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Royal Academy of Engineering – SME Leaders Programme

Royal Academy Engineering

 

Are you working with engineering companies that would be interested in this funding opportunity?

Why not send them this information in order that they can consider making an application ?

The Royal Academy of Engineering, sponsored through the Enterprise Hub, invites applications for its small- and medium-sized enterprises leaders programme. This supports promising leaders of high growth engineering SMEs. Recipients receive a grant of between £10,000 to £15,000 towards the cost of training courses and executive education for themselves.

This scheme is open for applications  by SMEs until 4pm on 24 November 2016. For further details on the scheme click on this link.

 

 

 

Innovation awards

Innovate 2011v4

SME innovation awards (2016) – small business were honoured on Tuesday evening at  an awards ceremony at the Houses of Parliament.

The awards recognise the many innovative successful projects that Innovate UK has co-funded. They celebrate the projects and companies that show the impact of innovation on business growth and the economy.

There were 5 categories – 4 specific and 1 overall award for inspirational innovation. Could we consider research and collaboration at BU for such an award? KTP’s also form part of this funding and contributed to Mech Tool Engineering Ltd, Gaist Solutions Limited and University of York and Phasefocus being shortlised.

Read the blog post in full including the winners and organisations shortlisted and how their areas of innovation became award winning.

Live funding competitions.

How to apply for funding.

Case studies.

Innovate UK launches £15m manufacturing call

InnovateUK_LogoA_Interim_RGBx320govuk[1]
Innovate UK has opened a £15-million competition to support the development of novel technologies or production processes across the manufacturing industry.

Projects need to focus on identified technical or commercial challenges. Innovate UK will fund projects that aim to lead to increased UK SME productivity, competitiveness and growth.

Projects need to be led by a business and must involve at least one SME. They can be carried out by an SME working alone or in collaboration with other organisations. Projects with costs of £100,000 or more must involve working with other partners

Innovate UK are looking for projects which focus on any of the technical feasibility, industrial research or experimental development research categories.

Projects should last between 6 months and 3 years. They should range from total costs of £50,000 to £2 million.

Competition brief in full.

Competition guidance.

If you are interested in submitting to any of the above calls you must contact your  RKEO Funding Development Officer with adequate notice before the deadline.

For more funding opportunities that are most relevant to you, you can set up your own personalised alerts on Research Professional. If you need help setting these up, just ask your School’s/Faculty’s Funding Development Officer in  RKEO or view the recent blog post here.

If thinking of applying, why not add notification of your interest on Research Professional’s record of the bid so that BU colleagues can see your intention to bid and contact you to collaborate.

Funding available to support R&D – science, engineering and technology

Technology in the hands
SMART is a grant scheme which offers funding to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to engage in R&D projects in the strategically important areas of science, engineering and technology, from which successful new products, processes and services could emerge.
The scheme supports SMEs carrying out R&D which offers potentially significant rewards and that could stimulate UK economic growth.
Three types of grant are available:
  • Proof of market
  • Proof of concept
  • Development of prototype.
Any UK SME undertaking research and development may apply; applications are accepted on a rolling basis for assessment by independent experts.

£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.

 

 

 

 

European Funding Opportunities for SMEs – Webinar 12/1/15

Join the Knowledge Transfer Network for a lunchtime webinar on 12th January 2015 to hear more about European funding opportunities and initiatives available to UK registered SME’s.

Although, universities cannot always bid directly to all calls (some must be submitted by the company), knowing what is available may enhance your conversations with business contacts.

Find out more about the Horizon 2020 SME instrument from the UK National Contact Point, Jane Watkins, who will also introduce the new ‘Fast Track to Innovation’ instrument to be launched in January 2015.

SME Instrument

  • A new-dedicated SME scheme to fill gaps in funding for early stage, high-risk research and development. It targets all types of SMEs and provides support across all areas of innovation, science and technology

Fast Track to Innovation Instrument

  • Fast Track to Innovation instrument aiming to speed up the time from idea to market and to increase the participation of industry, SMEs and first time applicants. It will support small consortia of three to five organisations with strong business participation to give promising ideas the last push before entering the market. It is open to ideas in any area of technology or application and to any legal entity established in the EU or in a country associated to Horizon 2020

In addition, Graham Mobbs (European Operations Manager – Innovate UK) will discuss the Eurostars Initiative.

Eurostars

  • The Eurostars programme is targeted at innovative SMEs wanting to take part in collaborative research with partners across Europe and associated countries. The SME takes the lead in a transnational consortium, with the aim to develop innovative products, processes and services, ultimately to gain a competitive advantage.

If you can’t wait until January please take a look at the dedicated UK SME Horizon 2020 and European Initiatives webpage: www.h2020uk.org/smes

The webinar will be on the 12th January 2015 at 12 noon. To book your place please register via the eventbrite link below:

http://ktnsmeeuropeanfunding.eventbrite.com

marc.burke@ktn-uk.org

07515334818

Innovate UK widens the appeal of £5,000 vouchers

Are you working with business?

