Innovate UK to invest £561m in “game-changing” UK businesses

Goverment agency's new delivery plan for 2016 to 2017 includes focus on making funding programmes easier to navigate

Innovate UK, the government’s innovation agency, has announced that it will invest £561m in “game-changing” UK companies over the next 12 months as it looks to take a “more focused and efficient approach”.

Unveiling its 2016-2017 delivery plan, Innovate UK has promised to introduce clearer funding programmes that will be easier for businesses to navigate with two broad funding competitions covering tech, health and life sciences, infrastructure, and manufacturing.

It will also be introducing two open funding competitions which any business from any sector of industry will be able to apply for.

Other key areas the organisation will focus on include developing Catapult centres, helping businesses to have a stronger regional presence, and essentially making it easier for industry and investors to work with it.

Established in 2007, Innovate UK claims to have invested £1.8bn in innovation (matched by the private sector)  to date which has returned around £11.5bn to the UK economy.

Innovate UK chief executive, Dr Ruth McKernan, said of the news: “To be globally competitive the UK must innovate and grow. Innovation is responsible for 50% of all productivity growth and the mission of Innovate UK is to help make this happen.

“We will build on our track record of success, focusing ever more closely on scaling up small and medium enterprises, equipping them to reap the benefits of the fourth industrial revolution.”

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