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    6 funding opportunities not to miss

    There are six important funding opportunities either on offer or about to be launched: Advanced Engineering and Manufacturing Supply Chains; Regional Growth Fund Round 3; Employer ownership of skills; The TSB Low Carbon Vehicles; The Road to Market competition; the TSB Low Carbon Truck Demonstration Trial; and ‘FP7’ 2013 European funded R&D activity

    My diary for March is looking really full, and so is this newsletter! The editor has had to make some major cuts for us to be under 20 articles. In these busy times it can be difficult to find time to attend events, understand the myriad of opportunities that are arriving almost daily and also do “the day job”!

    Recent events
    We had two events in February; the Business Excellence Members networking meeting and ‘Why Become Accredited’ seminar. Everyone who attended the meetings found them very worthwhile, in ways that they would not have predicted if asked in advance; but the challenge is that they number of attendees is relatively low. I would ask those of you within the Business Excellence Network to respond to the survey that you have been sent; currently we have only received an 18% response rate and I would like to have many more responses to help us make decisions on the future direction for the meetings and seminars that the NAA provides.

    Funding opportunities

    It is also a busy time with the volume of funding opportunities that have arisen. I would really like to bring to your attention five of them and ask that you seriously consider how these can support you, and then get back to me if you would like us to help you progress them further.

    1. Advanced Engineering And Manufacturing Supply Chains

    We have received advance notice of a fund of up to £125m with the aim of helping existing supply chains grow and achieve world-class standards and encouraging new suppliers to set up and manufacture here. The fund is to support applications that will deliver economic growth and will provide practical support in the following areas:
    a. Purchase of capital equipment
    b. R&D activity which improves manufacturing equipment, systems or processes
    c. Specific training and skills development to support the above

    The fund has a minimum value of £2m per bid, but there is the opportunity to develop a consortium bid. If you are looking to grow within the criteria above and are interested in participating in an NAA consortium then please contact Carol. We don’t have the dates as yet, but the predicted launch date has passed, so will be anytime. As it can take a while to develop a bid, it is important that you contact us quickly.
    For more information see… Download Document.

    2. Regional Growth Fund Round 3

    The third round of the RGF is now open to bids, and will aim to allocate a further £1 billion to projects from across England that will create new jobs, are based in areas dependent on the public sector and are supported by private investment.
    The deadline for bids is 13 June 2012 there are a range of roadshows and bidding guidance and forms on the BIS website. For more information see

    3. Employer ownership of skills

    In November it was announced that there will be a pilot initiative to move towards an employer-led skills system with £250m committed over the next two years to support it. The prospectus was issued last month for the first phase of £50m. All bids must be led by an employer and can be from a consortium. The minimum values will be £250k for an SME and £1m for large companies or consortia. Successful bids are likely to include a package of activities such as:
    a. Increasing the number of people participating in training and achieving qualifications
    b. Improving the quality and relevance of training
    c. Developing skills that make a significant impact on employer productivity and growth
    d. Achieving a step-change in how skills are delivered, acquired, developed and applied
    e. Supporting wider job opportunities, such as work experience and route-ways into full apprenticeships that result in realistic expectations of sustainable work.

    All interests must be registered by 13 April and applications submitted by 26 April. If you have any novel ideas for your company, however small, please contact me and we can either look to make a consortium bid or put you in contact with other relevant groups.
    For more information see… Download Document.

    4. The TSB Low Carbon Vehicles: The Road to Market competition for collaborative research, development & validation funding

    This opportunity opened on 20 February, the deadline for submission of expressions of interest is 28 March. There is a fund of £25m and there are 5 competition themes:
    • Development of reduced-cost systems and components
    • Follow-ons to previous Technology Strategy Board projects
    • Development of the UK supply chain
    • Technology testing and validations
    • Technology readiness level acceleration in four technology areas of:
    • Energy storage and energy management
    • Electric machines and power electronics
    • Lightweight vehicle and powertrain structures
    • Development of technologies that have the potential to radically improve a vehicle’s CO2 emissions or improve the overall efficiency compared to the current best-in-class vehicle or system.

    I am already working with one local consortium, if this is of any interest, but you don’t know how to proceed or are struggling for potential partners, please contact me very quickly.
    For more information see….

    5. TSB Low Carbon Truck Demonstration Trial

    We have received advance notice of an £8m fund; the aim being to kick-start the procurement of low emission HGV technologies with the trial lasting for up to two years.

    The aim of the competition, supported by the Department for Transport’s £8m capital funding, is to kick-start the procurement of low emission HGV technologies. £6.5 million will be made available for the goods vehicle demonstration trial, plus the supporting infrastructure for trial vehicles, with a further £1.5 million targeted funding for public gas refuelling hubs. The trial is intended to run for two years.

    The funding was announced in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement in November 2011 as part of the Logistics Growth Review, which indicated that the Government would work with the Technology Strategy Board to consult interested parties on the scope of the competition before the March launch.
    For more information see:

    6. FP7 2013 work programme

    We have just received advance information on the potential European funded R&D activity for 2013. The bidding for this will commence during 2012, but this gives you an opportunity to review the areas being funded, identify if there are any relevant to you and to start work on the consortium process.
    More information can be found at Download Document

    If you have any interest in this, then please contact Carol for more information, especially if you have not participated in this type of funding before.

    We have the ability to pull in extra resource to help you with all these applications; don’t be left out, become involved; as the National Lottery advert says, “you have to be in it to win it”.

    Directors and Advisory Board

    Finally just a quick update from the Directors and Advisory Board. At the February Board Meeting we elected two new SME representatives onto the Board; John Ellis from MWS Group and Clare Farnworth from Xemptor Consulting. We look forward to working with both of them in the future to help guide and shape the future activities of NAA.

    Carol Holden
    Chief Executive

    European Regional Development Fund Northern Powerhouse
    Partners Department for Business Innovation and Skills Finance Birmingham