SCOTLAND’S vibrant biobased manufacturing industry is set to receive a significant boost through the Launchpad programme, a collaborative initiative between Scottish Enterprise and Innovate UK. This groundbreaking effort aims to propel Scotland’s strengths in biobased manufacturing by providing substantial financial support totaling £75 million. Businesses in this sector, ranging from small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to larger corporations, are invited to apply for support packages ranging from £25,000 to £1 million.
Under the Launchpad programme, Scottish Enterprise and Innovate UK will offer funding packages tailored to the specific needs of businesses. Single SME-led projects can receive up to £100,000, fully funded, under the Minimal Financial Assistance competition strand. Additionally, Collaborative Research and Development (CR&D) projects, led by UK businesses of any size, are eligible for funding ranging from 25% to 70% of the project costs, up to a maximum of £1 million.
Innovate UK CEO Indro Mukerjee expressed enthusiasm for the initiative, highlighting the importance of regional collaboration in driving innovation and commercialization. He emphasised that the Launchpad programme exemplifies active partnerships with regional entities to foster growth and productivity through innovation.
Scotland’s biobased manufacturing sector has earned a reputation for innovation, and the Launchpad programme aims to capitalise on this strength. Derek Shaw, Director of Innovation & Place at Scottish Enterprise, emphasised the program’s role in building a thriving cluster within the industry. He underlined the partnership with Innovate UK as a vital step in ensuring sustained support, enabling the sector to continue its upward trajectory.
The Launchpad programme, initiated by Innovate UK in 2022, aims to fortify place-based innovation by supporting emerging clusters of SMEs across the UK. Following an initial £15 million investment for pilot projects in Liverpool and Tees areas, the programme has expanded to include eight more regions, each receiving up to £7.5 million in funding. Launchpads serve as catalysts for SMEs, providing essential innovation funding, expert support, and networking opportunities. These resources empower SMEs to innovate, grow, and scale their businesses effectively.
Support offered through Launchpads encompasses various facets, including funding for research and development, access to innovation specialists, and opportunities for collaboration. By facilitating the development of new products and services and validating innovations, Launchpads contribute significantly to SMEs’ growth and success. To be eligible for the programme, SMEs must be based in the UK, demonstrate substantial growth potential and innovation, and actively engage in activities within the Launchpad’s designated cluster.
This transformative initiative not only bolsters Scotland’s biobased manufacturing sector but also aligns with the UK Government’s levelling-up agenda. By fostering innovation, creating jobs, and promoting higher productivity, the Launchpad programme serves as a beacon of progress, driving Scotland’s biobased manufacturing industry toward a future characterised by innovation and sustainable growth.
For detailed information about the Launchpad programme and how to apply, interested businesses are encouraged to visit the official competition overview page: Launchpad: Bio-based Manufacturing in Scotland.