£1m worth of funding available to encourage innovation among Bristol’s small and mid-sized firms

May 7, 2024

Bristol’s small and medium-sized firms can secure grants of up to £25,000 to help them innovate and grow under a scheme set up by the West of England Combined Authority.

The £1m programme offers eligible firms a one-off grant towards the cost of research and development – with the ultimate aim of getting new products or services to market or developing new processes. 

It has already helped a number of firms across the region, including pioneering Bristol-based retrofit technology firm Propflo, which used the funding to help develop a project that measure the energy quality of a home using AI.

Other firms to benefit from the scheme include Fellten in Yate, which is creating a virtual reality app to help convert classic cars to electric, and Kelpi, a Bath firm on a mission to replace single-used plastics with fully compostable seaweed alternatives.

West of England Metro Mayor Dan Norris, who leads the combined authority, said: “Smaller and medium sized firms are the cornerstone of our regional economy, accounting for more than 90% of all businesses in the West.

“They’re essential to our current success, but they’re going to be absolutely vital when it comes to the long-term prosperity of our region.

“That’s why I’m backing them with this £1m fund to help unleash their full potential.”

While firms from any sector can apply, the combined authority is particularly encouraging those involved in Immersive Creative, Advanced Engineering, Health Sciences and Sustainable Fintech.

These sectors have been identified as key to the future of the region in the combined authority’s region’s Plan for Innovation.

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