In response to COVID-19, the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) has launched a Digital Innovation Fund to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to innovate during these turbulent times.
The scheme, funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), offers £1m of grants to businesses based in the West of England.
Businesses in any sector wanting to use digital innovation to address new challenges that have arisen from COVID-19 have until 8 July to access the grants worth between £10,000 and £40,000 to fund 35% of project costs. Applicants must be SMEs and based in Bristol, Bath & North East Somerset, North Somerset or South Gloucestershire.
Pro Vice Chancellor for Research and Enterprise Professor Martin Boddy said: “In a time of unprecedented change, UWE Bristol is proud of the role it can play to support the region’s SMEs in responding to the pandemic and financial crisis. We are therefore delighted to open UWE Bristol’s Digital Innovation Fund, £1m of grant funding to support businesses in the West of England to address new challenges caused by COVID-19.
“Any SME in the area undertaking a digital innovation or research and development project should consider applying. We are offering a sliding scale of grants, from £10k to £40k, so hopefully, there is a funding option for a range of businesses – from start-ups and micro-enterprises, to more established organisations. The application process is straightforward and UWE Bristol staff are available to provide hands-on support through a series of confidential one-to-one drop-in sessions.
“We are looking forward to this new fund delivering similar benefits to the local economy, and helping individual SMEs to innovate and grow.”
The Digital Innovation Fund follows on from previous successful grant funding schemes run by the University, which has given £2m of grants to thriving businesses in the West of England, creating over 150 new jobs and more than 100 new products and services. To apply please visit: www.digitalinnovationfund.co.uk