Local businesses developing the life-saving new drugs, innovative low-carbon solutions and cutting-edge IT products of tomorrow could soon have access to brand new research equipment, thanks to a competition held in this region.

The capital equipment competition has been launched today by the East of England Development Agency (EEDA), offering entrants the chance to win a grant of between €200,000 and €500,000 to provide ‘communal’ facilities.

The funding will allow state-of-the-art research equipment to be purchased and then housed in centres across the East of England, enabling any local business to hire the facilities without draining their own funds on buying expensive equipment.

Paul May, executive director at EEDA, said:

"The East of England is a hotbed of bright ideas and innovative entrepreneurs developing all sorts. EEDA recognises this region’s particular strengths in sectors like healthcare, life sciences, ICT and low carbon technologies industries which will be at the forefront of driving UK plc out of recession.

"That’s why this competition is so important. Small businesses, particularly during these tougher times, just don’t have the early-stage capital to purchase the equipment they need. So if we can provide the right equipment and the right facilities that they need, we give them a better chance of bringing research and development to market, and a chance to really flourish for our economy."


The capital equipment competition is open to organisations or consortia based in the East of England including science parks, enterprise hubs, innovation centres, academic and research organisations.

The deadline to apply is Monday 23 November 2009. Visit www.eeda.org.uk/capitalequipment for further information and to download an application form.