Call for Applications: Enabling Technologies and Innovation Competencies Challenge Project

Call for Applications: Enabling Technologies and Innovation Competencies Challenge Project

A call is now open for applications for Enabling Technologies and Innovation Competencies Challenge project, part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) aiming to tackle a range of challenges by supporting companies using Key Enabling Technologies (KETs) to develop new innovative products and services. KETs include:

  • photonics
  • advanced materials
  • micro and nanoelectronics
  • nanotechnology
  • industrial biotechnology
  • advanced manufacturing technologies.

ETICC project offers support and expertise from an academic team and use of university facilities – laboratories and equipment –  for research and development of new products with the application of the above technologies. The project is designed to stimulate innovation in small/medium businesses and help businesses grow.

Part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and managed by Aston Institute of Photonics Technologies, ETICC builds on the successful delivery of ERDF projects by Aston University.

The programme is available to:

  • Existing Small to Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) located in or moving to the Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership area interested in development or/and application of key enabling technologies in the following sectors: life sciences, digital and creative,  low carbon and advanced manufacturing.
  • Existing Small to Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) located in or moving to the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership areas interested in development or/and application of key enabling technologies in the following sectors: transport technologies (including aerospace and automotive), building technologies/construction, advanced manufacturing /advanced engineering, environmental technologies, and business services.
  • Small number of companies from outside the above regions might be accepted onto the programme, if spaces in this call are not taken up by the companies located in GBS and Black Country LEPs .

Application Deadline:

This call opens on 23rd August and closes on 18th October 2019.

Support available:

The project is looking to select 26 companies from the applicants with the technology innovation projects most suitable to be assisted by this project. Companies are offered a minimum of 12 hours of free-of-charge support through one-on-one consultancy with academics from Aston Institute of Photonic Technologies and Aston Institute of Materials Research. This may also include use of relevant laboratories and equipment.

Application procedure:

Applications have to include a filled-in application form, an SME declaration, a State Aid declaration and a description of the problem or technology the company is working on.

Evaluation criteria

Project proposals will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • What are the commercial benefits of the challenge: i.e. what is the likelihood that a good outcome will result in improved processes, improved turnover and gross value added for the company? It is for the company-applicant to make this argument.
  • Novelty of the idea: is this a challenge that is novel and has not already been resolved elsewhere? Innovative ideas will be prioritised
  • Practicality of delivering a solution within the timescale of the project: solution can be developed within few months and will be completed before the project practical completion date of 31 July 2021
  • Is Enabling Technology & Innovation Competencies Challenge project is an appropriate vehicle, or should the company be referred to one of other ESIF funded projects or activities available in the region.

Activities eligible for funding:

  • Development of new technology for SMEs to improve existing products
  • Development of new technology for SMEs leading to new products
  • Development of a prototype device, system, elements at the SME request
  • Development of the prototype product
  • Assistance with preparation of joint projects for SME’s R&D funding

Activities ineligible for funding:

  • Development of technology that would require year(s) of R&D work
  • Development of new devices, systems and elements that would require year(s) of R&D work
  • Development of new products that would require year(s) of R&D work
  • Development of new technology that would beyond the scope of enabling competences and technologies offered by the project

To receive further information about Enabling Technologies and Innovation Competencies Challenge Project and to apply for the project please send a brief description of idea/technology you are working on, along with the contact details, to eticc@aston.ac.uk and the project team will get back to you.

More information about Enabling Technologies and Innovation Competencies Challenge Project can be found on the project website www.enablingtechnologies.uk .

You can also download the ETICC Project Brochure by clicking here

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