In April 2020, the Government confirmed that UK registered businesses could apply to benefit from a share of a £20 million investment in technology and R&D projects that help develop innovations to encourage new ways of working, building resilience and continued productivity in the UK economy.
The competition, known as The Fast Start Competition, is being managed by Innovate UK. Applications must demonstrate both realistic and significant benefits for society (including communities, families and individuals) or an industry that has been severely impacted and/or permanently disrupted by COVID-19. Successful applicants can claim up to £50,000 of start-up costs in advance of the project start date.
The Government's decision today to double the size of funding of the competition to £40 million comes off the back of successful applications from businesses with cutting-edge ideas. Examples include virtual reality training platforms for surgeons, virtual farmers’ markets for local businesses and farmers, and an app to connect volunteers to local communities to target support for the most vulnerable.
Whilst more details may follow, previous application requirements have included answering six questions regarding your project proposal, business plan and required resources. Other eligibility requirements have included total eligible project costs between £25,000 and £50,000, and being able to start the project within three months of the application being approved. For full details see here.