Technology Strategy Board receives record £440m boost to grow innovative businesses
Government-backed innovation agency to give particular support to small firms
Universities and science minister David Willets will announce today that the Technology Strategy Board has a record £440m budget this year, marking a £50m increase on its 2012 funding.
The Board, a Government-backed agency designed to support business-led innovation in the UK, will set out the priorities of its budget in the 2013-14 Delivery Plan.
The Plan will set out a £300m commitment to support innovative tech businesses, including 75 new competitions for investment across a wide range of sectors.
Technology areas set to receive increased support include renewable energy, advanced materials, future cities, digital technologies and healthcare.
Small firms in particular are set to benefit as part of the Board’s plans, with the budget for the Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI), which gives small firms access to lucrative public sector contracts, to be increased to £100m in 2013-14 – with a further doubling to £200m planned for the following year.
This will be coupled with an expansion of the innovation vouchers scheme, which gives businesses access to specialist expertise, and a continuation of the £40m SMART awards budget which provides grants for small firms to help with marketing and research and development.
David Willets, universities and science minister, said: “The UK has some of the most innovative business in the world. The £440 million budget means that there will be more funding available than ever before for businesses across the country to bid for and help turn their ideas into reality – bridging the so called ‘valley of death’.
“The Technology Strategy Board is making a real difference in driving growth and keeping the UK at the forefront of the global race for innovation. Over 60 per cent of funding is going to small and medium sized businesses, meaning that there are great opportunities for businesses to thrive, grow and generate jobs.”