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27 January 2016

Innovate UK investing £0.5m in North Wales photonics Launchpad

UK Government agency Innovate UK (formerly the Technology Strategy Board) is to invest up to £500,000 in research and development projects centred on the emerging cluster of photonics, electro-optics and optoelectronics businesses in North Wales.

The competition aims to stimulate this hotspot of businesses in North Wales by enabling companies to go further and/or faster towards commercial success. In collaboration with the Welsh Government and the Welsh Opto-Electronics Forum, the aim is to draw investment and people into the area, and to encourage networking and collaboration to strengthen the cluster.

Projects are therefore being sought that may be too risky for companies to take forward without any support, or that may take them into new innovative areas, and where the majority of the project activities are carried out in North Wales.

Innovate UK is seeking to fund projects based on photonics, electro-optics and opto-electronics technologies that have the potential to create new products and services. End-market applications can be broad, including optical communications, manufacturing and materials processing, health & life science, lighting, energy, security, and safety.

Innovate UK will fund industrial research projects, with estimated project sizes ranging between £50,000 and £90,000. Projects can last up to 12 months and must be led by a micro, small- or medium-sized company that is expected to be in the early stages of its development; businesses can work alone or in collaboration. Micro and small businesses will receive up to 70% of eligible costs; medium-sized businesses will receive 60%.

An integral part of Launchpad is the offer of support to help applicants to raise additional new external finance needed to fully fund the project and its subsequent commercialization. Successful applicants will also participate in a program of business support and growth activities that will run in parallel to projects.

The competition opens for applicants on 22 February. The deadline for video submissions is noon on 6 April. A briefing event will be held at The OpTIC Centre in St Asaph on 11 February.

Tags: photonics

Visit: https://interact.innovateuk.org/-/north-wales-photonics-launchpad

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