Innovation Vouchers are open to all kinds of small businesses from 10 November 2014.  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.

The first round of applications for Innovation Vouchers under the new rules opens on 10 November.

Business challenge

Innovation Vouchers had been available only to those working 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?)

For more information, visit Innovation Vouchers .

 

New SBRI Competition Inclusive Technology Prize

Are you working with start-ups, micro and or SMEs? Please encourage them to consider if they have any concepts or technology that could be applied to this challenge.

Designers, makers and entrepreneurs are being challenged to apply for the chance to gain a contract worth £50k and to develop the next generation of products, services and technologies that will make a real difference to the 1 in 6 of us living with limiting long term illness or disability in the UK.

The UK’s innovation foundation, Nesta, is working with the Office for Disability Issues, Innovate UK, Business Innovation and Skills and Irwin Mitchell to champion the issue of assistive technology through the Inclusive Technology Prize. The challenge will encourage innovation through co-creation with disabled people, meeting needs as defined by the users themselves and challenging people to use lived experiences of disability to develop life changing technology. 

 The competition is using the SBRI competition process, (Small Business Research Initiative) which offers opportunities for businesses, especially early-stage and SMEs to develop and demonstrate technology to public sector funded challenges.

 Interested organisations and individuals should visit www.inclusivetechprize.org to apply. The deadline for applications is 16 January 2015

 

£1million in digital healthcare innovation available from Creative England

This fund is designed to stimulate creative and digital innovation in This UK healthcare.
Are you working with or know of  small creative and digital businesses (SMEs) with innovative concepts or prototypes using digital technology to improve patient care and health services?
These maybe in areas such as dementia, social care, and cardiovascular and medication management.
The South West is one of the first three regions to benefit from this funding opportunity.
Key information:
  • 5 x £50,000 investments will be made.
  • Companies must be based in the North, Midlands or South West.
  • Examples of projects could be improving quality of care; caring for people with dementia; supporting people with long-term conditions; and data visualisation.
  • Mobile apps, development of a new game for tablet or mobile are also eligible.

Applications will be assessed on a rolling basis and the fund will close on 31 October 2014.

More information can be found here.

Alternatively please feel free to contact

Jayne Codling – Knowledge Exchange Adviser

Ext 61215 jcodling@bournemouth.ac.uk


Royal Academy of Engineering’s Pathways to Growth SME training scheme

Pathways to Growth is a scheme operated by the Royal Academy of Engineering to encourage and support capacity building for engineering and technology SMEs in the UK.  This year, they are intending to offer funding to around 20 SMEs, depending on the grant amount requested (which can be  one of £10,000, £15,000 or £20,000).

Ideally looking for SMEs in engineering and technology with a high growth potential.  The training doesn’t have to be focused on engineering, it can be on whatever best suits the needs of the company to support its growth .  In addition, a number of the successful applicants will also be offered membership of the Enterprise Hub and mentoring from a relevant Fellow to further support their growth potential.

If you are working with a, or have worked with a company that best fit the following criteria they could be considered for this scheme.

 

  • Engineering and technology SMEs, and
  • Have high growth potential if they had some additional training/mentoring support, and
  • Where they would not be able to fund this level of training themselves

 

The scheme is in its first year of operation, which means there may be limited awareness out there this year, so applicants could stand a good chance of success! The closing date for applications is 4 p.m. on 23rd September.

In the first instance please contact Jayne Codling in R&KEO  – email jcodling@bournemouth.ac.uk or phone ext 61215 to register your interest and to receive more information.

 

 

 

Innovation Vouchers – BU joins Universities South West scheme

BU has joined with other institutes in the South West to offer businesses help. Innovation Vouchers are supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) South West Competitiveness Programme 2007 to 2013.  

 

In a nut-shell, an Innovation Voucher provides funding for a business to work with an external expert from a University, College or Public Sector Research Establishment for the first time, gaining new knowledge to help their business innovate, develop and grow.

 

Are you in early conversations with a company with whom you have not worked before? Is the company a start-up, micro, small and medium-sized business (as defined by the EC*) located anywhere in the South West England Competitiveness Area (not Cornwall) with an an innovative idea? Do they trade in an ERDF-eligible sector (i.e. not agri-food, textiles or retail)? Would they benefit from up to 40% support for projects with a total value ranging from £3,000 to £10,000 for the business to buy in external expertise to develop ideas and improve performance? Do they need help during the application period – 1 October 2012 to early in 2015?

If so, Innovation Vouchers may be the way to introduce them to what BU has to offer? More information is available on the USW website.

