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UK SMEs encouraged to participate in Horizon 2020 EUR70 billion programme

Nanotechnology Knowledge Transfer Network (NanoKTN) : 19 September, 2013  (Company News)
The Nanotechnology Knowledge Transfer Network (NanoKTN), one of the UK’s primary knowledge-based networks for Micro and Nanotechnologies, is encouraging UK SMEs to take advantage of the Horizon 2020 €70 billion programme.
Horizon 2020 is the financial instrument implementing the Innovation Union, a Europe 2020 flagship initiative aimed at securing Europe's global competitiveness. Running from 2014 to 2020 with an indicative EUR70 billion budget, the EU’s new programme for research and innovation is part of the drive to create new growth and jobs in Europe.
Alec Reader, Director at the NanoKTN explains, “Horizon 2020 aims to tackle societal challenges by helping to bridge the gap between research and commercial organisations, helping innovative enterprises to develop their technological breakthroughs into viable products with real commercial potential. We would urge all UK SMEs to get involved and gain access to the funds available to help their businesses grow.”
Horizon 2020 will combine all research and innovation funding currently provided through the Framework Programmes for Research and Technical Development, the innovation related activities of the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) and the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT).
The proposed support for research and innovation under Horizon 2020 will:
  • Strengthen the EU’s position in science which will provide a boost to top-level research in Europe,
  • Strengthen European leadership in innovation through the ‘Industrial Leadership’ pillar. This includes major investment in key technologies, greater access to capital and support for SMEs.
  • Address major concerns shared by all Europeans such as climate change, developing sustainable transport and mobility, making renewable energy more affordable, ensuring food safety and security, or coping with the challenge of an ageing population.
The ‘Industrial Leadership’ pillar will be of interest to companies wishing to engage with the incorporation of nanotechnologies. Funds will be made available to convert basic research into products of the future, and will include the scalability of production (industrialisation or pilot line development) which will also work alongside the European structural funds such as the ERDF. The programme has several objectives and six ‘Key Enabling Technologies’ (KETs) of which nanotechnology is one. The other five include; photonics, micro and nano-electronics, advanced materials, biotechnology and advanced manufacturing. There has also been a recognition that in Europe, enhancing access to risk finance for investing in research and innovation, is important as well as increasing innovation in small and medium-sized enterprises. Various new initiatives are currently being formulated to implement this.
The NanoKTN is involved in a number of events in October, in collaboration with the UK National Contact Point and the European Commission, explaining the benefits of the Horizon 2020 programme which is open to highly innovative UK SMEs showing a strong ambition to develop, grow and internationalise regardless of whether they are high-tech or not.
The events will cover the NMBP, Transport and Health Thematic areas which fall under the Industrial Leadership and Societal Challenges programmes and cover topics from nanomedicine development to graphene based materials. NanoKTN staff will be at the following events and are happy to assist UK SMEs to find partners through its contacts:
  • Horizon 2020 Brokerage Event, 1 October, Bristol – NMBP thematic area and specific UK brokering meeting.
  • Horizon 2020 for Health, 2 October, London – Health thematic area and specific brokering meeting.
  • Nanotechnology & the Coatings Industry, 8 October, Nottingham – NMBP thematic area with a focus on coatings.
  • Battery Manufacturing 2013, 24 October, Warwick – NMBP and Transport themes.
  • Nanotechnology Partnership for Progress, 29 October, London – NMBP Theme area.
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