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100m GBP to Back UK Innovation in Northern Ireland

23 May 2005

Northern Ireland businesses have the opportunity to turn ideas into commercial success with the latest 100 million GBP competition of the Department of Trade and Industry's pioneering Technology Programme.

The Technology Programme aims to ensure that the UK remains at the forefront of a knowledge based economy by exploiting emerging technologies such as nanotechnology and composites and promoting the importance of essential UK inward investment.

A Technology Programme regional information day was held in Belfast yesterday with the day being an opportunity to meet the Technology Programme team, business-led Technology Strategy Board members, business leaders and Invest NI's Innovation Research & Technology Team to discuss how to apply for funding to develop innovative ideas.

Focusing on eight priority areas that include biopharmaceutical bio-processing, emerging energy technologies and micro and nanotechnology, the current competition is part of the bi-annual competition underpinned by a £370 million, three-year government investment to stimulate collaborative research and development.

Chairman of the UK Technology Strategy Board, Graham Spittle said “we want to ensure the UK technology strategy adds value to the economy by helping local companies succeed in markets of the future. There is a special focus on the challenge of sustainability and continuing broad support for a range of underlying technologies.

For the first time the current competition will allow consortia to bid for support for large demonstrator projects, and has earmarked over £50m for the zero emission challenge, emerging energy technologies and the validation of complex systems.

Over £240m has already been allocated through previous competitions and grants awarded range from £30k to £2.2m across 16 key technology areas. Five regional information days are being held throughout May in London, Cardiff, Glasgow, Newcastle and Belfast providing essential additional details to potential applicants.

The April 2005 competition closes on 20th June.





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