"This Launchpad is an exciting opportunity to further help businesses to drive forward innovation and boost our economy".
Coventry and Warwickshire has been selected to receive up to £7.5m of new investment to drive local innovation and business growth, building on the region’s existing strengths in video game development.
Under the Immersive and Creative Technologies Launchpad programme, businesses and researchers working to grow their impact in the region can apply for competitive grants. Other support is also available for innovation projects that focus on developing and adapting new technologies across various industries including healthcare, education, future mobility, manufacturing, retail and tourism.
The competition opened on October 23 and interested organisations are invited to sign up for a competition briefing event on Wednesday, November 1st to find out more. Grant funding available starts from £25,000, with up to £1 million for projects that provide exceptional impact to the cluster of SMEs.
The Launchpad programme is funded by Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation. It is designed to build on innovation clusters around the UK that have significant growth potential and to deliver jobs, growth, and higher productivity, supporting the Government’s levelling-up agenda.
The Immersive & Creative Industries Launchpad in Coventry and Warwickshire has been developed jointly by Warwickshire County Council, Coventry City Council, and Innovate UK, and tailored to the region’s needs and circumstances. The projects must focus on immersive and creative industries leading to increased investment into research and innovation or contribute to growing business activities and economic impact in the cluster.
The projects will contribute to developing and applying technologies such as digital media, mixed media, augmented reality, virtual reality, virtual production, design processes, game engine and 3D environments, simulations and data visualisations as examples. This will build on the reputation of Leamington’s Silicon Spa which employs 15 per cent of the UK’s games development talent and is recognised by trade body UKIE as the largest cluster outside Greater London.
The Immersive and Creative Industries Launchpad will provide applicants with the opportunity to access grants, expertise, and research facilities as well as benefit from a programme of cluster development activities.
Cllr Martin Watson, Portfolio Holder for Economy & Place at Warwickshire County Council, said:
“Coventry and Warwickshire is renowned for being a world-leading cluster in video game development which has created highly-skilled jobs and opportunities as well as attracting inward investors from across the globe. This Launchpad is an exciting opportunity to further help businesses to drive forward innovation and boost our economy.”
Cllr Jim O’Boyle, Cabinet Member for Jobs, Regeneration and Climate Change at Coventry City Council, added:
“Coventry has seen growth in the creative and media sectors in recent years, so this funding provides a fantastic opportunity to further grow and develop these sectors. This will be a boost for this sector which is important for our local economy now and which has great potential for growth which of course means good jobs for local people.
Innovate UK CEO Indro Mukerjee said: “Innovate UK is building strong regional partnerships across the UK to support local innovation and commercialisation. Our new Launchpads will help to attract further private sector R&D investment into innovation clusters, growing local economies and delivering societal and economic benefits to local communities.”
To find out more about the Immersive & Creative Industries Launchpad in Coventry and Warwickshire, or to sign up to a local stakeholder engagement session, please visit https://iuk.ktn-uk.org/programme/launchpads/