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Enabling Technologies & Innovation Competences Challenge

Cannock Chase, Birmingham, Solihull, GBSLEP, East Staffordshire, Lichfield, Tamworth, Bromsgrove, Redditch, Wyre Forest, GBSLEP and Others


Enabling Technologies & Innovation Competencies Challenge project offers small and medium businesses specialist knowledge and expertise to help develop new solutions, products and processes.

Main key areas of project activity are:

  • Photonics (science and technology of light)

  • Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering

  • Industrial Biotechnology

  • Nanotechnology

  • Advanced Materials

  • Micro / Nanoelectronics

  • Digital technologies

  • Data and system integration

 This £2.8m project is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.         

How we can help you:       

The Enabling Technologies programme can provide specialist early stage / new product development services to help small businesses overcome technical and resource barriers. This includes access to the specialists, capabilities and state of the art analysis facilities available in the Aston University Institute of Photonic Technologies and Aston Institute of Materials Research.

The project can also assists businesses with finding grant funding and preparing grant applications, refer to specialists in relevant external organisations, such as Intellectual Property Office, Department for International Trade and other, identify opportunities for collaboration across Aston University and across wider region.


You qualify for support if you:

  • Located in the Grater Birmingham and Solihull LEP or Black Country LEP areas

  • Have received less than 200,000 Euros in State Aid in the last three years

  • Meet the EU definition of a small or medium-sizes enterprise - employing fewer than 250 full time staff, with an annual turnover of up to 50m Euros and/or an annual balance sheet of up to 43m Euros


What kind of support we provide:

Examples of the funded support available to businesses include:

  • Product design

  • Engineering analysis

  • Electronics development

  • New product development and planning

  • Product Assessment

  • Market Research Technical Feasibility

  • Engineering Prototyping

  • Photonics and Electronics Technology Integration

  • Advanced Manufacturing using lasers

  • Photonics knowledge transfer workshops

  • Photonic Sensor development and adaption

  • Concept generation by Photonics prototypes

  • Novel lasers and optical tools for the biomedical market

  • Polymer design and fabrication

  • Material characterisation (broad range of analysis, for example: mechanical strength, nanoscale features and defects, molecular analysis, thermal behaviour etc.

To find out more about the project and to apply for support please contact our team via




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