That is why we’ve created the Tech City UK Cluster Alliance. It’s aim is to accelerate the growth of digital businesses in cities around the UK, share best practices, drive opportunities and link up groups across the UK engaged in digital innovation.
There is a huge opportunity to make the most of our cities’ respective digital strengths. Every city is a tech city, with its own unique DNA. Cities need to build up their local tech skills and infrastructure, while forging deep links with other tech clusters across the country.
The current clusters in the Alliance are Scotland, Northern Ireland, Manchester, Newcastle, Sunderland, Liverpool, Birmingham, Bristol/Bath, Cardiff, Sussex, Cambridge and Sheffield/Leeds.
The dedicated Future Fifty team provides a ‘concierge’-style service connecting companies with support and advice designed to facilitate continued growth.
The Future Fifty programme aims to boost visibility and exposure of the companies to institutional investors, along with ongoing mentorship and business support provided by experts in the areas of accountancy, legal advice, talent, public relations and capital markets.
Selected through open competition, the first cohort of fifty companies were selected in two tranches in late 2013 by the Future Fifty Advisory Panel, made up of experts from across the private sector and includes institutional investors, specialists from leading law and accounting firms, as well as executives from recently listed UK companies.
First announced by David Cameron at the CEBIT conference earlier this year, the competition will support Internet of Things early stage startups or SMEs centred in or working within London and Cambridge. £1M in grant funding to be shared between multiple winners.
Companies can apply for anything from £50K to £150K.
The Technology Strategy Board is looking for projects that may be risky for companies to take forward without any support, or that may take them into new innovative areas. Companies collaborating across the tech clusters of London and Cambridge are particularly encouraged to enter.
The competition has established relationships with EE, John Lewis, Unilever, Seedcamp, and Red Gate.
These partners will offer suitable successful applicants anything from investment to a route to market, mentorship and retail space to showcase their products to consumers.
Funding of up to 60% of eligible costs (refunded on a monthly basis) with individual grants of up to £150k and estimated project sizes ranging between £50k and £250k will be available. We will look at applications for projects larger than £250k, but the grant funding will be capped at £150k. Projects can last up to 12 months and should be led by micro, small or medium-sized companies that we anticipate are likely to be in the early stages of their development. This will all be monitored by the Technology Strategy Board’s Monitoring Officers.
You have until midday on September 3rd 2014 to apply.
Winners will have up to 6 months to start their projects once they have been given a conditional offer letter and will have up to 24 months to complete the work they’ve set out to do. This will all be monitored by the Technology Strategy Board’s Monitoring Officers.
The Internet of Things refers to that magical point where the physical and digital connect. It’s about using the latest digital technology to allow physical objects to “talk” to each other.
The whole purpose is to improve our lives, to allow us to do things that once seemed impossible. On a consumer level, this might mean electricity meters that talk to the grid to get you the best deals. Or health monitors to keep an eye on your heart rate. On a macro level, it could result in new flood warning systems that use sensors and the Internet to predict problems ahead of time. Water pipes that warn of a fall in pressure. Or a more efficient bus transport system.
Research analysts Gartner predict by 2020, nearly 26 billion physical devices will be transmitting data to each other via the Internet. For innovators and tech engineers, the opportunity is staggering.
It’s a transformative development, and we want Britain to be a major player in this space. If you'd like more information on the IOT Launchpad competition you can find our press release here.
One of the ways we shape our goals and inform Government is via the Tech City UK Pulse, designed to collate feedback from the digital business community. Regular feedback from the community is key to shape our priorities and to inform Government on an ongoing basis.
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