Technology Strategy Board gets record £440m funding

SMEs to benefit from budget bulge

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills is giving a funding boost to the small business sector in the IT industry.

It is providing the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) with a record £440 million budget this year, up from last year's figure of £390 million, and increasing the Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI), which supports SMB access to public sector contracts, with £100 million in 2013-14 and £200 million in 2014-15.

BIS is also expanding the innovation vouchers scheme, which gives businesses the chance to access specialist expertise, and maintaining the SMART awards budget at £40 million. The latter provides SMBs with grants to find new markets and invest in research and development.

The government says it will continue to invest in the national network of Catapults, centres of innovation and expertise where companies of all sizes can use equipment and technologies to develop new products and services.

Digital technologies are among those identified to receive TSB funding, along with renewable energy, future cities, advanced materials, satellites and healthcare.

Universities and Science Minister David Willets said: "The UK has some of the most innovative business in the world. The £440 million budget means that there will be more funding available than ever before for businesses across the country to bid for and help turn their ideas into reality – bridging the so called 'valley of death'."

He added: "Over 60% of funding is going to small and medium sized businesses, meaning that there are great opportunities for businesses to thrive, grow and generate jobs."