€3bn fund for UK business R&D projects announced

“1,000’s” of small and medium companies to benefit from EU Horizon 2020 allocation

€3bn is to be made available to UK businesses for new product development as part of research and innovation programme Horizon 2020, it was announced today.

Created by The European Commission, Horizon 2020 is a fund open to member countries of the European Union worth approximately €80bn which seeks to create new growth and jobs in Europe, and will run from January 2014 to December 2020.

Its €3bn allocation to the UK outbid Germany and France as the largest amount of money ever made accessible for new product development.

Individual businesses will be able to claim for up to €3m to spend on product development and will have to demonstrate market demand and the potential for their offering to benefit people across Europe.

To support applications and help bring products to market,  €50,000 will be available for initial research and there will be the option to claim for up to 15 days of free coaching and mentoring paid for by the European Commission.

It is intended that the fund will benefit “1,000’s” of small and medium-sized companies across the UK and will look to create 1,000’s of new products over the next six years.

Paul Tranter, chief executive of UK new product development contractor Pera Technology who will be helping businesses access the fund, commented: “Never before has this level of funding been made available to small and medium sized business for new product development purposes.

“One of the key differences between Horizon 2020, its predecessors and other public funding options is its commercial awareness. […] Only products that demonstrate a clear commercial demand will receive funding, meaning it’s those products closer to market that are likely to be most successful.

“The UK is in an enviable position, having overtaken the two largest economies in Europe in terms of bidding success. However, we can’t rest on our laurels. The larger amount of funding and fewer restrictions associated with Horizon 2020 will see more businesses than ever before applying. “

The fund will open on January 1, to find out more click here.

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