ERDF research infrastructure call event

03 October 2017

Call for Research Infrastructure in Swindon and Wiltshire

A drive for business innovation and economic growth

Global competitiveness increases the need for businesses to research and develop new products and services, to increase their technological capabilities and to innovate processes. With this in mind, the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership welcomes the launch of a £2.2m call for projects to provide research infrastructure for business growth.

Forward thinking local businesses are well positioned to take advantage of UK industry’s strong use and application of enabling technologies. Being part of powerful regional sectors for high value manufacturing and advanced engineering means it is critical for local businesses to discover, test, validate and commercialise low carbon technologies, new materials and processes, digital applications and electronics to maintain and sustain positions in global value chains.

The call embodies the SWLEP’s drive for local innovation ecosystems as it looks to add modern facilities that can accelerate growth of innovative SMEs. Whilst the area’s larger, global innovator businesses carry out research and development in-house, smaller companies go elsewhere to add value to products, transform offers and enter new markets.

As part of our innovation ecosystem, the facilities should encourage innovation by local businesses, increase research collaborations, provide opportunities for knowledge and technology transfers and lead to more businesses exporting from the area. Stronger research infrastructure will increase the attraction of a higher skilled workforce required now and in the future, and fit with the entrepreneurialism enjoyed in the area.

Importantly, the area does not have a local university and lacks accessible centres of excellence. There is an emerging innovation ecosystem, seen at the Hive Building Research Park and new Porton Science Incubator which is under construction. The research infrastructure delivered from this call will significantly contribute to making the area one in which businesses want to be part of, invest and thrive.

Responding to the call

Robust and thorough applications are welcomed from any organisation or partnership that can deliver appropriate and relevant facilities alongside accessible expertise aimed at helping SMEs improve productivity and accelerate growth opportunities.

  • The call is aimed to result in a significant capital project into the area.
  • Alongside new facilities, projects should deliver industrial research and development expertise
  • Projects should build strong links to national Catapult centres, centres of excellence and higher education institutions, researchers and academics
  • Grant monies can cover up to 50% of the total eligible costs

To apply, go to gov.uk to view the full published call which includes details of how to make an application. The deadline for outline applications is day 10 November 2017.

Our other priorities for ERDF

The Swindon and Wiltshire local enterprise partnership is currently working with government partners to develop two further calls in 2017 – one seeking a specialist project to support Digital Industries and Capability, and the other under ERDF priority 4 for Supporting the shift towards a Low Carbon economy.

Find Out More About the Call

On Tuesday 03rd October 2017 the Swindon & Wiltshire Technical Assistance team held an open information session at the Monkton Park offices in Chippenham. Please click here for access to the slides that were presented at this session. For any further information please contact the Technical Assistance team directly on europeanfunding@swlep.co.uk