By Daniel Hunter

£400 million will be made available in funding to boost the growth of British innovation, according to the government’s innovation agency, Technology Strategy Board (TSB).

The 2014-15 Delivery Plan sets out the Board’s priorities for accelerating innovation across the UK. It outlines an ambitious plan for developing and nurturing the very best of British entrepreneurial talent.

Through 88 new competitions, designed to find and fund top innovative ideas, key investment areas include:

– £82 million to energy
– £80 million will go to programmes in the healthcare sector
– £72 million to support initiatives in high value manufacturing
– £70 million to transport
– £42 million for digital technologies

Amongst the funding announcements today, are the launch of 2 new Catapult Centres – in precision medicine and energy systems – and the establishment of a permanent presence in Brussels to champion British innovation abroad.

Universities and Science Minister David Willetts said:

“We are global leaders in innovation and the Technology Strategy Board plays a crucial role in maintaining this, ensuring that great British ideas can be transformed into great British products.

“Innovation is booming in this country, and it is part of our long term economic plan to invest in ambitious entrepreneurs and businesses, to help them grow and succeed in the global race.”

Small businesses remain a key focus for the TSB and along with continued strong support for small and medium enterprises through Smart, The Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) and other programmes.

The Technology Strategy Board will introduce a new, UK-wide, small and medium-sized business growth programme, providing a package of skills, mentoring and coaching support, giving micro and small companies the capability to progress, attract potential investors and grow their businesses.

The Chief Executive of the Technology Strategy Board, Iain Gray, said:

“The 2014-15 Delivery Plan raises the Technology Strategy Board’s ambitions to a higher level, enhancing support for UK companies through a range of targeted programmes, opening up lucrative pathways into Europe and expanding facilities and opportunities for businesses to collaborate and innovate still further.

To help match top innovators with possible investors there will also be a new online platform, developed in partnership with the British Business Bank and the UK Business Angels Association. This will showcase innovative companies to potential investors.

A further partnership – with the International Property Office and UK Trade and Investment will help small businesses access intellectual property and export advice.

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