Supporting the future of telecommunications...

Here at RedKnight we are now accustomed to celebrate every new month with a success, and this November is no different, as another success has been addedd on the RedKnight scoreboard. This time we are delighted to have supported South Wales based Compound Semiconductor Centre (CSC) Ltd with a successful application to the Eureka-Eurostars programme, scooping a grant of €632,812 for the consortium, which comprises Manchester based Integrated Compound Semiconductors (ICS) Ltd and V-tech Lasers & Sensors, based in Eindhoven. This latest success brings RedKnight's total funding secured since September 2015 to over £4.7m.The project, titled Monolithically Integrated Detector Solutions for Next Generation Comms Applications (MISCA), aims to lever semiconductor material integration to deliver disruptive, scalable component platforms, addressing demands of next generation telecommunications, data communications and optical infrastructure. The consortium will use intelligent monolithic integration of compound semiconductor materials platforms to deliver high-speed detector solutions with co-optimised RF and optical performance.
With Global IP traffic set to increase 3-fold over the next 5 years, having already increased 127-fold from 2005, an enormous market for fibre optic communications components has been created. The EU has built a significant proportion of GDP on digital activities, however the data centre infrastructure required to deliver such services must embrace step changes in data rate improvements to keep pace with demand. This requires reliable, mass produced, high quality optical transceivers to achieve this aim.
In this regard, MISCA will provide a step change in the degree of materials integration used in the volume manufacturing process for PIN (Positive, Intrinsic, Negative) diode and Avalanche Photo-diode (APD) device-based receivers - a major acceleration in the commercialisation of the innovative technology. This integration approach will deliver increased chip-scale specification to unlock packaging simplification and reduced operating power requirements, which has added benefits for environmentally friendly manufacturing.
Mr Wyn Meredith, Director at CSC, said of the successful application “The support from Redknight took away all the effort and angst of understanding the bid requirements and allowed us to concentrate on building the business case for the project. I was impressed at the rate at which the RedKnight team got to grips with the complexities of the technical aspects of the bid, and the added value in their understanding of the needs of the assessment process”


Innovate UK launches competition on developing game-changing innovation

 

Innovate UK has just allocated up to £20 million into a competition that will finance the best new ideas for products and services developed from cutting-edge technologies. The competition is open to all ideas from any area of technology, science or engineering, including arts, design and creative industries, and can be applied in any sector of the economy.

This competition opens on 12 July 2018, as part of Innovate UK’s open funding programme and will support a range of projects from feasibility studies to longer industrial research and experimental development projects. The deadline for applications is at midday on 12 September 2018.

Eligible projects can be led by a business working alone or with partners or by a research and technology organisation and they must demonstrate they have a game-changing idea that could lead to new commercial products, processes or services. All projects must include at least 1 SME, and, in this regard, there is also an opportunity for businesses to apply for Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) (more here)

InnovateUK is expecting to provide funding to projects ranging in size between £25,000 and £2 million and it is also expecting successful projects to last between 6 and 36 months. Businesses could attract up to 70% of their project costs.

For more information see the overall description here, and contact us at RedKnight!

Source InnovateUK


£40m available to support development of electric vheicles charging

From July 12, UK business will have the opportunity to secure access up to £40 million to develop and demonstrate new ways of charging electric vehicles. The programme falls in line with the new strategy of the UK government, that aims at having zero emissions by 2050, and this competition is particularly focused on growing the UK's charging infrastructures quickly enough to make electric vehicles an attractive choice.

In order to have access to the grant, eligible consortia (all eligibility criteria available here) will have time until 29 August 2018 to submit their applications, which can be redirected to one of the two competitions which this funding is split in:

  • to support electric vehicle owners who don’t have suitable off-street parking to charge their vehicles in public spaces
  • to investigate wireless charging options for owners of vehicles such as taxis, service vehicles and delivery vans

This first competition is looking for creative new designs and technologies that could offer significant, convenient and low-cost charging facilities to areas where people don’t have off-street parking. Project ideas could range from providing on-street infrastructure to creating a community charging hub. There are 2 phases: phase 1 will fund a series of feasibility studies which should have costs of between £75,000 and £120,000 and last up to 3 months; the best ideas could go on phase 2 for large-scale demonstration projects in public areas, which should have costs of between £5 million and £10 million and last up to 18 months.

