Wednesday, February 18, 2009

News: Scheme funds SME's development with academic support


A voucher scheme to encourage small to medium sized businesses to use academic support to help with the development of new and improved products and services in the face of current economic challenges has been launched by Business Link. "Innovation vouchers", funded by Yorkshire Forward can be accessed through Business Link Yorkshire and aim to help the region's firms to remain competitive by continuing to invest in research and development. Companies will be able to apply for vouchers worth up to £3,000 by informing Business Link of a problem or an idea to improve a product or service. Helen West, chief executive of Business Link, said: "There is a wealth of academic expertise in our region that smaller businesses just aren't tapping into. We have worked with universities and colleges to make it really easy for the two to work together so businesses can innovate and find new ways of being competitive in the current economic climate. Our advisers can help translate academic language so that businesses can understand and be involved in the process." Simon Hill, Executive Director of Business for Yorkshire Forward added: "This scheme means that companies who wouldn't necessarily put R&D at the front of investment priorities, can gain the help they need to resolve issues which will increase their productivity and make them more efficient – a must in today’s global marketplace.
Business Link website


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