitution using a non-sodium ingredient.

Full (100%) salt substitution using a new innovative ingredient or process in order to achieve the same flavour and sensorial properties, without sodium (e.g. MSG would not be of interest).

Shelf life extension – improvement and maintenance of the “freshly roasted” texture and flavour.

Any process or technology innovation that maintains the texture and flavour experienced after cooking, for a period of 12 months. ​

The  client is a European manufacturer of snacks and bite-sized foods who is interested in new technologies and solutions to improve the nutritional profile and presentation of their products. The majority of the company’s products are based on roasted, fried and baked snacks.

 You can find further information regarding this search here.

 

 

North Wales Brain Injury Service – Independence in cooking tasks

This competition aims to promote independence in cooking tasks , to identify and develop innovative solutions that maximise the benefits for brain injury service users’ and benefits for public services.

On Thursday 26th February 2015 the competition will launch to seek and develop innovative solutions that will promote independence in cooking activities for North Wales Brain Injury Service users rather than current practice which involves direct one to one prompting from therapists and support workers. 

Organisations will be invited to compete for a share of a total £160,000 fund for the further development and commercialisation of innovative technologies, processes and business models.

The competition will open on 26th February 2015 and close on 20 April 2015. There will  be a formal launch event on Monday 23rd March 2015 in Wrexham.   

Once the competition is open, interested parties will be able to get further information, register their interest and book a place at the briefing event on 23rd March 2015 via the following email address;  

SBRI.NWBIS@wales.nhs.uk

 For further details click here.

£1 million available to help UK manufacturing firms develop skills to maximise value of innovation

 

The UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) has launched a new competition challenging manufacturing firms to maximise the value of innovation.

Manufacturing firms have been invited to bid for a share of £1 million to boost UK innovation. The UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES), launching the ‘Skills for Innovation in Manufacturing’ competition , challenges firms to come up with new ways of developing the skills and business practices needed to maximise the value of innovation to the UK economy.

In recent years, the UK has risen up the Global Innovation Index, moving from 14th in 2010 to second place in 2014. However, a government assessment of the UK’s science and innovation system, undertaken for the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) in 2014, identified planning, recruiting, training, retention, progression and performance management as weak parts of the system, with worrying deficiencies in basic skills, STEM skills and management. Businesses’ skills, workplace practices, and management are critical to ensuring the value of innovation is maximised.

Paul McKelvie OBE, a Commissioner at the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES), which is running the competition, commented:

“It is fantastic that the UK is ranked as a front-runner in terms of innovation, second only globally to Switzerland. However, we need to do more to capitalise on this if we want to reap the economic reward and remain competitive. To do this effectively, we need to explore the ‘human factor’ in innovation. This means understanding how to better manage innovations; both in the way processes work and how any innovation is taken to market. It is the development of these skills that we want businesses to focus on when responding to our invitation.

“This competition is a great opportunity for businesses in the manufacturing sector to come together and come up with ideas and solutions that they want to trial and develop to better maximise the value of innovation. By running this competition, I hope that a range of insights will be drawn from the projects we support to improve future business practice and public policy.”

The UK Futures Programme competition invites employer-led proposals from businesses of all sizes in the manufacturing sector to run initiatives lasting 12 months, that focus specifically on the skills required to manage an innovation process and exploit innovative products or services for commercial value. Proposals must be joint investments with employers investing in cash, in kind or both alongside a maximum government contribution of £150,000 per project.

The competition closes at midday on Wednesday 11 March 2015. For more information or to apply visit the competition page.

Partners sought to help increase the utility of a novel microinfusion pump for programmable infusion of support in vivo drug discovery

 

Through CRACK IT Solutions, Primetech is seeking partners interested in applying their novel microinfusion pump system (iPRECIO® SMP-200) to research and drug discovery programs to improve the accuracy of their drug delivery approaches and the clinical relevance of the results achieved. For more information or to contact Primetech, visit the website.

£5,000 of business funding available – Innovation Vouchers

Are you working with business?

