Press release

Record £440 million funding for innovative companies

The Technology Strategy Board has a record £440 million budget this year to support innovative businesses and drive growth across the UK.

The Technology Strategy Board, the UK’s innovation agency, has a record £440 million budget this year to support innovative businesses and drive growth across the UK.

Universities and Science Minister David Willetts will confirm today this funding boost which represents an increase of more than £50 million on last year.

The 2013-14 Delivery Plan sets out the Board’s priorities for the coming year as part of their commitment to knowledge sharing and collaboration. It also explains how businesses will be able to access an even wider range of support across the entire innovation journey.

Technology areas that will benefit from the investment include renewable energy, future cities, advanced materials, satellites, digital technologies and healthcare.

David Willetts said:

The UK has some of the most innovative business in the world. The £440 million budget means that there will be more funding available than ever before for businesses across the country to bid for and help turn their ideas into reality – bridging the so called ‘valley of death’.

The Technology Strategy Board is making a real difference in driving growth and keeping the UK at the forefront of the global race for innovation. Over 60 per cent of funding is going to small and medium sized businesses, meaning that there are great opportunities for businesses to thrive, grow and generate jobs.

The Technology Strategy Board works across business, academia and government, helping companies take ideas through to commercialisation. Independent research shows that every £1 invested by the Technology Strategy Board returns £7 to the UK economy.

The Chief Executive of the Technology Strategy Board, Iain Gray, said:

Everything we do is driven by the desire to help UK business bring new ideas and technologies to market and so support economic growth. This Delivery Plan outlines the range of ways in which we do that, from direct funding through to access to expertise, facilities and finance. The UK is a dynamic, innovative place to live and do business. The Technology Strategy Board aims to make it the very best place to innovate.

The Delivery Plan sets out how the Technology Strategy Board will, over the next 12 months, enable businesses to overcome challenges such as access to finance, knowledge, skills and equipment. It will also open up opportunities for UK innovation to access wider, global markets such as India, China and Brazil through its Missions, involvement in EU programmes and bilateral agreements with other countries.

The Delivery Plan sets out commitments to invest over £300 million through 75 new competitions that will help fund innovative projects across the economy. Some £55 million will go to programmes in the Healthcare sector, £25 million to Energy, £20 million to Transport and £25 million to support initiatives in High Value Manufacturing.

The funding will be allocated to a wide range of tools and programmes that enable organisations to access support in many different ways.

SMEs remain a key focus, with a number of support mechanisms. The budget for the Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) will be increased to £100 million in 2013/14 and £200 million the following year. This gives SMEs access to public sector procurement contracts. The innovation vouchers scheme, which gives businesses the chance to access specialist expertise, will be expanded, and the SMART awards budget, at £40 million, will continue to provide SMEs with grants to allow them access to new markets and invest in R&D.

The Technology Strategy Board will increase its work with other innovation partners to help firms find and access support in areas such as finance, intellectual property and mentoring.

The Technology Strategy Board will also continue to invest in the national network of Catapults, world leading centres of innovation and expertise where companies large and small can use state-of-the-art equipment and technologies to develop new products and services.

Notes to editors

1.The Technology Strategy Board Delivery Plan – Financial Year 2013-14 can be downloaded at: https://www.innovateuk.org/deliveryplan2013

2.Specific plans outlined in the Delivery Plan include:

  • Health: a range of activities, including the Biomedical Catalyst and the Cell Therapy Catapult. The focus is on better disease detection, prevention and management; tailored treatments for disease; potential cures; and supporting the Government’s Life Sciences Strategy – up to £68 million
  • High Value Manufacturing: support for the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, collaborative R&D, Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) special interest groups, links with China, with a focus on resource efficiency, manufacturing systems, integration of new materials, manufacturing processes, and new business models – up to £63 million
  • Energy: for business-led projects and Missions as well as the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult. The focus is on projects that address the triple challenge of sustainable, secure and affordable energy – up to £35 million
  • Food: with a focus on engineering solutions, integrated farming systems and measurement technologies supporting the Government’s Industrial Strategy for Agri-Tech – up to £14 million
  • Transport: a focus on integrated transport systems, low carbon vehicles, rail systems, marine vessel efficiency, aerospace and supporting the government’s strategies for the automotive and aerospace industries – up to £35 million
  • Built Environment: business-led projects and support for the Future Cities Catapult, with a focus on systems integration, users, delivering designed performance and supporting the implementation of the Government’s Construction Industrial Strategy – up to £16 million
  • Digital Economy: the focus will be on exploiting data, new value models, resilient and interoperable digital systems, linking services to customers, and supporting the implementation of the Government’s Information Economy Industrial Strategy – up to £37 million plus up to £10 million for the Connected Digital Economy Catapult
  • Space Applications: a focus on satellite data and space-based satellite systems, national and European space programmes and demonstration – up to £11 million plus up to £10 million for the Satellite Applications Catapult
  • The Technology Strategy Board will continue to invest in the national network of Catapults, world leading centres of innovation and expertise where companies large and small can use state-of-the-art equipment and technologies to develop new products and services.

3.The Technology Strategy Board is the UK’s innovation agency. Its goal is to accelerate economic growth by stimulating and supporting business-led innovation. Sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the Technology Strategy Board brings together business, research and the public sector, supporting and accelerating the development of innovative products and services to meet market needs, tackle major societal challenges and help build the future economy. For more information please visit www.innovateuk.org.

4.The figures represent projected actual expenditure in 2013-14. They do not represent funding commitments to be made during the year which may be spent over several years. Technology Strategy Board programmes attract significant levels of funding from other organisations, in both private and public sectors, which are not included in the figures here.

5.Funding of the Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) comes from the budgets of the Departments concerned, not the Technology Strategy Board’s.

6.Business Minister Michael Fallon is visiting the National Composites Centre (NCC), at the Bristol and Bath Science Park on Tuesday 14 May. £28 million was announced last December to double the size of the NCC. The Minister and industry partners will tour the facility and mark the start of expansion work at the site with a turf cutting ceremony. The NCC is one of seven research and technology centres that have come together to form the High Value Manufacturing Catapult. Today, David Willetts is also visiting the Satellite Applications Catapult in Harwell where he will officially open the centre for business.

7.For more information, contact Simon Napper in the Technology Strategy Board Media Relations Team. Email: simon.napper@tsb.gov.uk. Tel: 07881 842583

8.For the latest news on everything happening at the Technology Strategy Board, follow us on Twitter @TSBpressoffice

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