Thriving SparkFund awarded £2.5 million in extra funding to support North Yorkshire and Humber SMEs
The University of Hull’s SparkFund, which delivers business grants and support, has been awarded additional funding from the European Structural and Investment Fund (ESIF) and European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Due to the success of the original programme SparkFund has been successful in its application for additional funding for Innovation Vouchers and Research & Development grants. The funding, totalling almost £2.5 million, will support the competitiveness and innovation of regional small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) within through a scheme of Innovation Vouchers and R&D grants within the North Yorkshire and Humber regions.
The funding, which is detailed as £1,075,105 towards Innovation Voucher schemes, and £1,330,584 in R&D grants will have to be matched by businesses.
Although the process was long and complex, ensuring the local strategic fit and support for the region was a top priority when this formal change request was supported by the Managing Authority.
Director of Research and Innovation at the University of Hull, Dr Maggie McGowan, comments that:
“The additional funding awarded is a testament to the success of SparkFund and the impact of the support the team provides to SMEs in the Region. We are very much looking forward to further contributing to regional growth by stimulating investment in research and innovation. ”
Steve Gregory, Chair of SparkFund’s independent awards panel and Head of Regional Engagement at the University of Huddersfield states:
“This wonderful news showcases the exceptional efforts from the SparkFund team, and the tangible impact that the funding is having on the North Yorkshire and Humber region. It’s amazing that SMEs are getting the opportunity to receive match funding and it’s something SMEs in the region should be extremely excited about.”
This extra funding will allow the already successful SparkFund to support many more eligible SMEs within the region and help them unlock their potential for innovation and R&D over a longer period. This funding permits an extension from 31st August 2019 to 31st December 2021.