Innovation Vouchers are open to all kinds of small businesses.    Businesses  can claim up to £5,000 towards the cost of expert advice if they classify as a start-up, micro or  SME . The funding encourages SMEs and start-ups to seek out fresh knowledge that can help their business to grow and develop. This could include advice on an innovative idea, learning more about using design within the  business or how to make the most of intellectual property.

Business challenge

Innovation Vouchers  have in the past been available only in specific technology areas. Now a business can apply if  they  just meet these simple tests:

• you need specialist help to meet a business challenge

• it’s the first time you have worked with the university (a great first rung on the ladder before a KTP  perhaps?)

You can apply at any time with around 100 vouchers being awarded every 3 months – for 2015 this is April and July. 

For more information, visit the website  Innovation Vouchers .

Innovation Vouchers are funded by Innovate UK. A short guide to  to help make clear what an assessor for Innovate UK competitions is looking for has been produced. All of the Innovate UK funding programmes follow a similar pattern and you should bear in mind that the questions are designed to help rather than trip you up. It is important that you answer the questions asked and cover all aspects the Guidance for Applicants describes.

 

 

 

 

Start-up and innovation opportunities in next generation mobile

The next generation of mobile communications technology, 5G, will be a flexible infrastructure capable of handling our ever increasing demand for mobile data and providing connectivity for a wide range of future technologies, from the Internet of Things to digital healthcare, and from advanced gaming to driverless cars. 5G’s short and fast network response times will unleash a new wave of exciting and disruptive applications and with experts predicting deployment from as early as 2020, this evening’s speakers will consider the opportunities for smart start-ups and innovators and share their thoughts on how entrepreneurs can seize this opportunity to create new, world-class businesses.

Register to attend the event of February 5 2015.

Confirmed Speakers:

  • Chair: Keith Robson, COO, 5G Innovation Centre
  • Professor Stephen Temple, Technical Secretary to the Technical Advisory Board, 5G Innovation Centre
  • Dr Mike Short CBE FREng FIET, Vice President, Telefonica Europe and Director, Enterprise M3
  • Gerry Foster, 5G Systems architect & Innovation Gateway Senior Technical Project Manager

Speaker biographies.

Find out more

£9m funding open for registration – Integrated transport: local authority solutions

Innovate UK has launched a funding competition for collaborative research & development with up to nine million pounds funding available.

The aim of this competition is to meet user needs by connecting people and/or goods to transport products and services. 

More information & competition registration page.

Briefing Event, 20 January, London

You can attend the competition briefing event,  either online or in person. This event is an excellent opportunity for you to receive first hand information about the competition – its scope, application process, key dates etc. as well as a chance to network. Register for the briefing event or webinar.

 For queries about this competition, please contactsupport@innovateuk.gov.uk

Top tips for completing business and knowledge exchange funding applications

For those involved in business and business planning some of  this information would not necessarily be new, however very important when completing any funding application or competition where Innovate UK are the main funder.  Innovate UK is the new name for the Technology Strategy Board and  fund, support and connect innovative businesses to accelerate sustainable economic growth.

A short guide to  to help make clear what an assessor for Innovate UK competitions is looking for has been produced. All of the Innovate UK funding programmes follow a similar pattern and you should bear in mind that the questions are designed to help rather than trip you up. It is important that you answer the questions asked and cover all aspects the Guidance for Applicants describes.
 
Try and  use the language they are looking for: the easier you make it for the assessor to understand and check off the information they seek, the more likely the proposal will score highly. The guidance is noted under 10 headings as follows :
  1. Business opportunity
  2. The market
  3. Exploitation
  4. Benefits,
  5. Project plan
  6. Innovation
  7. Risks
  8. Skills/ Project Consortium
  9. Finances
  10. Additionality

This is a user friendly document and worth reading to assist with  applications for funding large or small!

