Government launches eight innovation hubs with grant funding for local businesses

Government launches eight innovation hubs with grant funding for local businesses
Dan Martin
Dan MartinDan Martin Content & Events

Posted: Mon 23rd Oct 2023

The government has announced new innovation hubs in eight UK regions and nations which will each provide up to £7.5m in research and development (R&D) grant funding for local businesses.

Following pilots in Liverpool and Teesside, eight new 'Launchpads' will be run by Innovate UK focused on sectors including healthcare and net zero.

Each of the Launchpads, which are focused on boosting local employment, economic growth and productivity, will receive up to £7.5m R&D grant funding that individual businesses and consortia of businesses can bid for a share of.

The government said the hubs will also provide access to specialised innovation resources, and opportunities for founders to connect, share ideas, and participate in joint ventures.

More than 40 bids for innovation hubs were received. The eight selected new clusters are:

  • Net Zero Industry Launchpad in South West Wales

  • Digital Technologies Launchpad in North East England

  • Health Technologies Launchpad in West Yorkshire

  • Agri-tech and Food Tech Launchpad in Eastern England

  • Marine and Maritime Launchpad in the South West

  • Bio-based Manufacturing Launchpad in Scotland

  • Immersive and Creative Industries Launchpad in Coventry and Warwickshire

  • Life and Health Sciences Launchpad in Northern Ireland

Science minister George Freeman said:

"The UK science, research and innovation economy is not just the ‘golden triangle’ of Cambridge-Oxford-London. It is all around the UK.

"From Glasgow satellite manufacturing to Manchester materials, Teeside hydrogen and Liverpool life sciences, alongside as many as 25 other globally recognised hubs around the UK - we have world class R&D – and supporting these regional clusters of world class innovation is central to our plan to make the UK an 'innovation nation'.

"That is why we have launched our flagship Launchpads programme - and this £75 million investment will support high-growth companies to build the industries of tomorrow – in sectors from renewable energy through to digital health. These Launchpads will play a pivotal role in growing our local economies, creating jobs and levelling up the UK."

Applications for funding are open until 6 December for marine and maritime businesses in the South West, immersive and creative businesses in Coventry and Warwickshire and agri-tech and food tech businesses in the East of England.

Funding in other areas will open to applications on 30 October and close on 13 December. Find more details and apply for funding here.

Relevant Enterprise Nation resources

Tools and advice for boosting productivity in Enterprise Nation's Tech Hub

Lunch and Learn: How to claim research and development (R&D) tax credits

R&D tax credits: How changes to the rules may affect your small business

Driving innovation for changing customer needs during challenging times

Dan Martin
Dan MartinDan Martin Content & Events
I'm a freelance journalist and event host who helps small businesses and the organisations that support them. I'm also Enterprise Nation's news reporter and Bristol Local Leader. I have 20 years of experience as a small business journalist having interviewed hundreds of entrepreneurs from famous names like Sir Richard Branson and Deborah Meaden to the founders behind brand new start-ups. I've worked for a range of leading small business publications and support groups, most recently as head of content at Enterprise Nation where I was responsible for the prolific output of content on the company's blog and social media. I now freelance for Enterprise Nation as the website's news reporter and as the host of the Small Business sessions podcast. I'm based in Bristol where I run and host regular events with the local small business community in my role as Enterprise Nation's Local Leader for Bristol. I also have strong connections with other major business organisations in the south west region. In total, I've hosted over 100 events including conferences with an audience of hundreds for international brands like Xero and Facebook and live web chats from inside 10 Downing Street. With my partner, I co-run Lifestyle District, a lifestyle blog focused on culture, art, theatre and photography.

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