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Midland businesses are being offered expert support from the University of Birmingham to help them apply for funding for research projects as part of a government bid to help all sectors rebuild after the effects of Covid-19.

Small and medium sized businesses in the Black Country, Birmingham, Coventry, and Warwickshire are being offered free guidance from experts at the University’s Birmingham Energy Institute (BEI).

Via BEI’s team of ATETA knowledge exchange fellows, businesses will be given help in applying for a slice of £55 million funding available through Innovate UK’s Sustainable Innovation Fund to support single and collaborative research and development projects.

To be eligible, all projects must be led by a business and include at least one SME. Proposals can either be from a single business or a collaboration, and the deadline for applications is 11am on July 29th.  In order to apply, a project must have total eligible costs of between £100,000 and £500,000, and each organisation working alone or in a collaboration can claim a maximum of £175,000.

Professor Martin Freer, Director of the Birmingham Energy Institute, says: “Covid-19 has dealt a major blow to business activity, and schemes like the Sustainable Innovation Fund present an enormous opportunity to assist with recovery.

“Increasingly, decarbonising business practices, products and services is becoming key to survival, competitive advantage and ultimate success.

“I firmly believe that businesses and academics need to work together to reset the economy with a common purpose towards zero carbon.

“We would encourage SMEs to get in touch and tap into the expertise we can give them to ensure the region’s economic growth.”

ATETA, funded by the European Regional Development Fund, works with businesses at the University’s state-of-the-art research facilities and laboratories to identify ways for them to improve efficiency, identify new market prospects, test and demonstrate new ideas and ultimately grow your business. Since it was launched in 2017 it has helped over 100 businesses and succeeded in generating a net income of almost £25 million for the local economy.

For more information contact David Terry, Business Engagement Manager, via