The government has launched a new £2 million fund for proof of concept projects aimed at encouraging SMEs to adopt productivity-boosting technology or business practices. The programme will test innovative ways of encouraging micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to adopt existing technologies and business practices that can boost their productivity. In doing so the programme aims to add to the evidence base of what works in driving up SME productivity.
These are the:
Proof of Concept strand which provides grants of up to £60,000 for feasibility projects.
Full-Scale Trial Strand which provides grants of up to £400,000 to undertake full scale trials.
To be eligible for funding the applicant must:
- Be an England based public sector organisation (such as a local authority, Local Enterprise Partnership or Growth Hub)
- Be a university or research and technology organisation (RTO)
- Be a charity, representative body or trade association
- Be an England based business of any size working in collaboration with the above
- Carry out your project in England, because business support is a devolved matter
- Be willing to have the results of your work independently evaluated and published openly
- Agree to have your evaluation plan reviewed by BEIS or its partners prior to the trial commencing
- Agree to participate in the overall evaluation of the programme
- Share data from the programme with BEIS and its partners for purposes of monitoring, research and evaluation in the short, medium and long term
- Involve the target audience of SMEs
The closing date for both strands is 12pm on the 4th September 2018.