Universities and Science Minister, David Willetts, has announced a £60 million support package to catalyse the development of innovative UK businesses.

What?

The majority of the Government-backed financial support (£47.2 million) will focus on supporting a further 51 biomedical businesses as an expansion of the Technology Strategy Board and Medical Research Council’s Biomedical Catalyst. However, a further £12 million will be used to support initiatives in the wider technology sphere including a competition pot of £3.7 million which will be distributed amongst businesses to support feasibility studies into photonics (e.g. laser and other light technologies) for health.

The Minister also announced the results of several recent competitions, including awards of:

  • £1.25 million to nine businesses to develop feasibility studies for the development of energy efficient computing;
  • £1.15 million to ten businesses to assess the feasibility of extending battery life and/or removing the need for batteries through energy harvesting;
  • £6.2 million to eight companies to help develop “the internet of things” which involves the promotion of smart technologies to enhance daily life in areas such as transport, energy and social wellbeing.

So what?

The Government’s continued support of innovative technologies despite the enduring economic downturn demonstrates that the UK’s position at the forefront of cutting-edge technologies is key to the Government’s strategy. Each competition is an opportunity for qualifying TMT businesses to benefit from financial assistance for innovative projects which address economic and social needs. More information on Government funding for innovation can be found here.