Organisations are invited to apply for funding from European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) by responding to a number of Calls for projects that will encourage innovation and provide information, communications and technology (ICT) support to Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs).
There are five calls for projects across the Humber and York, North Yorkshire and East Riding (YNYER) LEP areas. A total of £6m is available for joint calls across the Humber and YNYER LEP areas, with a further £1.8m allocated to separate calls in Humber and YNYER making a total ERDF investment across the two LEP areas of £7.8m. Match funding is required. It is anticipated that a single contract will be let for each of the calls. As a result, collaborations are being encouraged and supported by the LEPs and Technical Assistance Partnership.
The Calls for projects are now open until Friday 27 May 2016 for the following activities:
Innovation Vouchers and Support (PA1 – Innovation) – This call is to deliver activity across the whole of the York, North Yorkshire and Humber Local Enterprise Partnership geographies. A maximum of £2m is available under this call with a minimum threshold of £500,000.
Grants for Research & Development (innovation) (PA1- Innovation) – This call is to deliver a Grants for Research and Development scheme across York, North Yorkshire and the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership geographies. A maximum of £2m is available under this call with a minimum threshold of £500,000.
Grants for Research & Development (low carbon) (PA4 – Low Carbon) – This call is to deliver a Grants for Research and Development scheme across the whole of the York, North Yorkshire and the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership geographies which has a specific focus on Low Carbon activities. A maximum of £2m is available under this call with a minimum threshold of £500,000.
ICT Support Programme (PA2 – ICT) – This call is to deliver a programme of activities across the Humber LEP area only, to encourage and enable SMEs to use digital technologies more effectively within their businesses. A maximum of £1m is available under this call with a minimum threshold of £500,000.
Digital Business Support (PA3 – SME Support) – This call is to deliver a programme of activities across the YNYER LEP area only, to support businesses to improve their web presence, sales, marketing and customer management and provide advice on opportunities to become more efficient by exploiting digital services. A maximum of £800,000 is available under this call with a minimum threshold of £500,000.
Three of the call opportunities are being run jointly by the Humber and York, North Yorkshire and East Riding LEP, who were each allocated more than £80m of European Structural Investments Funds to invest until 2020 in projects supporting economic growth.
Isobel Mills CBE, Humber ESIF Committee Chair, said:
“We are excited to launch this call for projects to support innovation and ICT development in our priority sectors. We are looking for projects that make an impact and assist our small and medium businesses to be more innovative, develop big ideas and to drive growth and productivity. These programmes will help businesses work collaboratively to achieve world class research and innovation in our areas. The Humber, and York, North Yorkshire and East Riding LEPs have an excellent working relationship and both recognise the importance of innovation to driving our economic growth. We have worked together to ensure this funding makes the greatest impact and adds value to the business support offer across the area.”
Professor Colin Mellors, Chair of the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding European Structural and Investment Fund Committee and LEP Board member, said:
“This significant funding represents a major opportunity to assist our small and medium-sized businesses to access funds and support for research and development. We are looking for providers who can engage local businesses, support their ambitions and help them to explore ways in which they can develop successful and smarter businesses.
“Working closely with our LEPs, we intend to make the process more straightforward for applicants across North Yorkshire and the Humber. We want to invest the money wisely and ensure that it produces significant and sustainable economic impact.
“The funding will enable our region to maintain and increase the momentum of growth, providing skilled, sustainable jobs for the future and ensuring our businesses are innovative, competitive and make the strongest possible contribution to the UK economy.”
Support is available for organisations interested in responding to one or more of the calls. They can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 01482 391683
University of Hull Call for Innovation Partners
The University of Hull is inviting expressions of interest from organisations wishing to be part of one or two delivery partnerships to provide innovation advice, support and guidance to SMEs in the Humber in anticipation of ESIF innovation and low carbon calls. Further details are on the University’s website.
The deadline for submitting Expressions of Interest is 29 April 2016.