Innovation

EU funding can help you develop your business to branch out into new products, invest in new cutting edge machinery, or access specialist research knowledge to help you develop new ideas.

Project examples

The InCrops project, based at the University of East Anglia, was supported with a £1.15m European Regional Development Fund grant to stimulate commercial activity in the alternative and non-food crop sector by establishing business networks for sharing research knowledge. InCrops investigated how future crops can be used for fibre, high-value chemicals and extracts, protein and starch. InCrops had 13 regional project partners, including major research institutes, universities and environmental organisations, and supported both existing businesses and new start-ups.

The LEADER programme delivers grants direct to businesses, and is keen to support projects which deliver innovative products, or new processes.  Fuelsell received a £38,500 grant from LEADER in 2011 to develop a new type of firelighter using a natural wax scented coating instead of the usual paraffin-based type.  Fuelsell worked with a manufacturer to develop bespoke production machinery, and Chunky Chip Eco Firelighters were successfully launched.

Funds to consider:

  • ERDF supports projects which enable businesses to work closely with research organisations to bring new products to market or to develop new to the firm initiatives
  • Interreg programmes support many aspects of innovation and knowledge transfer which brings new research development to market, resulting in jobs and growth
  • Horizon 2020 is a major research and development EU funding programme with multiple strands of funding support available across the EU
  • LEADER and EAFRD support innovation projects in rural businesses

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