Technology transfer institute iSLI has unveiled a project to provide businesses across the Scottish lowlands and uplands with the technical and financial support required to develop a raft of high value high-tech new products and services.
Backed by a six-figure investment from the Scottish Government SEEKIT programme and the European Regional Development Fund, the DoRIES (Development of Research and Innovation in Electronic Systems) project has been designed to support Scottish SMEs seeking to develop marketable products, services or processes using electronics based enabling technologies. With the aid of cash grants, the programme's technical support team will help participating companies develop and adopt the high-tech product solutions demanded by the modern marketplace.
“While it has become commonplace to talk down our capacity to invent, invest and innovate, we believe that this country still has the capacity to be recognised as a global centre of innovation and technical excellence. Some of the most exciting products on the international markets today function using technology that was made in Scotland, and we're delighted to be driving an initiative that will help a new range of goods and services make the journey from bright idea to commercial success story,” said iSLI Director Dr Mark Begbie.
Jointly funded by ERDF, SEEKIT and iSLI together with Edinburgh, Glasgow, Heriot Watt and Strathclyde universities, DoRIES will begin in January 2011. Delivered by the technology transfer institute's team of time-served engineers, businesses will be helped through the process of integrating and mastering the technologies – such as wireless interconnection, embedded computing, advanced sensing, signal processing and energy efficiency – they need to deliver the high degrees of automation, intelligence, mobility and usability required by today's markets.
With extensive experience developing integrated system technologies for the energy, smart home, health, aerospace and electronics sectors, iSLI is ideally positioned to provide client companies with the technology and supporting guidance required to generate engagement and impact across almost all business markets and sectors. Project staff will work with companies to create the new technological concepts they need to take their product to the next level. They will then provide focused support to develop those concepts into robust technology solutions satisfying the needs and roadmap of the client companies. Firms taking advantage of the project can receive assistance with both the technology review and technology feasibility study phases of product development. SMEs will be eligible for a package of support – up to a maximum value of £5,000 – to undertake the collaborative feasibility studies and proof-of-concept work with the institute.
Dr Begbie added: “Experience has taught us that every year too many innovative ideas for new products and services fizzle out because companies simply don't know how or where to begin with their development, particularly if their concept requires skills they don't yet have in-house. It is our sincere hope that by providing the essential technology development skills businesses need to get such projects up and running, Scotland's SMEs will now be able to access a simpler and less problematic route to market.”
The SEEKIT programme is a Scottish Government scheme which aims to encourage new and improved productive knowledge transfer activities between small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and the Scottish public sector science base.
The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) is an instrument of the EC which aims to strengthen economic and social cohesion in the European Union by correcting imbalances between its regions. The DoRIES project is funded under Priority 1 – ‘Research and Innovation’ within the fund for ‘Regional Competitiveness and Employment’.
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