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£4m grants awarded to British SMEs for international research and development

Eighteen small and medium sized British companies are to benefit from investment of nearly £4 million from the Technology Strategy Board to enable them to carry out cutting-edge research and development projects with partners from across Europe.

The British companies will link with partners from 17 different European countries to undertake research and development in a diverse range of technology areas, from biotechnology and healthcare through to transport, energy and electronics

Explaining the background to the funding, European Operations Manager at the Technology Strategy Board Graham Mobbs said: “The Eurostars Programme is the first European funding and support programme to be specifically dedicated to small and medium sized companies.  It seeks to overcome one of the major barriers to high-quality transnational research and development led by SMEs – the lack of guaranteed public-sector funding.”

One of the projects to be funded through the Eurostars programme is Maritime Carbon Capture and Storage (Maritime CCS), in which the UK partner is Process Systems Enterprise Ltd.  The Technology Strategy Board will invest over £300,000 in this project, which aims to develop and screen alternative designs for carbon capture and storage (CCS) on board ships in transit, investigating the chemical capture of CO2 and its temporary storage until discharge at a port.

A second project, Fryer Odour Reduction Programme,aims to develop technology to treat contaminated air discharged by the industrial food sector that causes a nuisance and currently requires expensive and energy-consuming treatment such as incineration.  The British company, TechniAir Ltd, is partnering with two Swedish companies to carry out the development work and the Technology Strategy Board is to invest £26,000 in the project.

TILACSys or Through-Ice Location and Communication System is a third Eurostars project, and will see Wireless Fibre Systems Ltd partner a Norwegian company.  The project, which is to receive nearly £450,000 of Technology Strategy Board investment, will develop a wireless system capable of locating and communicating with Autonomous Underwater Vehicles, or AUVs.  TILACSys will enable a surface vessel, helicopter or unmanned aerial vehicle to communicate with the AUV through the ice.  The system will greatly de-risk under-ice AUV operations, with major benefits to polar operations in the Environmental, Oil & Gas and Security sectors. 

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