Thirteen innovative companies have been offered a share of almost £1.8 million of funding through the Innovate UK Launchpad for Coventry and Warwickshire in the West Midlands. The Launchpad provides innovation support and funding tailored to the local area’s strengths in the immersive and creative industries.

The Innovate UK Launchpad programme supports clusters of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and helps the most innovative businesses to progress their projects towards commercialisation, contributing to local economic growth. The Coventry and Warwickshire Launchpad has been developed through a partnership between Innovate UK, the national innovation agency, and Coventry City Council, Warwickshire County Council and the West Midlands Combined Authority.

This first competitive round of investment attracted a large response from local businesses and innovators. The businesses funded are to develop innovative technologies such as mixed reality manufacturing environments, a 3D data visualisation toolset, or immersive gaming with educational and ethical benefits.

Dean Cook, Director of Place and Levelling Up at Innovate UK, said: “At Innovate UK, we are committed to supporting levelling up and working with partners to build innovation capability in clusters across the UK.

“Today, we are pleased to announce the businesses and projects to receive this first investment through our immersive and creative industries Launchpad programme.

“This region is well known for its strengths in gaming and immersive technologies. The successful businesses are among the most innovative locally and the investment will support innovations with global export potential that is important for the whole UK economy.”

Isobel Woods, Head of Economy & Skills at Warwickshire County Council, said: “We are thrilled so many innovative businesses in Coventry and Warwickshire applied for the Immersive and Creative Technologies Launchpad programme, particularly since there was a large number of applicants who had never previously applied for Innovate UK funding.

“It is fantastic that the funding will support a wide variety of projects which will demonstrate the high level of innovate skills we have across the region.

“We are really looking forward to seeing their projects come to fruition in the coming months and supporting even more businesses to access these grants as we focus on future rounds of funding.”

Councillor Jim O’Boyle, Cabinet member for Jobs, Regeneration and Climate Change at Coventry City Council, said: “I’m pleased to see funding going to Coventry businesses that will help them to deliver major innovation projects using creative and immersive technologies. This will provide the platform for creating new jobs and securing this rapidly growing sector right here in Coventry and Warwickshire.

“There are certainly lots of exciting things happening and our region is right at the centre of things.”

The Launchpad partnership will announce the next round of funding in late Spring.

Caption: Isobel Woods, Head of Economy & Skills at Warwickshire County Council