A funding programme to support Northamptonshire and East Midlands businesses in the High Performance Technologies (HPT) sector has enabled £3m of investment into research and development across a variety of innovative projects.
Delivered by NEP in collaboration with South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP) across both LEP areas, funding for the HPT R&D Investment Programme was secured from round four of government’s Regional Growth Fund (RGF). RGF supports projects that help leverage private sector investment to create economic growth and sustainable employment.
Following a competitive process grants were awarded to seven businesses that all demonstrated the importance of innovation in the development of new products and services, together creating almost 300 new jobs locally.
Fantastic growth opportunities
Vayon Vehicle Technologies, based in Woodford Halse, has developed a high energy, high power dense battery and cloud based management system.
Shane Hussain, CEO and Chairman of Vayon Group said: “The funding and support provided by the High Performance Technologies programme has had a direct effect on our capability to expand in this area of technology. Without the grant, the project would not have been realised for some time, if at all. It has enabled us to take advantage of some fantastic growth opportunities.”
Bedford based Ecospeed Marine has developed a new energy efficient propulsion system which enables boats to adapt to sea conditions, as well as saving at least 50% on emissions. The system will be demonstrated at the International Boat Show in Southampton in September.
Anne Duncan, Chief Executive, Ecospeed Marine, said: “We had been working on ideas for some time but weren’t able to progress any of them due to lack of funding. The grant has made a massive difference by allowing us to move the project forward and we have already had interest from several potential customers.”
Cathy Martin, Senior Programme Manager, NEP, who manages the investment programme, said: “I have been really impressed not only by the projects that have been delivered but also by the level of determination shown by these companies to remain innovative and on top of their game in very competitive markets. There are no certainties when it comes to R&D but this funding has given them the confidence to move to the next level of project development and subsequent business growth.”
Hilary Chipping, Deputy Chief Executive, SEMLEP, said: “The High Performance Technologies sector continues to grow and being innovative is a major part of that growth. It is evident that without the funding from programmes such as this the growth of many cutting edge companies will be stunted. It should be recognised that the benefits are far reaching with significant positive impact on the wider supply chain. We will continue to do what we can to provide support in the future to enable continued development and growth.”
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