The Technology Strategy Board (TSB) has announced two funding programmes for technology ranging from low-carbon road vehicles to nanotechnology.

More than £12m is being set aside by the TSB for funding technologies that will speed up the reduction of carbon-dioxide emissions from road vehicles.

The investment will be made in 16 proof-of-concept studies, which will last up to one year, and six longer-running full research and development projects.  The total value of the research will be in the region of £25m, with the remaining funding provided by the UK organisations taking part in the work.

John Laughlin, the TSB’s low-carbon-vehicles programme manager, said the TSB will fund projects in several key areas, including internal-combustion-engine technologies, energy storage and management, lightweight structures and new propulsion technologies.

‘The work will help to accelerate the reduction of carbon emissions and deliver mass-market low-carbon road vehicles within five to 15 years,’ he said.

Laughlin added that he hoped the scheme would help create significant market opportunities for UK-based companies.

Outside the automotive sector, the TSB recently awarded a total of £6.5m for 153 feasibility studies in areas such as advanced materials, biosciences, information and communications technology, nanotechnology and efforts to make Britain a more digital-based society. Approximately 180 small and medium-sized British companies are taking a share of the fund.

The projects are each receiving £25,000 worth of support and each one is due to be completed within approximately three months.

A further 31 feasibility studies in regenerative medicine are receiving up to £100,000 each, with the studies taking up to six months to complete.

The funding competitions received more than 2,000 applications in total, including many from small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The TSB points out that out of the 184 successful applications for funding, all but two were from SMEs.

David Bott, the TSB’s director of innovation programmes, said the TSB thought the involvement of smaller companies would help stimulate new technology.

‘Many small companies have great ideas, but lack the funds to enable them to carry out the important initial feasibility work required to see if their ideas are workable,’ he said.

Bott said that after completing the feasibility studies, the companies should be well placed to seek investment to develop their ideas into new products.