Funding Opportunities for Tech Companies beyond MK:Smart

Over 80 SME’s and postgraduate students attended the MK:Smart Funding & Competitions Seminar at University Campus Milton Keynes (UCMK) in March 2017.


The event provided SME’s and Start-Ups (including ‘university spin-outs’) with options to continue building applications around Smart Cities, Big Data and Internet of Things ( IoT), and to secure funding and support beyond MK:Smart, via two sessions.


MK:Smart partners Satellite Applications Catapult and Transport Systems Catapult presented opportunities for SME engagement whilst The European Space Agency (ESA) and Crowdcube gave an overview of funding opportunities including the ESA ‘Kickstart’ programme. Participants were also given an insight into competition options, aimed at university students, to create digital technologies around Environmental Recycling/Waste Management through the 02 funded Ten Project. Tim Walsh of R&D Tax concluded the first session by sharing awareness of Research & Development Tax breaks within the Tech sector.


Session two of the seminar centred on opportunities within Milton Keynes (MK) and the wider South East Midlands region. This included the burgeoning InnovateMK incubator, hosted by MK:Smart Associate Partner and MK residents, TechMahindra, RBS’ Entrepreneurial Spark (eSpark) setup for start-ups in Central Milton Keynes, the Velocity programme hosted by SEMLEP (South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership), and working with young people at the National Museum of Computing in Bletchley.

University of Bedfordshire‘s Business Partnerships Manager, Gordon Brady, highlighted during his presentation how universities can help businesses access funding, find new partners, and tap into the skills that students, graduates and academics possess. MK:Smart’s University of Bedfordshire and The Open University are currently running a new project called the ICT Escalator which is open to any SME or start-up company that wants to do more e-commerce or use Big Data.


For more information and the see presentations from the day, visit:

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