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Unlocking Innovation: How Access to Skills and Science Supercharges Tech Start-ups from Exeter to Edinburgh

Unlocking Innovation: How Access to Skills and Science Supercharges Tech Start-ups from Exeter to Edinburgh

The UK government’s support for tech start-ups through the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology’s Digital Growth Grant, delivered by Barclays Eagle Labs, is a significant boost for the country’s innovation ecosystem. By providing access to scientific research, business coaching, and funding opportunities, these programs aim to support local tech businesses and drive job creation and economic growth across the UK.

In recent news, seven organizations, including universities, have been selected to receive funding to run programs that support tech and digital businesses. These programs will be match-funded by the Digital Growth Grant, with each organization receiving up to £250,000 to invest in new and existing initiatives.

The programs cater to different local specializations, with Edinburgh focusing on “deep tech” start-ups that convert scientific discoveries into businesses. Other regions are supporting tech start-ups addressing climate change, creative industries, and innovation in the healthcare sector.

Some of the successful programs include the Greentech Accelerator in Wales, which provides training, expert advice, network support, and access to funding for climate tech businesses. In Sheffield, the Advanced Wellbeing Accelerator at Sheffield Hallam University supports high-potential health and wellbeing tech businesses, leveraging the region’s growing digital health tech cluster. Meanwhile, the Venture Builder Incubator at the University of Edinburgh offers researchers access to funding, AI research facilities, and a ‘National Robotarium’ to transform their inventions into innovations in robotics and other fields.

The Ecosystem Partnership Programme, which is responsible for allocating funding to these organizations, aims to foster growth and support early-stage tech entrepreneurs across the UK. It prioritizes sectors such as AI, climate tech, and digital innovation.

Looking ahead, the second season of the program will open for applications on October 19th, allowing organizations to apply for matched funding for activities between April 2024 and March 2025.

Overall, these initiatives demonstrate the government’s commitment to nurturing tech start-ups and driving innovation nationwide. By providing access to resources and expertise, these programs will play a crucial role in supporting the growth of tech businesses and creating a thriving digital economy in the UK.

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Akash Osta