West Midlands businesses told to prepare for multi-billion-euro fund


Leading SME manufacturing support organisations EEF and Pera Technology are coming together to host a breakfast meeting for West Midlands businesses on a new €2.8 billion fund, which is being made available for companies to develop new products and services.

The Dedicated SME Instrument, part of the European Union’s Horizon 2020 package of support services for research and innovation, will go live from 1st January 2014. With businesses able to claim up to €3 million per project, Pera Technology and EEF are keen to help West Midlands businesses get their fair share.

Held at The Think Tank, Millennium Point, from 8.00-10.00 am on Monday 2nd December, the event precedes the official government launch by two months and is designed to give businesses practical advice on taking part.

To coincide with the €2.8 billion fund, Pera Technology has launched its leap® package of business support services. It covers all aspects of new product development from idea conception, feasibility evaluation and securing funding, right through to an in-depth research and development programme and commercialisation.

Speaking about the significance of Horizon 2020, Pera Technology’s Nick Haigh, who is responsible for leap® in the West Midlands area, said: “This fund presents an enormous opportunity for the region’s manufacturers. 1,659 UK business and counting have successfully applied for the €1.2 billion that was previously available under Framework Programme 7, which runs until the end of this year. With the fund more than doubling this year, we expect even more businesses to apply.

“For SME manufacturers the time to act is now. Whether they have ideas sitting on the shelf gathering dust, or they are already undergoing feasibility testing – with new product development programmes lasting anywhere from two years up to 15 years in sectors such as aerospace and medical – the chance to secure up to €3 million for research and development cannot be missed.

“One of the big changes this year is that the funding criteria and stages are a lot closer to the market. It’s likely that research programmes that don’t demonstrate clear commercial potential will prove unsuccessful. With Pera Technology’s proven track record of delivering commercially viable new product development programmes we’re the perfect partner for West Midlands SMEs trying to access this fund.”  

The Horizon 2020 fund will go live on 1 January 2014.

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