East of England businesses developing innovative new products in 2011 could receive a major funding boost through the East of England Development Agency (EEDA)’s Grants for Research and Development programme.

EEDA is offering between £20,000 and £250,000 in grant funding to businesses developing ‘greener’ technologies in 2011. The grants are being made available thanks to funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), and local companies are being urged to apply now to secure their grant before the new financial year.  

Paul May, executive director of innovation at EEDA, said:

“EEDA’s grant funding can give businesses developing new technologies that early-stage funding boost they need to get their projects off the ground. They also have a track record of giving up-and-coming businesses the stamp of approval they need to go on and attract further investment.

“EEDA has £2 million of grant funding available to support low carbon research and development up to the end of this financial year. But it’s first come, first served and applications need to be in and approved by the 31 March.”

“This is not just aimed at companies developing wind turbines or other traditional ‘environmental technologies’. You may be developing a new software system, ICT solution or an advanced manufacturing process for example, that has a positive knock-on effect on the environment – reducing carbon emissions, energy consumption or our reliance on natural resources. If so, you could be eligible for EEDA’s grant funding and we would welcome your application.”

A grant from EEDA can be used by companies to prove a market place for a new product, to develop a prototype and/or to test its feasibility. Up to £250,000 is available to match fund 40 per cent of a project’s total cost. As a grant, applicant companies are not required to release any of their equity as part of the funding agreement.

Richard Tunnicliffe, regional director of the CBI – the ‘voice of business’ – said:

“As the economy continues to strengthen, more and more businesses are looking to the future and starting to develop innovative new products. EEDA’s funding can give companies a helping hand in taking those ideas a step closer to reality, into the marketplace.

“There is going to be a significant reduction in the amount of funding available to businesses over the coming months and years. It is therefore important that local companies take advantage of the publicly-funded support that is out there now, before it disappears.”

Apply for a grant before the end of March by visiting www.bizmapeast.com/lowcarbon