RedKnight relocates to sbarc | spark

Following two and a half years in James William House, RedKnight is relocating! We are very excited to announce that we are moving into the new sbarc | spark building on Cardiff University's Innovation Campus.

Our time in James William House has certainly been memorable. We have supported 64 applications, worked with over 100 businesses and secured over £5m of grant funding – all while running a business through a global pandemic! A huge thank you to everyone who has supported us during this time.

New Opportunities

sbarc | spark is the ideal place for RedKnight to develop and grow further; it is a thriving innovation ecosystem, bringing together SPARK – the world’s first Social Science Research Park, and Cardiff Innovations@sbarc – a hub for start-ups, spinouts and partnerships.

RedKnight's Co-Director, Dayne Hodgson, said:

"We are really excited to be relocating into this new state-of-the-art facility on Cardiff Innovation Campus. The move will position RedKnight at the heart of the local innovation ecosystem and provide excellent opportunities to meet and collaborate with innovative start-ups, SMEs and academic spinouts. We are grateful to the spark board for accepting our application to be a part of their vision and look forward to working alongside like-minded individuals over the coming years.”

First Look

Take a look at the sbarc | spark building and our new office below:

Left image: sbarc | spark building, right image: RedKnight's Co-Directors, Dayne and Peter, moving furniture into the sbarc | spark building Left: a red spiral staircase, right: our office in the sbarc | spark building

We are so excited to start this new chapter and look forward to sharing the highlights with you! Want to pop by to say hello? Our new address is Office 06.03, Sbarc | Spark, Maindy Road, Cathays, Cardiff, CF24 4HQ.


BEIS Funding Allocations 2020-2021

BEIS 2020-21 Funding Allocations reveal a huge boost for UK research and innovation.

The Chancellor’s 2020 Budget included ambitious plans to increase public research and development (R&D) investment to £22 billion by 2024. This is the largest and fastest ever expansion of funding for research and innovation, taking direct support for R&D to 0.8% of GDP. It places the UK among the top quarter of OECD nations.

The Government remains committed to meeting this goal, despite the uncertainty caused by the Coronavirus pandemic. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is moving forward with its plans, confirming allocations of the R&D budget for 2020-2021. As a first step towards meeting this ambition, £10.36 billion of funding is being allocated to BEIS programmes and partner organisations this financial year.

The funding includes:

  • investment in world-leading science and advanced mathematics
  • investment in Net Zero technologies in the energy, automotive and aerospace sectors
  • support to immediate efforts to respond to COVID-19, including sponsoring efforts to manufacture and trial a vaccine
  • investment to secure and maintain the essential talent and infrastructure needed to deliver cutting-edge research.

In short, funding for public sector research establishments will enable the UK to be at the forefront of fusion energy technology. It will also deliver world-leading meteorological and climate science, develop cutting-edge quantum measurement techniques, and capitalise on the UK’s space capabilities. In a move aimed at creating stability during the pandemic, BEIS is providing further support to R&D intensive businesses and higher education institutions.

If you're interested in viewing the full list of R&D allocations for this financial year, click here. Alternatively, to discuss funding opportunities with one of our specialist advisers, please contact us today.

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£1.25bn support package for innovative firms hit by coronavirus...

UK businesses driving innovation and development will be helped through the coronavirus outbreak with a £1.25 billion government support package, the Chancellor announced on 20th April 2020.

Rishi Sunak said the targeted and tailored help would ensure firms in some of the most dynamic sectors of the UK economy – ranging from tech to life sciences – are protected through the crisis so they can continue to develop innovative new products and help power UK growth.

The comprehensive package includes a new £500 million loan scheme for high-growth firms, called the Future Fund, and £750 million of targeted support for small and medium sized businesses focusing on research and development.

The £500 million Future Fund has been designed to ensure high-growth companies across the UK receive the investment they need to continue during the crisis.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak, said:

"Britain is a global leader when it comes to innovation. Our start-ups and businesses driving research and development are one of our great economic strengths, and will help power our growth out of the coronavirus crisis. ...This new, world-leading fund will mean they can access the capital they need at this difficult time, ensuring dynamic, fast-growing firms across all sectors will be able to continue to create new ideas and spread prosperity."

Delivered in partnership with the British Business Bank and launching in May, the fund will provide UK-based companies with between £125,000 and £5 million from the government, with private investors at least matching the government commitment. These loans will automatically convert into equity on the company’s next qualifying funding round, or at the end of the loan if they are not repaid. To be eligible, a business must be an unlisted UK registered company that has previously raised at least £250,000 in equity investment from third party investors in the last five years.

The government is committing an initial £250 million in funding towards the scheme, which will initially be open until the end of September. The scale of the fund will be kept under review.

The £750 million of targeted support for the most R&D intensive small and medium size firms will be available through Innovate UK’s grants and loan scheme.

Innovate UK, the national innovation agency, will accelerate up to £200 million of grant and loan payments for its 2,500 existing Innovate UK customers on an opt-in basis. An extra £550 million will also be made available to increase support for existing customers and £175,000 of support will be offered to around 1,200 firms not currently in receipt of Innovate UK funding. The first payments will be made by mid-May.

This package builds on the government’s existing support for innovative, high-growth firms including the £2.5 billion British Patient Capital fund, the upcoming £200 million Life Sciences Investment Programme, internationally competitive R&D tax reliefs and our major commitments to increase public R&D spending to £22 billion by 2024-25.


Increase in funding for game-changing green innovation and woman-led companies…

A significant increase to the European Innovation Council (EIC) Pilot budget is expected to be adopted by the European Commission in March 2020, to support game-changing, market-creating innovation and deep-tech SMEs to scale-up, paving the ground for the launch of a ‘fully-fledged’ programme in Horizon Europe (2021 – 2027).

A one-off EIC Accelerator call for ‘green deal’ start-ups and SMEs is expected, whereby all applicants submitting for the 19th May 2020 cut-off will need to demonstrate how their innovation contributes to the goals of The European Green Deal. The 7th October 2020 cut-off for the EIC Accelerator Pilot will remain open to all innovations.

Additional opportunities for companies with women CEOs (or equivalent positions) is also expected, to ensure 25% of all finalists in the EIC Accelerator Pilot are women-led companies. If, following the first-round remote evaluation, a minimum of 25% of companies selected for the final-stage interviews are not led by women, additional interviews will be scheduled.

An advanced version of the amended EIC Work Programme is due to be released by the end of February, and the final version by the end of March, replacing plans for the year ahead in the current EIC Pilot Work Programme 2018 - 2020.


Important EIC Accelerator update for UK applicants...

The Withdrawal Agreement means that the UK can continue to participate in EU programmes, including Horizon 2020, that are financed by the 2014-2020 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) until their closure (i.e. for the lifetime of grants). UK participants will continue to receive EU grant funding for the lifetime of individual Horizon 2020 projects, including projects finishing after the transition period ends at the end of 2020.

UK scientists, researchers and businesses can continue to participate in and lead Horizon 2020 projects and apply for Horizon 2020 grant funding. The vast majority of Horizon 2020 projects will be able to continue as before during the transition period and beyond. This includes ERC, MSCA, and the EIC Accelerator. However, for the latter, UK entities are now only eligible for the grant element of the programme, meaning they cannot apply for equity support.

A very limited number of UK Horizon 2020 projects, which involve access to security-related sensitive information restricted for EU Member States, may be unable to continue after EU Exit in their current form. The government expects the European Commission to inform participants if this is the case.