Thursday, April 3, 2014

News: SMEs look to Horizon 2020

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Pera Technology is hosting an event in Rotherham next week to help businesses find out more about the EU's flagship Horizon 2020 funding programme.

Pera links firms with world-class scientists and commercial partners to help get new products to the market. It has secured in excess of €87m for SME businesses as part of the previous research and innovation programme funds from the EU. Over the past decade, it has created at least 600 innovative technology projects, with a market value of around £20 billion for clients.

Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme ever with nearly €80 billion of funding available over seven years (2014 to 2020) – in addition to the private investment that this money will attract. It promises more breakthroughs, discoveries and world-firsts by taking great ideas from the lab to the market.

The EU has set a deadline of June 18 2014 for companies to bid for a slice of the €3.3 billion (£2.75 billion) Dedicated SME Instrument (DSI) during "Phase 1" of the initiative.

Applications can take anything between one and three months to complete, so Pera is urging British businesses start planning now.

A series of free to attend events are taking place in England this month with MAGNA Adventure Science Centre in Rotherham hosting Pera Technology on April 8.

As well as explaining how firms can bid for Phase 1 funding, the events will also cover the intricacies of Phase 2, where companies can apply for a further €3m for R&D purposes.

Paul Tranter, chief executive of Pera Technology, said: "Never before has this level of funding been made available to small and medium sized business for new product development purposes.

"One of the key differences between Horizon 2020, its predecessors and other public funding options is its commercial awareness. SMEs receive all of the money to spend as they see fit with a further 15 days of free coaching paid for directly by the European Commission.

"Only products that demonstrate a clear commercial demand will receive funding, meaning it's those products closer to market that are likely to be most successful. However, for company's earlier on in the development process there is additional funding available for initial research purposes."

Pera Technology website

Images: European Commission

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