British businesses are being encouraged to bid for a total of £6m of investment in a drive to boost technological innovation across the UK.

The investment is being delivered as part of a new fast-track investment process designed to enable businesses to gain quick access to finance so that they can carry out feasibility studies.

With this funding, businesses will carry out studies and produce reports showing how they might create innovative technologies, products or services. This will enable them to progress their ideas and compete for Technology Strategy Board funding for longer-term technology development.

David Bott, director of innovation programmes at the Technology Strategy Board, said: ‘This is a great way to encourage a wide range of innovative companies, from small to medium-sized enterprises to larger businesses, to take a step in the right direction.

‘In so many cases, these companies know how they want to innovate and understand exactly what the next steps are that they need to take to develop new products, but the financial risk that they have to take to make that leap is sometimes too much.

‘These relatively small amounts of investment will give successful applicants the ability to "de-risk" the process of taking the leap into innovation and enable them to devise a blueprint for their development process.

‘The more companies that use our support to create innovative products, the more chance the UK has of remaining a competitive economy with thriving and innovative business sectors and growing advanced manufacturing areas.’

The £6m will be made available in three separate competition calls, one focusing on the government’s Digital Britain agenda, a second on regenerative medicine and a third Technology Inspired call, incorporating a range of priority areas from advanced medicines to high-value manufacturing.