EIRA launches recovery scheme for businesses affected by Covid-19

EIRA launches recovery scheme for businesses affected by Covid-19

A consortium of universities based in the East of England has launched a new funding scheme to support businesses in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

EIRA (Enabling Innovation: Research to Application) is a collaborative network of seven universities and colleges based in the region and aims to connect businesses with academic experts through knowledge exchange projects. Led by the University of Essex, EIRA has already supported over 80 businesses of different sizes across the region through R&D Grants, Innovation Vouchers, Internships and more. EIRA supports projects across three core themes: Artificial Intelligence, Digital Creative and Biotechnology.

EIRA is now launching the Enabling Recovery Fund to enable businesses to respond to the coronavirus pandemic, or support those looking to overcome current business challenges.

EIRA Director, Dr. Kirstie Cochrane (pictured) said: “EIRA have been supporting business productivity since our launch in April 2018. We have staff across the region who are working directly with businesses to support innovation.

“When the country went into lockdown, the appetite for EIRA to adapt our offer to support businesses was very strong. As a result, I am delighted to announce the launch of EIRA’s new Enabling Recovery scheme.

“This scheme will provide project funding for businesses, particularly SMEs, to work with our academic experts in order to find solutions to their current challenges.

“Whether that’s considering moving into a new market, the uptake of new technology to work efficiently online or developing a new product, we want our regional business community to know that EIRA are here to support business recovery.”

Funds for Enabling Recovery projects are available up to £6k, for projects worth up to £7.5k. EIRA funds 80% of the total value of the project, with companies funding the remaining 20%.

Applications are welcomed from SME businesses, but they must be based within EIRA’s geographical remit of the East of England and require academic expertise to explore innovative solutions. The application closing date is Friday 11th September, midday and projects must be completed by March 2021.

Interested businesses are welcome to contact the team using the online form or by emailing eira@essex.ac.uk.