Cymraeg

Welsh Government open innovation funding call

08/03/2017 00:00:00

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Following a successful two-year pilot initiative with eight Welsh anchor companies, the Welsh Government has extended its funding for new open innovation projects across Wales.

The open innovation funding grant will provide a company with up to a maximum of £30,000 or 50% of project costs (whichever is less) to fund an open innovation feasibility study for between 6-12 months duration, primarily contributing to salary costs. 

Integral to Welsh Governments’ Innovation Wales strategy, the concept of open innovation is based on the idea that large companies cannot find solutions to all of their new product development issues in-house.  Therefore, their customers, suppliers, inventors, universities or other stakeholders may hold valuable insights into their problems.

The eight companies who successfully competed for a previous Welsh Government Open Innovation Development Award and participated in the two year pilot were Newport-based security company Cassidian, defence and security company General Dynamics, which has bases in Oakdale and Newbridge, IQE in Cardiff, Wales & West Utilities, pharmaceutical developer Norgine at Hengoed, Pure Wafer at Swansea, Port Talbot’s Tata Steel and Airbus Defence and Space.

With over £2m investment across 74 collaborative projects, the open innovation funding allowed the participating companies to trial new approaches, adopt innovative methods that were most relevant to their requirements, as well as to connect with previously unknown stakeholders within industry and academia.

Commenting on the benefits of participating in the project, Lucy Mason, Innovation Manager at Wales & West Utilities said: “The open innovation pilot has given us valuable wider exposure to a diverse range of sectors including defence, pharmaceuticals and electronics. It has allowed us to connect with new industry and academic contacts to develop solutions, and draw on skills and expertise to meet the challenges of the future.”

To find out more about the funding available and the advantages of running an open innovation project within your business, contact Mark Lewis in the Welsh Government’s Innovation team on 0300 061 6048 or mark.lewis2@wales.gsi.gov.uk.