South East Small Businesses: Apply for Research Grants
Small businesses with high-growth potential in the South East can compete for a number of research grants worth £4,000 or £8,000 to use for research and development, by applying to the SEEDA Innovation Voucher Scheme 2011 (PDF) by the 9th of March.
The scheme, run by the South East of England Development Agency (SEEDA) and the South East Health Technologies Alliance (SEHTA), aims to help the region’s small firms access the expertise and facilities of local universities and public research organisations.
Firms must approach a university or public research organisation before applying for the scheme, to ensure that the work they are proposing is viable.
Small businesses in any sector (except agriculture or fishery) can apply for the business grants, although priority will be given to firms in sectors including:
- advanced engineering and marine
- aerospace and defence
- environment and energy
- financial and professional services
- ICT, software and digital media
- pharmaceuticals, life sciences and healthcare.
Two types of business grants are available — a fully-funded voucher for the value of £4,000 excluding VAT, and a voucher for £8,000 excluding VAT which must be matched with £4,000 from the business to create a project worth £12,000. Businesses are responsible for paying the VAT.
SEHTA spokeswoman, Haley Dwyer, said that the main benefit of the scheme is the access to knowledge and expertise the successful firms will get.
“The grants are aimed at innovative firms that have an idea for how to take their business forward but perhaps can’t afford to develop it or don’t have the expertise.”
For more information and to apply through the SEEDA Innovation voucher scheme download the guidance notes (PDF)