£125m cash boost for game-changing UK innovators
Businesses in the UK are poised to receive part of a £125m cash injection to bring their ideas products to market.
£100m will be available as part of the government’s ‘Smart’ grant programme, helping businesses take initial ideas from concept stage to full commercialisation.
A further £25m is available through Innovate UK for late-stage research and development projects.
The new funding is being made available in an effort to keep the UK at the forefront of new technologies, said UK Research and Innovation, a key aim of the government’s modern Industrial Strategy.
Ideas can be submitted from businesses, for independent expert assessment, with the aim of securing investment to propel them to international success and bringing the UK economy with it.
Previous success stories include machine learning company Magic Pony Technology.
Its tech, which uses machine learning to increase imagery, was sold to Twitter for $150m.
3D printing company Photocentric has also received government financial support, and expects to sell over £8m of its photopolymers and liquids products by 2020.
Business Secretary Greg Clark said he was proud of the UK’s reputation for entrepreneurship, which see a new businesses started every 80 seconds in 2018.
“Through our modern Industrial Strategy we are backing our homegrown businesses to boost productivity and create jobs, growth and opportunity in every part of the UK,” he said.
Those that win the latest competition will also receive one-to-one mentoring from successful businesses, as well as access to peer improvement networks.
Describing Innovate UK’s support for Magic Pony Technology, Rob Bishop, now Director of Product Infrastructure at Twitter, said:
“We were fortunate to gain a development of prototype grant from Innovate UK’s Smart grant scheme in 2015, which provided us with essential funding to help turn our research ideas into a functioning product – ultimately leading to Magic Pony Technology being acquired by Twitter in 2016.”
There will be a rolling schedule of competitions throughout the year, with the latest round now open for applications until 24 July.