Latest News

EU Funding now available to help turn bright ideas and cutting-edge technology into successful business across the South of England

Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) in collaboration with other LEPs has announced £3m funding opportunities from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to help take forward two of the key recommendations in the Science and Innovation Audit (SIA) for Southern England region – known as Innovation South.

Innovation South stretches from Dorset to Kent and from Berkshire to the Isle of Wight, covering eight counties across southern England, with a total economic output of £225.3 billion, accounting for 13.7% of UK’s economic output.

The two ERDF calls (Knowledge-to-Market Accelerator and Quantum Supply Chain Initiative) are seeking proposals to ensure the region is ready to take advantage of the commercial opportunities of new technologies and will involve partnerships between organisations engaged in the procurement and development of digital enabling technologies, universities with a track record of commercialising research, and the region’s network of Local Enterprise Partnerships.

Dr Mike Short CBE, who Chairs both Enterprise M3 LEP and Innovation South’s Strategic Steering Group said: “We are pleased to see these ERDF calls related to the Science and Innovation Audit. This is great news for the Innovation South economic area, which has been established as a backbone of UK’s digital economy and a global powerhouse of research and innovations across a range of industrial sectors. These funding opportunities will no doubt, reinforce the region’s capacity to support UK’s global competitiveness.”

In line with SIA’s recommendation to harness the region’s strength in digital enabling technologies, an ERDF specification worth £600,000 has been launched, inviting applicants with the capability to set up a knowledge-to-market accelerator. This is aimed at driving collaboration between business, and academia to maximise the commercial application of digital enabling technologies. It will also ensure that Innovation South is among global leaders in innovation across the digital, marine, health & life science, as well as advanced engineering sectors.

The Knowledge-to-Market-Accelerator ERDF specification, is a multi-LEP call encompassing Enterprise M3, Dorset, Solent, Thames Valley Berkshire, Coast to Capital and South East LEPs.

The Quantum Supply Chain ERDF specification is worth £2.5 million and aimed at building capacity and presence in the development of products using quantum technology in readiness for significant commercial demand. It is also a multi-LEP call covering LEP areas such as Enterprise M3, Dorset, Solent, Coast to Capital and South East LEPs.

The full specifications were revealed on 8th December 2017. ERDF is operating under a two-stage application process. The deadline for receiving outline applications is Friday 26 January 2018.


The knowledge-to-market accelerator specification can be accessed here -

The Quantum Supply Chain ERDF specification can be accessed here -

Both the summary and full reports on Innovation South’s Science and Innovation Audit can be accessed here -

About Innovation South

The Innovation South region, the South’s equivalent of the Northern Powerhouse, embraces eight counties from Dorset to Kent and the Isle of Wight to the fringes of London, and includes a strong consortium of more than a hundred businesses, industry representatives, universities and other research organisations, local authorities and local economic partnerships. The region is a powerhouse of world class science and innovation, with an economy almost the size of Denmark’s and generates an output of £225.3 billion - 13.7% of UK’s economic output.

Innovation South is a highly skilled, internationally-focused region with a talented workforce, great universities and businesses. Significant sectors include advanced engineering, marine & maritime, creative digital, and life sciences and health. There is a strong exporting culture, underpinned by easy access to international airports, sea ports and rail links, and important connectivity to London. 

About European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)

The launch event was funded under the Technical Assistance Project for the Enterprise M3 Area called COMERDF3 which has received £178,873 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.

Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit