The East of England Development Agency's (EEDA) £1.5m Proof of Concept fund was launched today.

Mark Aspinall, Head of Innovation at EEDA, said: "The East of England is rightly known as 'the ideas region', but translating ideas into profitable businesses not only requires vision it needs careful nurturing.  The launch of our Proof of Concept Fund does precisely this by giving entrepreneurs the opportunity to thoroughly test the commercial environment confronting their business prior to launch. Last year's pilot project benefited companies from across the East of England.  Our aim is to see even more come forward this year."

The new 'Proof of Concept' fund will help entrepreneurs in business and higher education research the commercial viability of their ideas. Last year, the pilot project of this fund helped 50 local firms. 

The Proof of Concept Fund, which is open to innovative ideas, will allocate funding of between £5,000 and £40,000 to a maximum of 75 percent of project cost over four seasonal rounds. The deadline for the spring (first) round closes on 20 April with awards scheduled to be announced on 22 June.

Further information including an application form, guidance notes and case studies on some past winners is available at www.eeda.org.uk/proofofconcept.  Following his award last year, Ray Pitman of KIS said: "The Proof of Concept Fund has been quite invaluable. I would warmly encourage other entrepreneurs to engage with this programme."   EEDA's aim is that others will be inspired by the opportunities offered by the fund and benefit in the same way Ray did last year.