Within BU, please contact your School’s BRO or Emily Cieciura (ecieciura@bournemouth.ac.uk)

____________________________________________________________________

 N.B. The Innovation Voucher  project is part financed by the Competitiveness European Regional Development Fund Programme 2007 to 2013. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the managing authority for the European Regional Development Fund Programme, which is one of the funds established by the European Commission to help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support local businesses and create jobs. For more information visit www.communities.gov.uk/erdf.

New voucher scheme to stimulate SME innovation

Small UK businesses, from the 24th September 2012 will be able to obtain Government funding to help them develop and grow with the launch of the Innovation Voucher scheme to be managed by the UK’s innovation agency, the Technology Strategy Board (www.innovateuk.org).  The scheme will enable start-up, micro, small and medium-sized businesses to access up to £5,000 worth of advice and expertise from universities, research organisations or other private sector knowledge suppliers.

What are Innovation Vouchers?

Innovation Vouchers are designed to encourage businesses to look outside their current network for new knowledge that can help them to grow and develop. Start-ups, small and medium-sized businesses from across the UK can apply for an Innovation Voucher. A grant of up to £5,000 is available to businesses to work with a supplier for the first time and is used to pay for knowledge or technology transfer from that supplier. The voucher has three key criteria:

  • The idea that you want help with should be a challenge for the business which requires specialist help
  • It should be the first time that the firm has worked with the knowledge supplier
  • The idea should be applicable to one of the three priority sectors – agrifood, built environment or space

Benefits to business

An Innovation Voucher should stimulate a company to explore bringing new knowledge into the business, enhancing its ability to develop innovative products, processes and services and explore new markets.

Examples identified include:

  • Ideas for new or improved products, processes and services;
  • Using design to improve ideas;
  • Managing intellectual property

Innovation Voucher schemes are an ideal way of bringing the University and SMEs together to support activity that can evidence positive impact, provide case material for curricula, and in some circumstances research opportunities. The voucher could also be the forerunner to future bids to the Technology Strategy Board or European competition or grant leading to further shared resource.  The Technology Strategy Board will monitor the scheme’s progress and have indicated that they will consider extending it to other sectors in future.

ICT SMEs in Horizon 2020

As many of you will know from my previous blogposts, I am always emphasising the importance of enagaging SMEs for Horizon 2020. Last week the EC has funded a survey aimed at increasing the participation of innovative companies from the information and communications technologies (ICT) in future research programmes. The survey aims to identify and characterise highly innovative ICT companies that do not participate in Framework projects, and assess their reasons for non-involvement. This is expected to feed into recommendations to improve the participation of SMEs in Horizon 2020, in a final report due in February 2013.

This is further evidence that enagaging SMEs in your Horizon 2020 proposals will be essential, so start networking now 🙂

 

ISBE and ESRC announce call for Research and Knowledge Exchange Fund

Exploring knowledge exchange and transfer processes and possibilities for SME internationalisation

The Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (ISBE) Research and Knowledge Exchange (RAKE) fund is an initiative supported by Barclays Bank and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) administered through ISBE.  This initiative aims to encourage and support research activities from academics, third sector organisations, consultants and practitioners with the ambition of drawing together and generating an entrepreneurial community of practice to facilitate knowledge exchange and transfer.

Applications are invited from individuals or teams. Collaborative bids which draw together any combination of third sector organisations, academic researchers, consultants and practitioners are welcome. The Principal Investigator must be employed within a UK institution but may be partnered with an international team. Research teams which demonstrate capacity building through collaborations between experienced and early career academics would be favourably considered; applications which demonstrate ‘in-kind’ contributions from partner organisations are welcomed as are those jointly funded from other sources.  Applications presented as pilot studies, with the aim of generating future funding from other sources, are encouraged. As such, we wish to promote engagement with all who have an interest or stake in generating further insight and understanding into contemporary entrepreneurial activities, behaviours and practices.  For the 2012 call for applications, a number of critical themes have been identified which are of contemporary interest and offer potential to develop knowledge exchange and transfer links.

Exploring processes and possibilities of SME internationalisation

There is a growing focus and interest upon the process of small firm internationalisation which includes ‘born globals’ and those firms tentatively seeking export opportunities.  Axiomatically, smaller firms face a range of challenges related to resource accrual and management when entering international markets. However, a recent survey by UKTI found that the proportion of small UK firms exporting has increased by 10 percent since 2004. In addition, UKTI are actively supporting SME internationalisation on the basis that exporting firms are more productive and innovative, have greater resilient during economic down turns and exhibit lower failure rates than those firms focussed upon local markets.  It would appear that internationalisation is an attractive option for SMEs in terms of potential returns but developing appropriate contacts, networks, resources, managerial capabilities and strategic partnerships is challenging.  Accordingly, we invite proposals which investigate and analyse any aspect of the SME internationalisation process and specifically, any knowledge exchange and transfer issues.  A potential but not exhaustive list of suggestions would include:

