Published: October 16th, 2019
A £2million fund to trial new technologies across England to help companies work more efficiently has been launched.
The Business Basics Fund, a series of open competitions, has opened its third round of funding and wants to hear from companies or organisations which think they can help encourage SMEs to adopt productivity-boosting technology and/or management practices.
Both business and non-business led trials will be funded, with grants of up to £400,000 available for successful projects.
A Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) spokesman said: "The aim of the Business Basics Fund is to test the most effective ways of encouraging SMEs to adopt existing technologies that are proven to boost productivity.
"In this competition we will fund trials which test different approaches to encouraging SMEs to adopt existing technologies that are associated with productivity improvements.
"Your proposal must focus on technologies which support business and administrative functions, such as payment practices, accountancy and human resources."
Examples of the types of technologies in scope include one or more of the following:
payment technologies, such as e-invoicing
cloud based computing
customer relationship management (CRM) software
supply chain management (SCM) software
HR management systems (HRM) software
enterprise resource planning (ERP) software (which can include CRM, SCM, HRM, finance, purchasing and so on)
Proposals must demonstrate:
how your approach intends encourage more SMEs to use the technologies
that your project has potential to be effectively scaled
that your project is innovative and will add to the evidence base
All selected projects must start on or shortly after 1 June 2020.
The fund, administered by Innovate UK on behalf of BEIS, says expressions of interest are now open until December 4, with successful applicants then submitting a more detailed proposal.
BEIS are holding a scope and networking session for potential bidders on October 22 at Savoy Place in London. An evaluation webinar will be held on October 29.