The Wessex Forum Event to be held at BU – – discussing ‘Biodiversity, Ecosystem Services & the Green Economy’ in the Wessex region

Date: Wednesday 11 February

Location: Bournemouth University – Executive Business Centre

Time: Starting at 9.30am (all day event)

Event details:

The Wessex Conservation Forum aims to bring together representatives from NGOs, Universities and Government bodies for a free one day conference discussing ‘Biodiversity, Ecosystem Services & the Green Economy’ in the Wessex region. The services which nature provides us with, such as clean water, clean air, fertile soil and food, are not only crucial for the well-being of human-kind, they also represent an astronomical value. It has been estimated by economists that the loss of biodiversity was costing the EU €450 billion annually, equal to 3% of GDP. Hence, halting the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services is now a UK and EU priority for 2020.

Confirmed speakers include representatives from organisations such as: the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, the Freshwater Biological Association, Bournemouth University, University of Southampton, the Dorset Local Nature Partnership, Wessex Water and the Bournemouth & Poole Sustainable Food City Partnership. The conference will be centred around a series of talks in order to showcase research output, identify areas for further research and promote collaboration in order to fulfil these needs.

A complimentary lunch and refreshments will be provided on the day, and there will be plenty of opportunities to make and renew contacts throughout the day.

To book: This event is popular and places are limited.  Click here to register for your free place.

More information: We hope to see you at this event but if you are unable to attend and  want to find out more about the work that BU is involved in why not sign up to receive more information. The Wessex Portal (formerly the Poole & Purbeck Portal  has been developed with the assistance of  funding from the Higher Edication Innovation Fund – HEIF)  as an  online community to promote a better understanding of our region’s unique natural and heritage assets.

Click here to  sign up to receive more information on jobs,  general news and projects taking place as part of this initiative.

£9.5m funding – Integrated supply chains for Energy systems

 

Innovate UK has launched a funding competition with up to £9.5m available to address the need for a diverse mix of energy sources and systems.

The aim of this competition is to encourage cross-sector supply chains that can deliver integrated energy solutions to meet the many energy systems challenges of achieving a low-carbon economy by 2050.Projects should focus on both the demand and supply side across the energy networks of electricity, heat and combustible gases. 

 This is a two-stage competition with a first stage of feasibility studies. Up to three projects will then be chosen for follow-on collaborative research and development (R&D) following a collaboration workshop on conclusion of the feasibility stage. At each stage, projects must be led by a business. 
 

Design Council Spark: a new kind of product innovation fund – up to £65K available

 

 

 

 

Have a great product prototype but not sure what to do next?

Design Council Spark is a new kind of product innovation fund to uncover the UK’s next great inventions. Apply now for a chance to win a place on this 20 week bespoke support program, as well as up to £65k investment to help bring your physical product prototype or idea to market.

Design Council Spark is a fund and accelerator that provides support and investment into product innovations which are primarily physical. It is looking to attract individuals/teams with revolutionary product ideas that offer brilliant solutions to everyday problems. 

The not-for profit programme is unique. Participants donate 5% of future sales revenue back into the fund, fuelling a movement of revolutionary products for the UK and beyond. The call for entries will last until  31 January 2015. 

Click the link for further details.

Autumn Statement: funding announced to help businesses create the next generation of products

New funding announced in the Autumn Statement will help businesses create the next generation of products in innovative areas from robotic tools and printable electronics to carbon fibre composites.

  • £61 million will be invested across the High Value Manufacturing Catapult centres whose cutting-edge equipment and expertise is helping around 2,250 manufacturers create innovative technologies and products
  • a £28 million investment will create a new world-class research and development centre – the National Formulation Centre – specialising in the development of formulated products such as medicines and chemicals

For the full news story click here. 

 

£210K available for Wearable Technologies Innovation

 

 

 

 

The IC tomorrow Wearable Technologies Innovation contest will offer six businesses up to £35k each, to encourage innovation in wearable technology across the themes of hospitality, accessibility, entertainment, design, sport and wellbeing, health and safety. Winners will benefit from the contest funding as well as the opportunity collaborate with the one of the contest challenge partners, which include Disney, Amey and Network Rail, Atos, Queen Mary University London, Loughborough University and McLaren, and glh Hotels.

Click below to   register your place:

London: 28 January 2015

Manchester: 29 January 2015