IOP Business Forum: Innovation for Growth

28 May 2013

The increased focus on the innovation sector as a driver of the UK economy has opened new funding avenues for high-tech SMEs.

Crowd at the Business Forum

To take advantage of these opportunities, SMEs need to understand how organisations like the Technology Strategy Board and European Commission work to support research and development.

The IOP Business Forum meeting at Surrey Research Park on 15 May brought together a panel of experts with a wealth of knowledge and practical experience in the innovation sector in order to make sense of these organisations and how they can help businesses to grow.

The meeting was chaired by Dr Paul Stevenson from the University of Surrey. Attendees heard informative talks from Nigel Walker of the Technology Strategy Board (TSB), Blazej Thomas of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) and Dr Stuart Eves of Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL).

The presentations by Nigel Walker and Blazej Thomas provided details of how the TSB can support business innovation and how the LCCI can provide specialist support and advice on EU-wide funding programmes, respectively. Dr Stuart Eves provided an overview of the funding experience of SSTL.

The session concluded with a lively panel discussion, with the speakers being joined by Carol Johnson from HMRC. Carol introduced some of the schemes run by HMRC to support businesses, highlighting the tax incentives available. The discussion covered topics such as the recently-introduced “patent box” scheme and the funding available for countries outside the EU.

The discussion summary, speaker presentations and biographies are available in the IOP Business Forum section.