We ve teamed up with the Lincolnshire County Council-led project Onlinconshire to launch the Superfast Broadband Fund . This new incentive is designed to offer innovative and emerging SMEs across the UK business funding of up to 25,000 and is open to enterprises based in the North, the Midlands and the South West. The total fund consists of 150,000 and invites SMEs to develop new digital solutions for local businesses that incorporate the advantages offered by the superfast broadband infrastructure.
The overall aim is to improve cross sector collaboration and innovations and open up practical opportunities for creative businesses to work with business clusters based in other sectors and regions.
Over the next few years we ll be dramatically improving broadband speeds across the country and we want to make sure that local businesses are in pole position to reap the benefits, explains Lincolnshire County Council s Executive Member for Economic Development Colin Davie. Superfast speeds will mean that businesses will be able to improve the way they operate by taking advantage of global connections with customers and suppliers. In addition, they can utilise advances in digital technology to both enhance and improve efficiency and develop new processes, products and services.
We re already providing a wide range of support to help our firms make the most of digital technology, and this project will take things another step forward, he adds.
Creative England s Director of Business Development Jim Farmery is also optimistic about the collaboration. At Creative England we are passionate about helping our creative industries thrive and creating some economic growth in the regions. The Superfast Broadband fund aims to give cross-sector support to SMEs across England and provide investment to those with innovative creative potential.
Ideas for applications could include anything from apps that measure your carbon footprint to industry specific auction websites or intelligent tourism apps, but the options really are limitless and we look forward to seeing the innovations that local businesses come up with.
Those interested in applying can start by completing a simple online eligibility check and an expression of interest application form. Submissions will then be checked and successful business will be invited to submit a full online application which showcases the business case for investment. Deadline for expressions of interest is Sunday 29th June 2014.