Thomas Westcott has joined forces with the University of Plymouth to launch a new funding programme for the business community. The Research and Development Solutions Fund will provide support to innovative businesses during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

The £200,000 fund is designed to solve specific business problems by stimulating industrial collaborations and knowledge transfer opportunities between researchers and businesses.

It will be a catalyst for enabling businesses to gain even greater access to the University’s facilities such as the COAST Lab, the Plymouth Electron Microscopy Centre and the Digital Fabrication Laboratory.

Over recent months, the firm has developed strong links with the University of Plymouth. This includes Thomas Westcott Director and University of Plymouth graduate Adam Croney becoming Accountant in Residence at The Cube. Open to Plymouth students and graduates, The Cube offers advice, funding and support in creating or growing a business.

We are now collaborating further with the University’s Research & Innovation directorate by administering the Research and Development Solutions Fund.

Thomas Westcott Director Adam Croney said: “The Research and Development Solutions Fund has come at a crucial time and represents an exciting opportunity for businesses across the UK.

“While this is a national fund, it represents an opportunity to recognise the innovative potential in the South West. With a team of 270, based across Devon and Somerset, we are well placed to deliver this fund, which could make a real difference in the communities in which we live and work.

“Collaborating with the University of Plymouth to deliver this fund gives us another opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to businesses. With the potential to deliver new, high quality jobs this fund has come at exactly the right time.”

Adrian Dawson, Director of Research & Innovation, said: “The Research and Development Solutions Fund is designed to stimulate industrial collaborations and knowledge transfer opportunities between university researchers and businesses. It will not only address specific and immediate issues and opportunities, but it will forge new relationships – and strengthen existing ones – resulting in longer term collaborations."

Grants of up to £20,000 will be available during two funding rounds opening this month and in March, next year, and the programme is open to businesses from any industry sector or geographic location in the UK. 

The funds can be used to cover a variety of costs including academic research time to focus on a specific opportunity or challenge to a business; research time of the industrial partner; and access to specialist University facilities or equipment.

Professor Judith Petts CBE, Vice-Chancellor, said: “The Research and Development Solutions Fund demonstrates how universities can be engines for change in their communities, and drivers of R&D, knowledge exchange and ultimately, economic growth. This fund represents an investment in that collaborative dynamic, and demonstrates our commitment to the civic university mission.”

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