Conference highlights £1.27bn SME sector funding

A major European conference next month aims to help small firms to access the £1.27 billion of cash aid available to SMEs throughout the UK.

Lord Sainsbury, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Science and Innovation, will give the opening address at the 4th SME Technology Days conference that will show small and medium-sized companies how to access research and development grants.

The conference, at Leeds Town Hall on September 26 to 27, will provide invaluable advice and information to SMEs from throughout the UK and Europe.

The European Commission money that is available is aimed at companies across the continent looking to new technology to give them the edge.

Over 500 delegates from 31 countries are expected to descend on Leeds for the conference, which will outline the funding opportunities available and how to access them, and provide inspiring case studies.

The first day of the conference will focus on success stories from the last round of funding - involving research in the areas of biotechnology, life sciences, manufacturing, IT, environment and energy - while the second day will concentrate on the opportunities for the new Framework Programme 6.

The UK already leads the way in securing grant aid from Europe for SMEs, contributing 12% of funding but getting back over 20%. The conference organisers are keen to urge small and medium-sized companies in the UK not to miss out on the money that is available.

“There is masses of money out there, but if companies don’t bid for it then they don’t get it,” said Dr Bob Keown OBE, founder and chairman of Beta Technology – the Doncaster-based company that has organised the conference.

Beta Technology has brought in more than £100 million of European funding for 3,000 British firms in the last 10 years. The company operates as a link between the companies with the ideas and the bureaucrats in Brussels with the money.

Companies and research organisations can obtain further information on the 4th SME Technology Days conference by accessing the website at www.days4smes.org

A registration form is available by e-mailing events@betatechnology.co.uk


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