The Technology Strategy Board (TSB) has announced a £39.5m investment to help UK businesses develop technologies that address global challenges over the next six months.
The investment was announced at the group’s annual showcase event, Innovate09, and will be aimed at businesses in a wide range of sectors. From now until spring next year, UK companies will be invited to enter six competitions for government funding in the areas of regenerative medicine, transport and logistics, agriculture and food, infectious diseases and low-carbon housing.
The TSB has designed the categories to address some of the key challenges that the country is facing. The competitions are aimed at encouraging businesses to take the technological steps forward in developing solutions for existing challenges that would otherwise not have had a chance to be taken to market.
Iain Gray, chief executive of the TSB, said: ‘We work with business to encourage innovation despite the risks that this might pose. By providing investment in areas of innovation where real business opportunities lie, we not only encourage individual businesses to thrive but also contribute to the UK's overall economic prosperity.
‘Today's announcement gives business an insight into our investment focus over the next six months,' he added. 'In 2008-09, we invested in around 1,600 companies through our collaborative research-and-development programme and, since we were established, we have forged new partnerships right across the business community and the public sector, making great inroads into promoting knowledge sharing and collaboration in innovation and technology.’
Over the next three years, the TSB plans to invest more than £1bn of public funding in technology-enabled innovations. It claims that the majority of these investments will be matched by business to provide an overall investment of £2bn by 2011.