SMEs and entrepreneurs handed £400m innovation boost by government

Technology Strategy Board announces £400m growth fund and added support for UK entrepreneurs

SMEs and entrepreneurs handed £400m innovation boost by government

There is nothing more frustrating for budding entrepreneurs than having that golden idea but not being able to see it progress any further than the drawing board. Thankfully the Technology Strategy Board (TSB), the government’s innovation agency, is looking to ease such woes with a new £400m growth fund, along with a sizeable increase in support for entrepreneurs hoping to turn their dreams into reality. 

The TSB is looking to provide and improve access for funding, skills, equipment, business expertise and customers to entrepreneurs and SMEs with high growth potential. Its 2014/15 delivery plan proposes to maintain this support while helping SMEs break into overseas territories through partnerships with the Intellectual Property Office and UK Trade & Investment.

The £400m fund, although spread across a wide array of sectors, will largely be aimed towards sustainable energy (£81.5 million), health care (£79.5 million),  high value manufacturing (£72 million), transport (£70 million) and digital technologies (£42m). The investment will be delivered through 88 new competitions, designed to find and fund the top innovative ideas from the nation’s brightest entrepreneurs. 

It will also set up to two new ‘Catapults’, centres of innovation that bring together businesses, scientists and engineers to transform ideas into commercially viable products and form long-term investment partnerships. The Catapults will focus primarily on precision medicine and energy systems, whilst the seven that are currently in operation will be expanded further. And there’s more too. The TSB will create an online platform to showcase innovation to potential investors in a joint venture with GrowthAccelerator, the British Business Bank and the UK Business Angels Association.

“Innovation is booming in this country, and it is part of our long-term economic plan to invest in ambitious entrepreneurs and businesses, to help them grow and succeed in the global race,” said David Willets, universities and science minister.

As great as this all sounds, we get the impression that Elite Business’s idea for a pen that dispenses espresso isn’t quite what the TSB is looking for. 

James Dyble
James Dyble

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