Firms encouraged to tap EU tech fund

The government wants to ease UK companies' access to funding for innovative-technology research

The government is aiming to make it easier for UK companies to access €3.6bn (£2.47bn) of EU funds for research into innovative new technologies with new guidelines.

The funding available is part of the EU's Framework Programme, which has €17.5bn overall to spend on scientific and technology research in areas such as information society technologies (IST), health, food, and aeronautics.

The objectives of the IST branch of the programme are to ensure European innovation and competitiveness in generic and applied technologies "at the heart of the knowledge economy". Project areas that are eligible for funding are applied IST research addressing major societal and economic challenges; communication, computing and software technologies; components and microsystems; knowledge and interface technologies.

A centralised government network of national contact points (NCPs) has now been enhanced to help UK companies apply for funding.

Lord Sainsbury, minister for science and innovation, said in a statement: "Research and development is essential to the health and wealth of the UK. The EU funding is a vital resource for universities and businesses."

More information can be found here.