Five small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from the South East have been awarded funding from the EU’s Horizon2020 investment scheme. Each of these small businesses will receive €50,000 (around £40,000) to finance feasibility studies for new innovative products which have the potential to revolutionise their respective sectors.
The following projects have been financed across the South East:
• Cranleigh (Surrey) – using a new bio-mechanical process to convert straw waste into three high value products including bleached paper pulp.
• Abingdon (Oxfordshire) – a new portable home device which uses information from the Cloud for the treatment of moderate to severe depression.
• Milton Keynes (Buckinghamshire) – a portable solar array which can be deployed quickly from a small transportable container in order to generate power from renewable energy.
• Tadley (Hampshire) – a labour-efficient, organic herbicide-free and micronutrient infused seed tape and delivery mechanism.
• Walton-on-Thames (Surrey) – a total cyber protection service to small businesses operating critical infrastructure as well as to residential customers.
The South East received the second highest amount of funding under this latest round, only coming behind London. Overall UK SMEs were the most successful in Europe with 36 beneficiaries accepted for funding receiving a total of €1.8 million.
Commenting on the announcement, Conservative MEP for South-East England, Richard Ashworth said: “this is a clear example of why remaining within the EU benefits businesses in the South East. The EU recognises the importance of providing stable sources of investment to enable small businesses to grow successfully.”
“SMEs are the life-blood of our economy and provide 60% of all private sector employment in the UK. The EU SME Instrument enhances research and development, which, in turn, benefits the British people. Clearly, membership of the EU is good for the science and research which stimulates growth and drives our economy.”