Grant scheme fosters small firms’ innovations

A total 15 innovators won Smart Awards this year, with products ranging from heart monitors to a method to extend the breeding season of marine worms. The Smart Awards recognise successful commercialisation of products backed by Department of Trade and Industry Smart grants. The DTI plans to spend over £20m this year on 400 new […]

A total 15 innovators won Smart Awards this year, with products ranging from heart monitors to a method to extend the breeding season of marine worms.

The Smart Awards recognise successful commercialisation of products backed by Department of Trade and Industry Smart grants. The DTI plans to spend over £20m this year on 400 new Smart grants. Smart aims to help small and medium-sized firms improve their competitiveness with new products and processes.

Individuals and small businesses with fewer than 50 employees can apply for support with feasibility studies. Grants are at a rate of 75% of project costs, to a maximum of £45,000.

Businesses with fewer than 250 employees can apply for grants of 30% of eligible project costs, up to a maximum of e200,000, for development projects.

Grants are made on a competitive basis, at the discretion of the DTI. For information on how to qualify for a Smart grant, firms or individuals should call Business Links on: 0345-567 765.

Successful fifteen line up to receive top honours

Joining Richard Pond and Dynamic Ceramic on this year’s Smart Award winner’s podium are:

Industrial Copolymers for a roofing-paint additive; Indestructible Paint Co for an erosion- and corrosion- resistant paint; Fibrecast for resin-based mouldings; Gledhill Water Storage for microprocessor-controlled domestic central heating; Sound Alert for a directional emergency vehicle alarm; Micro Thermal Systems, for developing a sportswear fabric that breathes like leaves; and JTL Systems for an environmentally friendly refrigeration system.

Other winners include: Seabait, Telsol, Don Whitley Scientific, Medicina Developments, Zychem, and Clenaware Systems.