Calls Open for £8m European Funding for Innovation Programmes

INSTITUTIONS and businesses are invited to apply for funding from European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) to encourage innovation, and provide information, communications and technology (ICT) support to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).

There are five opportunities for businesses to submit their applications, with single providers being sought to manage programmes that deliver: grants for research and development in innovation and low carbon; innovation vouchers and support, and ICT digital support. Successful projects are to be awarded between £500,000 and £2million, which must be match-funded by the applicants.

The opportunities are being run jointly by ourselves and the Humber LEP, who were each allocated more than £80m of European Structural Investments Funds to invest until 2020 in projects supporting economic growth. For these current innovation opportunities, around £8million is being made available between the two LEP areas, with further opportunities becoming available. Projects being considered for funding must be located in part or all of the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding and Humber LEP areas.

The deadline for applications is Friday 27 May. Organisations looking for support can contact [email protected]

The opportunities are as follows:

Innovation Vouchers and Support – Seeking a single provider to deliver activity across the whole of the York, North Yorkshire and Humber Local Enterprise Partnership geographies.

Grants for Research & Development (innovation) – Seeking a single provider to deliver a Grants for Research and Development scheme across York, North Yorkshire and the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership geographies.

Grants for Research & Development (low carbon) Seeking a single provider to deliver a Grants for Research and Development scheme across the whole of the York, North Yorkshire and the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership geographies which has a specific focus on Low Carbon activities.

ICT Digital Support – Humber region
SME Support – York and North Yorkshire

Professor Colin Mellors, Chair of the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding European Structural and Investment Fund Committee and LEP Board member, said:

“This significant funding represents a major opportunity to assist our small and medium-sized businesses to access funds and support for research and development.  We are looking for providers who can engage local businesses, support their ambitions and help them to explore ways in which they can develop successful and smarter businesses.

“Working closely with our LEPs, we intend to make the process more straightforward for applicants across North Yorkshire and the Humber. We want to invest the money wisely and ensure that it produces significant and sustainable economic impact.

“The funding will enable our region to maintain and increase the momentum of growth, providing skilled, sustainable jobs for the future and ensuring our businesses are innovative, competitive and make the strongest possible contribution to the UK economy.”

Isobel Mills CBE, Humber ESIF Committee Chair, said:

“We are excited to launch this call for projects to support innovation in our priority sectors. We are looking for projects that make an impact and assist our small and medium businesses to be more innovative, develop big ideas and to drive growth and productivity. These programmes will help businesses work collaboratively to achieve world class research and innovation in our areas. The Humber, and York, North Yorkshire and East Riding LEPs have an excellent working relationship and both recognise the importance of innovation to driving our economic growth. We have worked together to ensure this funding makes the greatest impact and adds value to the business support offer across the area.”