Innovate UK to launch its 7 Wonders of the summer

Talking about summer reminds most of us of sunny beaches and relaxing holidays, but for SMEs this could be also the perfect time to seize new and exciting funding opportunities, as over £80m in funding is made available by Innovate UK to support innovation and growth, and we have divided them in to what we like to call the 7 Wonders of the SMEs' Summer.

Starting with the Open grant funding competition: Round 2 , Innovate UK will make available up to £20 million to the best cutting-edge or disruptive ideas or concepts with a view to commercialisation. The competition will be open from the 12th of July and we do really suggest you to keep an eye on this, as up to 70% funding is available to applications from any area: from technology, science or engineering, to arts, design, media or even creative industries.

More focused schemes are also available to those who have innovative ideas to reduce the waste of plastics or to design and implement smart local energy systems. The Plastic innovation: towards zero waste competitions scheme opened last June 18th, and will make available up to £4million funding to support innovative activities – e.g. developing new polymers, processes, designs, recycling regimes, etc. - that result in less persistent plastic waste in our environment. On the other hand, the Smart local energy systems: concepts and designs is directed to revolutionary concept and design studies for new, smarter approaches to local energy; these approaches must aim to provide cleaner, cheaper energy services for UK consumers in the 2020s while helping make communities more prosperous and resilient. The scheme opened on May 8th and will fund projects between £100,000 and £200,000 for a total worth of £1.5 million.

SMEs operating in the manufacturing area will have also the chance to compete in the Manufacturing readiness and scale up of genomic analysis technologies; a competition which will allocate up to £5 million in projects that aim to increase the UK commercial capacity to manufacture real time or rapid genomic analysis equipment such as high throughput nucleic acid sequencing. The competition is open since 18th June and will remain open until 11th July .

The fourth competition launched, on Monday 4th June, addresses all UK businesses and RTOs who want to implement ground breaking ideas for a Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAV) testing infrastructure for autonomous parking and autonomous driving on rural roads and highways. The name of the competition is Meridian 3: autonomous highway, rural and parking test facilities and within this programme, the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) will invest up to £25 million in partnership with Meridian Mobility and Innovate UK, to support up to 6 projects aimed to create the world’s most effective CAV testing ecosystem. otal project costs must be between £1 million and £20 million.

The last two “Wonders” are not specifically industry-related, yet they are a great opportunity for all those companies who work with IT systems, AI and data management. As part of the Next Generation Services Challenge, Innovate UK launched on 18th June an initiative called Transforming accountancy, insurance and legal services with AI and data (small projects strand) to invest up to £12 million in innovation projects to support the application of artificial intelligence (AI) and data technologies. Funded projects should be up to £400,000 and should aim to transform, in up to 2 years, fields such as: Accountancy; Insurance and Legal services. Finally, Innovate UK has something in store even for those companies who are working to improve the defence and security of the UK. The Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) Open Call for Innovation will remain open until March 2019 and it is looking for innovations that address defence or security challenges in two specific strands: Emerging Innovations and Rapid Impact Innovation.


Helping filling the Void...

Another month, another success for RedKnight’s scoreboard. This time we are celebrating a successful proposal that RedKnight provided bid-writing and proposal development support for, which has secured Bond Digital Health Ltd, a Cardiff based small to medium-sized enterprise (SME), a grant worth £68,583 from Innovate UK’s Precision Medicine competition.

The funding will allow Bond to continue developing its wearable technology product, called Metis, which aims to provide a digital solution to the "clinical whitespace" void that currently exists between patients suffering with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and their doctors. This void can be a few days or as long as 6 months, during which the clinician has to rely on anecdotal evidence and at best, inaccurate paper diaries. These are often referred to by clinicians as "car park diaries" as that is where the information is often entered, moments before the consultation.

Thanks to this grant, Bond will be able to further develop the product which will equip medical practitioners with independent, accurate analysis of patient data providing valuable, comprehensive insights and evidence-based care.

Mr Ian Bond, CEO of Bond said of the success, “RedKnight have been instrumental in helping us achieve this significant milestone. We are extremely happy to have received the funding which will enable us to make a start on our Metis project. Completing this feasibility study will open a wider range of funding opportunities for further development, scale up and trials.”


On the road in Romania.....

