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The Welsh Government is making funding available to support businesses with innovative products and services that will help communities and the public sector adapt to the ongoing impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

First published:
3 November 2020
Last updated:

The Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI), which can offer up to £50,000 to promising projects able to start in January 2021 and complete by the end of March, will also be important for schemes that can support the public sector after the EU Transition period. 

The focus will be on creating better lives closer to home, by delivering against three key objectives that support the Welsh Government’s Economic Action Plan. These are to: 

  • Build Back Green - enabling businesses and communities to adapt to the ongoing challenges posed by COVID-19 with a focus on a healthier, cleaner and more sustainable Wales. We are looking for solutions that enable people to continue to work closer to home, considering accessibility and safety whilst maintaining a sense of community and connection.
  • Create sustainability and security in supply chains - supporting place-based and needs-led driven business supply chains to secure jobs for the future and to safeguard against further supply chain disruptions so that communities have access to healthy food sources.
  • Support mental and physical wellbeing for all generations - developing new products and services to address mental health, improve access to care, and support the resilience of communities throughout the pandemic and beyond.

Solutions could include ways to use emerging digital and smart technology to support the mental wellbeing of people within communities; reduce the impact of emissions on health; tackle the impacts of food poverty; or reduce unemployment and the need to commute.

Minister for Economy, Transport, and North Wales, Ken Skates, said:

“The coronavirus pandemic is the biggest public health emergency this country has ever faced. We need people with expertise, entrepreneurship and innovative thinking to work with us and help deliver sustainable solutions to the challenges it poses to the long term wellbeing of our communities and economy.

“I am incredibly proud of the ingenuity and sense of community Wales has demonstrated in dealing with the impacts of coronavirus virus, but there is much more to be done as we continue to adapt to the ever changing landscape in which we live and work.

“The Small Business Research Initiative provides important funding for firms to link with the public sector and deliver important solutions to specific challenges. I encourage those with an interest to get involved.”

Lynda Jones, SBRI Centre of Excellence manager, said:

“COVID 19 has affected us all, and for this challenge we are seeking innovations that will help support long term health and wellbeing whilst supporting communities and the economy.

“Successful applicants will have the unique opportunity to collaborate and work closely with a team of experts from the relevant sectors to help develop their solutions.”

The Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) has a total of £250,000 available to offer successful projects.

Businesses have until 12pm on November 27, 2020 to submit their ideas.

For more information, e-mail: SBRI.COE@wales.nhs.uk. For more information and to submit a project for consideration, visit: sdi.click/betterlives.