£20 million Government investment will stimulate growth-creating technology innovation

£20 million Government investment will stimulate growth-creating technology innovation

31 May 2012

Innovation in a broad range of growth-creating technology areas, from biosciences to advanced materials and from nanotechnology to electronics and ICT, is to benefit from over £20 million of new Government investment.

Grant funding totalling over £18 million, from the Technology Strategy Board, Scottish Enterprise and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) will be invested in over 40 major business-led collaborative research and development projects that will lead to the creation of new products and processes to be used across a variety of different application areas.  Over 120 UK businesses and institutions and 20 universities will share this funding and take part in the R&D projects.

In addition, over 80 small and micro businesses from across the country are to receive grants of up to £25,000 each from the Technology Strategy Board to carry out smaller-scale feasibility studies to test out new ideas.

The research and development projects and feasibility studies fall within five key enabling technology areas – advanced materials; biosciences; electronics, photonics and electrical systems; information and communications technology; and nanoscale technologies.

Universities and Science Minister David Willetts said:

            “Developing and adopting new technologies can be a significant driver of economic growth and create new jobs.  These exciting research and development projects will translate technically feasible ideas into more developed and advanced innovations that could be applied across a range of areas – such as in healthcare, transport, food, environmental sustainability and construction –  stimulating growth, keeping the UK at the forefront of modern technology and providing solutions to significant technical challenges. 

Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth John Swinney said:

            “Scotland is recognised for its contribution to shaping the modern world through innovation and  research. The Scottish Government works closely with universities, research institutes and industry to ensure the country continues to be a competitive hotbed of ideas - this additional funding from the Technology Strategy Board will provide a welcome boost to the sector.

            “Scotland has excellent business and research capabilities within the enabling technologies sector and this additional investment - co-funded by Scottish Enterprise - will help to develop the innovative technologies, products and processes we need to meet the economic and societal  challenges ahead.” 

Iain Gray, Chief Executive of the Technology Strategy Board, added:

            “The aim of these funding competitions is to stimulate projects inspired by new discoveries and break-throughs, including ideas that are yet to find specific applications in a recognised market or business sector.  We were delighted with the quality of proposals, are excited about the research work that lies ahead and look forward to seeing the development of some valuable new technology products and processes.”

 Paul Lewis, managing director of operations at Scottish Enterprise, commented:

            “Enabling technologies is a sector where Scotland has real competitive advantage, and one which has the potential to drive Scotland’s economy forward.  This competition has resulted in more  successful awards for Scotland than previously, which shows the strength and competitiveness of the sector in Scotland.

            “This funding will allow our Scottish companies to continue to invest in their innovation, and bring new commercially-focused products and processes to market more quickly, as well as encouraging collaborative working to develop new supply chains.”

Professor Douglas Kell, BBSRC Chief Executive said:

            “In the 21st century a growing bioeconomy will deliver innovations that will shape all of our lives. By harnessing our strengths in bioscience we can help drive the growth of a competitive economy while also placing the UK at the forefront of efforts to meet some of the most pressing challenges we face as a society.”

The major research and development projects will lead, for example, to the development of:

-          New filtration technologies to remove antibodies from donated blood components;

-          Printable organic semi-conductors for highly enhanced displays;

-          Innovative sensors to monitor the health of farm livestock;

-          New ways to enhance the performance of aerospace coatings using functional nanoparticles;

-          An optical navigation system for the visually impaired;

-          A collision avoidance system for the rail network.

The Technology Strategy Board will invest £15m in 41 of the collaborative R&D projects while Scottish Enterprise (www.scottish-enterprise.com) has offered support totalling £2.68m to 12 projects and BBSRC (www.bbsrc.ac.uk) has offered grants to two projects, totalling £434,000.  In addition, the Technology Strategy Board will invest £2m in the 82 feasibility studies.

Download the press release here

 

Last updated on Thursday 31 May 2012 at 15:22

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