The Smart Concept Fund
The Smart Concept Fund offers a Proof of Concept grant designed to support the commercialisation of new technologies.
The Fund can award successful applicants a grant of up to £16,500 at an intervention rate of up to 55% to help fund an approved product development project, subject to eligibility conditions. The Fund is open to applications and closure expected early 2023.
It is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), so to be eligible for support your business must be based within one of the three sponsoring LEP areas (Black Country, The Marches or Stoke on Trent and Staffs) and qualify as an SME (detailed conditions apply, but in summary the company must have independent ownership, have fewer than 250 employees and an annual turnover of less than €50 million).
The aim of the Smart Concept Fund is to support companies to carry out a programme of development work, where third-party suppliers are contracted to provide expert services such as:
- Design modelling
- Engineering analysis
- Protection of intellectual property
- Preparation of intellectual property agreements
- Market research
- Pre-clinical tests
- Phase 1 clinical trials
- User trials
- Product testing (including compliance with product standards)
Smart Concept Fund is targeted towards businesses that operate in the following sectors:
- Transport technologies (including aerospace and automotive)
- Building technologies/construction
- Advanced manufacturing including advanced engineering
- Environmental technologies
- Applied materials
- Agritech/agriculture, food and drink
- Medical technology
- Energy generation
- Defence and securities