Wednesday 10 July 2019 4:52 pm

UK businesses to get £125m innovation boost

UK businesses will receive a £125m cash boost from the government to help them turn their bright ideas into money-spinners, City A.M. can reveal.

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The government will add £100m of the sum to its “smart grant” programme that looks to help businesses take ideas from the concept stage to the market. The other £25m will be available through Innovate UK, the government’s innovation agency.

The new money comes at a time when employers have been critical of the government’s approach to Brexit. Last month the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) said last month that firms were “increasingly being left with our heads in our hands” over political uncertainty and issues such as reporting requirements.

But business secretary Greg Clark said today that the government was “backing our homegrown businesses” with more funding, helping them “boost productivity and create jobs, growth and opportunity”.

The government said it has “has invested over £2.2bn in more than 11,000 projects focusing on technological innovation” over the last 12 months.

Businesses are able to submit their innovative ideas to receive some of the funding announced today to help them with research and development and marketing tactics.

Previous recipients include machine learning company Magic Pony Technology, which was bought by Twitter for $150m (£120m). The social media giant was attracted to its technology that could understand features of imagery.

Photocentric, a 3D printing company that expects to sell over £8m of its products by 2020, also benefited from “smart grant” funding.

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Ian Campbell, executive chair of Innovate UK, said the grants and loans schemes “are popular with businesses because they help great ideas get to market faster”.