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£500,000 funding for photonics research and development project

Innovate UK has announced an investment of up to £500,000 into a research and development project competition focussed around the emerging cluster of photonics, electro-optics and opto-electronics businesses in Wales.

The competition aims to stimulate this photonics hotspot by helping companies towards commercial success. In collaboration with the Welsh Government and the Welsh Opto-Electronics Forum, Innovate UK aims to draw investment and people into the area, and to encourage networking and collaboration to strengthen the cluster.

Projects that may be too risky for companies to take forward without any support, or that may take them into new innovative areas are of particular interest. Another stipulation is that the majority of the project activities should be carried out in North Wales.

Innovate UK will fund industrial research projects, with estimated project sizes ranging between £50,000 and £90,000. Projects can last up to 12 months and must be led by a micro, small or medium-sized company that is likely to be in the early stages of its development; businesses can work alone or in collaboration. Micro and small businesses will receive up to 70% of eligible costs, medium-sized businesses 60%.

In addition to receiving project funding, successful applicants will participate in a programme of business support and growth activities that will run in parallel to projects.

The competition opens for applicants on 22 February 2016. The deadline for submissions is at noon on 6 April 2016.

Tom Austin-Morgan

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