Innovative businesses and start-ups are set to benefit from a £40 million government investment to drive forward new technological advances. It was announced 20 May 2020, that government is doubling investment in the Fast Start Competition with an additional £20 million.
The competition aims to fast-track the development of innovations borne out of the coronavirus crisis while supporting the UK’s next generation of cutting-edge start-ups.
Among the successful projects to receive the funding to date, is a virtual-reality surgical training simulator and an online farmers’ market platform.
Innovate UK has received a record number of applications – over 8,600 to the Fast Start Competition and will now be able to distribute investment to over 800 projects.
Projects receiving funding include:
- I3d Robotics which is building a virtual-reality training/teaching platform to enable medical students to upskill remotely and perform simulation surgeries.
- Volunteero Ltd has developed a social media app to connect local communities and allow volunteers to target support to the most vulnerable members in their neighbourhoods.
- Elchies Estates Limited is setting up new virtual farmers’ markets to replace traditional markets which have had to close as a result of COVID-19, providing a platform for local businesses and farmers to sell produce.
The Fast Start Competition was launched in April in response to the outbreak and is being managed by Innovate UK.