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Gloucestershire Business News

Fund provides £200m backing for innovation

Businesses struggling to bring innovative ideas and projects to fruition due to the coronavirus pandemic will be helped by a new £200million government fund.

The Sustainable Innovation Fund will be open to UK companies who need urgent financial support to keep cutting-edge projects and ideas alive.

Business Secretary Alok Sharma said: "Our country is home to some of the world's most cutting-edge businesses that turn ingenious ideas into new technologies every day.

"That's why we're backing our innovators and risk-takers with new investment so they can recover and grow out of the coronavirus pandemic.

"I am urging businesses in all parts of the UK to come forward and pitch their state-of-the-art ideas to us, so we can work together to power the UK's economic recovery."

Applications for support via the Innovate UK website opened today.

Innovate UK executive chairman Dr Ian Campbell said: "Many businesses have successfully, and innovatively, responded to the challenges posed by the coronavirus.

"Organisations will recover from the pandemic and as the situation stabilises, we will help businesses build an innovative economy that is viable and resilient.

"Today we issue the call for more innovators to put forward proposals to help the UK build a sustainable and productive future."

Among possible innovation highlighted by the Government are new technologies focused on making homes and offices more energy efficient, creating ground-breaking medical technologies to treat infections and diseases or reducing the carbon footprint of public transport in our towns and cities.

In a move to support people across the country to establish more 'climate-positive' behaviours, businesses and start-ups could also make use of the fund to develop smart, sustainability-focused projects - from apps encouraging people to cut down their food waste to sustainable biodegradable packaging.

Secretary to the Treasury Kemi Badenoch said: "Our ability to innovate will be key to tackling this crisis, driving economic growth and supporting jobs.

"This funding, on top of our existing support for innovation, will back businesses in a wide range of sectors including technology, health, transport and clean growth.

A £500million Future Fund, which provides match-funding to private investors, has received more than 500 applications since its launch on May 20.

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