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Innovate UK to invest in North Wales R&D Projects

innovateInnovate UK is to invest up to £500,000 in innovative research and development projects centred on the emerging cluster of photonics, electro-optics, and opto-electronics businesses in North Wales.

The competition aims to stimulate this hotspot of photonics, electro-optics and opto-electronics 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, Innovate UK want to draw investment and people into the area, and to encourage networking and collaboration to strengthen the cluster.

They are therefore looking for projects 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 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 we anticipate is likely 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 60%.

An integral part of Launchpad is the offer of support to help applicants to raise additional new external finance that Innovate UK expect will be needed to fully fund the project and its subsequent commercialisation. In addition to receiving project funding, successful applicants will participate in a programme of business support and growth activities that will run in parallel to projects.

The competition opens for applicants on 22 February 2016. The deadline for video submissions is at noon on 6 April 2016.

A briefing event will be held at The OpTIC Centre in St Asaph on 11 February 2016. Details will be available shortly, if you have any queries please contact or call 0300 321 4357.

Download the full project brief here.

Key dates

Competition opens 

 22 February 2016

Briefing event 

 11 February 2016

Deadline for video submissions

 noon 6 April 2016

Deadline for invited written proposals

 noon 8 June 2016

Business support programme

 autumn 2016

Presentation to potential investors

 autumn 2016