Early Stage Business Ideas wanted to create high performing manufacturing materials.
Businesses can apply for a share of a £2 million grant by Innovate UK encouraging early stage business projects that “seek innovative ways to improve the performance of materials in severe, aggressive or demanding conditions.”
The competition aims to realise radical or new improvements in the performance of materials in “demanding environments”, such as high or low temperatures, abrasive conditions, high/low pressure, corrosion, erosion, ionisation, radiation, oxidation, electromagnetic radiation, high blast, load bearing and lifetimes…. The list goes on.
The government backed R & D organisation is seeking proposals that support early stage projects that could demonstrate emerging technologies in advanced materials.
But it’s not all science.
Projects must be led by a business and be collaborative, involving a partner with a future route to market, be it commercial or industrial. Benefits include small businesses receiving up to 70% of eligible project costs, decreasing to 60% for medium-sized businesses and 50% for larger ones.
Projects are expected to last between 6 to 12 months and should range in size from total costs of £100,000 to £150,000.
Despite reports that UK research funding had slumped to below 0.5% GDP – putting us last in the G8 – it is hoped that schemes such as these will encourage radical improvements in the way UK materials perform, thus giving manufacturers a competitive edge in an extremely competitive high-value global market.
With increasing demand for materials that are extremely light and resistant to radiation, wear, high impact, blast and high temperatures, it is thought new materials could help reinvigorate British manufacturing.
The competition opens on 12th October 2015 with a deadline for applications set at noon on 25th November 2015.
Sources: Gov.uk, Innovate.uk