Businesses with innovative ideas can find it difficult and confusing to engage with the public sector. SBRI offers excellent opportunities for businesses, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, to develop and demonstrate technology to public bodies.
Successful businesses gain a lead customer for their innovative solutions and retain their intellectual property rights. They receive a contract for the full cost of demonstrating the feasibility of their technology and the offer of subsequent funding for prototype development.
Any company can submit an application that addresses the publicised challenge. The scheme is particularly beneficial for early-stage and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Pre-startups may apply, however the contracts can only be awarded to legal entities. All applicants must demonstrate that they have a route to market.
More than 1,300 SBRI contracts valued at more than £130m have been awarded since April 2009. They have generated new business opportunities for many companies and brought benefits to more than 40 public sector bodies. In its March 2013 Budget, the Government signalled its intention to dramatically increase the value of SBRI contracts to £200m in 2014/15.