The second competition focuses on new technologies that would allow commercial vehicles - such as taxis, service vehicles and delivery fleets - to top up their batteries during the day without having to stop to plug in. Projects should look at commercially-feasible ideas and business models that would enable wireless charging in places such as stations and airports, or with commercial vehicles at major depots, hubs or delivery bays, so that vehicles to be charged while causing minimum disruption to their business. Just like the previous competition, there are 2 phases: phase 1 will fund a series of feasibility studies which should have costs of between £75,000 and £120,000 and last up to 3 months; the best ideas could go on phase 2 for large-scale demonstration projects in public areas, which should have costs of between £5 million and £10 million and last up to 18 months. Projects must be led by a business working with other businesses, local authorities, research organisations or charities and businesses could attract up to 70% of their project costs.

For more information, follow this direct link or contact one of our experts at RedKnight.

Source InnovateUK

 


InnovateUK lauches new funding initiative in support to diagnostics and tratment of disease

As our H2020 project BreathSpec® is now approaching to its crucial phase (ed. for more info, stay tuned on all our channels), diagnostics is receiving a renewed interest by investors and funding organisations.

There are grant funding and private investment currently available for precision medicine projects that improve how we diagnose, monitor and treat disease and the last – yet not least – of these opportunities has just been announced by InnovateUK, which has up to £6 million available in grants for UK-based small and medium-sized enterprises, with at least the same amount in additional match funding coming from equity partners. As states on the description of the call, the programme will fund projects that focus on at least one of the following:

  • next-generation medical diagnostics, including new molecular and cellular diagnostics, advanced medtech devices, and imaging and clinical pathology technologies
  • wearable or implantable devices such as biosensor tattoos or contact lenses that can inform treatment options for the patient outside of the hospital
  • tailor-made therapies or medicines designed around an individual patient’s molecular diagnosis. This includes gene therapy, regenerative cell therapy, immunotherapy, synthetic biology or combination therapies
  • bioinformatic or artificial intelligence applications that rapidly and accurately extract digital data from medtech devices, imaging systems or clinical pathology platforms

The innovation fund will open the competition on 23 July 2018, and the deadline for applications is at midday on 26 September and the competition will be open to single applicant SMEs with the opportunity to access to match funding; In this regard, InnovateUK provides a list of 13 investor partners providing match funding in this competition (link).

Projects eligible for funding can last up to 24 months and have total costs of between £500,000 and £1.5 million. Successful applicants will be provided with 100% of their project costs. This will be split between Innovate UK and the equity partner, depending on whether it is an industrial research or experimental development project.

Source InnovateUK


Spain wins most SME Instrument grants

Spain is the EU country with the most successful start-ups in this year’s Phase 1 competition under the SME Instrument, with total of 48 Spanish companies getting funding. Next was Italy, with 21 grants and third France with 18. Cyprus, Malta, Slovakia and Romania had no successful candidates.

From 2,149 applicants, the European Commission selected 242 SMEs from 30 countries to receive a total of €12 million, to spend on getting their innovations to market faster. Each winner receives €50,000 to draft a business plan and also gets access to free coaching and business acceleration services.

Most companies are in ICT, health and engineering. They are developing various innovations, including a sensory feedback system for phantom pains, a new technology for micro motors, a control system for e-bikes that extends battery life, a distance communication system for drones and a valuation tool for start-ups based on artificial intelligence.

The SME Instrument currently is part of EU’s research and innovation programme Horizon 2020, but is due to move under the umbrella of the newly formed European Innovation Council, the Commission’s attempt at creating a one stop shop for innovators across the continent.

Companies can apply for two phases under the SME Instrument, depending on the maturity of their innovation.

Under Phase 1, each project receives a lump sum of €50,000 to carry out a feasibility study. Under Phase 2, €500,000 to €2.5 million per company is available to finance innovation activities such as demonstration, testing, piloting and scaling up.

The next application deadline for the SME Instrument Phase 1 is on 5 September 2018.

Source: Science Business


£25million to create next-gen UK Connected Autonomous Vehicle services.

If your company is involved in the Autonomous Vehicles business, you definitely cannot miss this opportunity!

The Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) is aiming to invest over £150 million, match-funded by industry over 5 years, to ensure the UK become a leader in the Connected Autonomous Vehicles (CAV) transportation. Thanks to the CCAV funding opportunities, trials in real-world settings are already under way in Bristol, Coventry, Greenwich and Milton Keynes; this year, the CCAV has up to £25 million to invest in up to 4 pilot schemes for self-driving vehicles, each of which must have at least a 6-month trial in a public or semi-controlled setting; a clear commercial focus and the potential to become an enduring service.

Briefing events will be held in London, Cardiff, Belfast, Glasgow and Sunderland a the end of June and beginning of July 2018.

For more information, contact us!


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!