Competition seeks to engage small business innovation

The Technology Strategy Board has launched a competition that will see small and micro businesses in the UK receive funding to identify potential areas where they might be able to develop innovative ideas and technologies.

Through its ’Feasibility Studies for Technology-Inspired Innovation’ competition, the Technology Strategy Board will invest up to £2m to help companies produce feasibility studies in the key areas of advanced materials, biosciences, electronics, photonics and electrical systems, high-value manufacturing, information and communications technology and nanotechnology.

Projects may be collaborative or carried out by a single company. Lasting up to three months, the projects can cost up to £33,000 and funding of up to 75 per cent of costs (£25,000) may be available. Each project will culminate in a short report and, where relevant, a demonstrator.

The projects must be led and undertaken by small or micro companies (50 employees or fewer), whether working individually or in partnership with other small or micro companies.

The competition opens on 10 January 2011 and closes on 10 February 2011. Successful candidates will be informed at the end of February 2011.

Companies will present their achievements at a public ’Collaboration Nation’ event to be held in the autumn of 2011.