Half of this week has gone and it is only now that we can say we have finally recovered from our endeavours from the past week; what a journey it was! It has been indeed an intense week for team RedKnight, as our Directors went all the way down to Romania, in order to deliver two sessions of training on the behalf of the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC). The training, which was on Proposal Writing for European Structural & Investment Funding (ESIF), whit a focus on the Regional Operational Programme (ROP) for Romania launched in 2014, was organised in cooperation with the European Academy and the local Regional Development Authorities (RDA) in Cluj and Iasi, and it was aimed to train local businesses and universities who applied to the Priority Axis1 of the Programme and wanted to know more on the features and characteristics of this large €6.7billion-worth programme, as well as how to successfully apply for it.

The whole week was organised in two different sessions of 1,5 days of training each, which brought our team to some of the most suggestive regions of Romania, the North-Western Region of Cluj-Napoca and the North Eastern Region of Iași. During both session, our team taught the delegates about the funding requirements specific to the ROP PA1, as well as the tips and trick for writing a good proposal and effectively managing a project. Furthermore, the team had the opportunity to show the quality of the RedKnight method and put few of the tips into practice, when were asked by the delegate to assess and review their preliminary proposals. This final activity was useful not only to the applicants, who could experience first-hand the way RedKnight works, but also the whole training was useful for our business, as we had the opportunity to engage with representatives from the Institutions, academia and the leading sectors of the growing Romanian productive network: a great chance for RedKnight to make a name for ourselves in a land so far from Wales.

 


The turnout was really outstanding in both venues and the audience was surprisingly various: from fashion industry and textile, to plastic and recycling. Our Director and co-founder, Dayne Hodgson, described the week: “We are so happy we managed to deliver such a successful training. All the delegates were enthusiastic to discuss the requirements of the ROP and to learn methods of bid writing and project management that are new and innovative for the Romanian landscape: we are proud to be one of the very first to share this know-how there.” Furthermore, he added that “it was very interesting to discover the very high level of activity and innovation that is developing within the two regions we visited” and it was surprised to remark that “Romania hides an environment that is still to be discovered, which hides excellent opportunities for cooperation and investment”.

We had a great experience in Romania, such a beautiful country with still a lot to explore, and we hope we will have the chance in future to go back there and explore some more! But now we are back in our headquarters in Abercynon, ready to do what we do best: make our clients succeed.


RedKnight starring at the Mediwales Showcase: a great event!

 

Yesterday, the RedKnight team took part in the last edition of the Mediwales Showcase, a prestigious event that took place at the Novotel in Cardiff.

The event was attended by new and important members who showed the public involved their business and their new projects, among which stood out IMSPEX, who also presented the BreathSpec project, displaying a functioning device at their stand.

Being a long term Mediwales member, it is always a pleasure to be an active part at these very engaging events and to meet new potential partners and clients.
Especially on this occasion, a lot of members invited approached us at our stand and it was incredible to see that there are so many innovative realities in Wales, eager and willing to take on big funding opportunities, and we are happy to having met you all and we enjoyed talking to all of you who stopped by and asked about RedKnight and how we can help you growing your business!

We wanted to thank you MediWales for organising the event and we look forward to meeting again all the fantastic people we met yesterday and we hope to meet even more in the future!


Dr Anthony Turley - Clinical Director - Cardiff & Vale University Health Board

Working with Redknight has been a completely positive experience. It was our first venture into applying for Horizon 2020 funding and we were successful - a combination of a good idea and Redknight’s relentless support in navigating through the various processes and programmes. Their advice and direction was invaluable and we would gladly work with them again.


Prof. Rob Field - Founder & CEO - Iceni Diagnostics

It has been a pleasure working with the Redknight team. At a time of intense set-up in our SME, having reliable and proactive consultants who keep us on top of funding opportunities and who contribute substantially to the preparation and submission of applications has been invaluable


Prof Duncan M. Baird - Chief Technology Officer - TeloNostiX Ltd

It was a pleasure to work with RedKnight, their professionalism and expertise has been hugely beneficial to our company. We had previously made several unsuccessful applications to lnnovateUK, before contacting Red Knight. Their understanding of the requirements for business orientated funding streams has made the all difference, as evidenced by our successful application for a lnnovateUK Investment Accelerator award


Ms Tiiina Heinikainen - Project Coordinator - Kouvola Innovation Ltd

It was our best funding training so far. Clear, efficient and full of detailed information, as well as sharing experiences. We are hoping to collaborate with RedKnight soon.


Mr Ildefonso Martins - Strategy and Marketing - Aveleda, SA

We had already submitted our project 3 times to the SME Instrument before I attended RedKnight' SME Instrument Masterclass, and in the last submission our score was almost there, but not enough. In the Masterclass I heard some helpful tips that our team used in the revision we made for our 4th submission and finally this time we reached the goal: Approval!