The Technology Strategy Board is investing up to £2m in innovative R&D projects, with a focus on the materials and manufacturing cluster of businesses in the North West, centred around the Sci-Tech Daresbury Science and Innovation Campus and the Runcorn Heath Business & Technical Park.
The competition aims to stimulate this hotspot of materials and manufacturing industries by enabling companies to go further and/or faster towards commercial success. We want to draw investment and people into the area, and to encourage networking to strengthen the cluster.
We are therefore looking for projects that companies could not fund without broader support, or that may take them into new areas, and where the majority of the project activities will take place within the North West cluster.
We are offering to fund up to 60% of eligible project costs in industrial research projects, up to a maximum of £100k. We expect to fund projects that will last 12-24 months, and that are led by micro, small and medium-sized businesses in the early stages of their development. Projects can be carried out by individual companies or in collaboration with SME partners.
An integral part of Launchpad is the offer of support to help applicants raise additional new external finance. In this competition, successful applicants will participate in a programme of business support and growth activities, including receiving support to access external finance to fund a proportion of the project costs or commercialisation of the outcomes of the project.
The competition is being run in two stages:
1. Video proposal – where applicants describe their idea in a two-minute video
2. Written proposal – for shortlisted applicants, based on their video proposal.
The competition opens for uploading video proposals on 4 March 2013.
The deadline for video submission is noon on 17 April 2013.