• Strategies to overcome barriers to the internationalization process for UK SMEs
• Developing capacity and dynamic capabilities through national and international partnerships between SMEs but also between SMEs and corporate firms
• Evaluations of policy support structures to encourage internationalization – exploring the opportunities of working with Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPS), Chambers of Commerce and specific industry support groups
• Regional SME support for developing internalization strategies focused on specific sectors and value added industries
• Enhancing networks and information exchange possibilities between potential export firms and international partners
• Gaining knowledge of and tapping into potential new markets in developing economies
• Using networks and contacts to facilitate the export process

Attention is drawn to the current Business Engagement Strategy of the ESRC which embraces three broad priorities any of which can be mapped onto and integrated with the themes outlined above:

•    Economic Performance and Sustainable Growth
•    Influencing Behaviour and Informing Interventions
•    A Vibrant and Fair Society

Clearly, the contribution of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial activity can be mapped onto these priorities.  Thus, applications which indicate their relevance to these issues would be welcomed.  Despite any distinctive focus, it is emphasised that all proposals must clearly demonstrate and describe relevance to the notion of knowledge transfer and exchange related to the context of the bid.

For this round of funding, they envisage awarding a number of separate grants of around £10,000 – £12,000 each.  These will not support full economic costing given ISBE’s position as a registered charity. Applications for smaller, seed corn funds would not be discounted however, bids of over £12,000 will not be considered.

Successful grant holders will be required to fulfil the following conditions:
• To be in membership of ISBE for the duration of the award
• To present their work at the annual ISBE conference
• To make findings available to the ESRC’s business channel on ESRC Society Today (EST)
• To produce a satisfactory end of award report within three months of the completion of the research
• To recognise the ISBE RAKE fund in any presentations or publications arising from an award
• To report to the RAKE fund management board to discuss research progress

Further details on the aims and constitution of the ISBE RAKE fund can be found at: www.isbe.org.uk/rakefund

The closing date for applications is 5 p.m. Friday 15th June 2012 with notifications of awards given by mid September. It is suggested that the earliest starting date for research projects should be 1st October 2012.

Completed applications may be returned electronically to Chris Rolles at chris@isbe.org.uk To download an electronic application form please click here Please submit applications in MSWord format – not as a PDF file. This enables anonymisation of proposals.

Applicants may contact the following ISBE board members and staff for informal discussions regarding their bids and/or the aims of RAKE:

Professor Susan Marlow s.marlow@bham.ac.uk VP: Research ISBE: RAKE Fund Manager.
Professor Lynn Marting l.martin@mmu.ac.uk ISBE President
Dr Maura McAdam m.mcadam@qub.ac.uk Board Member
Professor Gerard McElwee gerard.mcelwee@ntu.ac.uk Board Member
Professor Dean Patton dpatton@bournemouth.ac.uk Treasurer: ISBE
Lorraine Reese lorraine@isbe .org.uk Business and Events Manager: ISBE

 The RKE Operations team can help you with your application.

SME involvement in Horizon 2020: new report from EC

The EC has published a report of two recent workshops on Innovation in Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) within Horizon 2020. The workshops were held to gather ideas and feedback on how Horizon 2020 could benefit and be accessible to the widest range of SMEs in their efforts to innovate and be competitive. The first workshop looked at which type of support SMEs need from the EU and the second on options for implementing an SME strategy which would facilitate their involvement Horizon 2020.  Key messages from the workshops are below:
  • Overwhelming support exists for SMEs as important players within Horizon 2020
  • All innovative SMEs should be able to benefit from support at EU level
  • Adequate SME involvement should be ensured  through dedicated actions corresponding to SME needs (including all forms of innovation and the entire innovation cycle from idea to market)
  • This innovation capacity of SMEs should be strengthened 
  • Strong support for a bottom-up approach of the SME specific measures exists
  • Support  exists for more demonstration and market replication activities and links to financial instruments which close the gap to the market
  • For SME’s, simple rules and administrative procedures (e.g. open calls) and a short time-to-grant corresponding to the short innovation cycles of smaller companies should be in place
  • It is important to ensure a clear delimitation and definition of EU action based on European added-value
  • Proliferation and overlaps of programmes should be avoided; but cooperation and pooling of resources needs to be continued and reinforced

More help needed for small businesses says European Investment Fund

New financial instruments must be introduced that are better tailored to the individual needs of smaller businesses in Europe—which are having serious problems in accessing capital for growth—according to both employers and fund managers. Several EU stakeholders including the EIF have called for a comprehensive set of measures to further support these smaller companies obtain finance.  The demand for funding under existing programmes such as the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP), which EIF manages on behalf of the European Commission, outstrips current budget availability.

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  • Carbon Foot printing and Carbon Management
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For more details about this SME, please click here.