Free workshop to ensure West Midlands SMEs are ready to access Horizon 2020 funding

SMEs in the West Midlands interested in how they might make bids for European funding through the €70 billion Horizon 2020 fund, which launches in January 2014, are being invited to attend a free briefing on Monday 9 December 2013 from 9.45am-3pm.

The event, being run by the European Bioenergy Research Institute (EBRI) at Aston University will equip regional SMEs with the knowledge they need to make bids to this fund, with a particular focus on renewable energy and biotechnology.

The EBRI event will also provide expert advice on how businesses in the region might access a range of projects to become a partner in and will include an extensive question and answer session with expert speakers from the Technology Strategy Board.

Horizon 2020 aims to support research and innovation and will drive the creation of new growth and jobs in Europe. The funding programme runs from 2014 to 2020 and will target SMEs showing a strong ambition to develop, grow and internationalise, regardless of whether they are high-tech and research-driven or non-research conducting, social or service companies.

The fund will also be addressing major societal challenges such as climate change and making renewable energy more affordable.

This workshop will also include a tour of EBRI’s brand new bioenergy Pyroformer™-Gasifier Power Plant on the Aston University campus. Pyroformer™ technology is unique in its use of multiple waste and residue sources, to generate cost-effective heat and power and is the first of its kind in the UK.

The event is free to attend and businesses can register to attend at

Horizon 2020 is the European Research Instrument, aimed at securing Europe’s global competitiveness. Running from 2014 to 2020 with a budget of just over €70 billion, the EU’s new programme for research and innovation is part of the drive to create new growth and jobs in Europe.

The proposed support for research and innovation under Horizon 2020 will:

  • Strengthen the EU’s position in science with a dedicated budget of €24,341 million. This will provide a boost to top-level research in Europe.
  • Strengthen industrial leadership in innovation €17,015 million. This includes major investment in key technologies, greater access to capital and support for SMEs.
  • Provide €30,956 million to help address major concerns shared by all Europeans such as climate change, developing sustainable transport and mobility, making renewable energy more affordable, ensuring food safety and security, or coping with the challenge of an ageing population.
  • Horizon 2020 will tackle societal challenges by helping to bridge the gap between research and the market by, for example, helping innovative enterprise to develop their technological breakthroughs into viable products with real commercial potential. This market-driven approach will include creating partnerships with the private sector and Member States to bring together the resources needed.
  • International cooperation will be an important cross-cutting priority of Horizon 2020. In addition to Horizon 2020 being fully open to international participation, targeted actions with key partner countries and regions will focus on the EU’s strategic priorities.


To arrange an interview or for more information, please contact Rebecca Griffiths on 01727 733885 or email [email protected]

Notes to Editors

The European Bioenergy Research Institute (EBRI)

EBRI based at Aston University delivers world-class research into all aspects of bioenergy. EBRI has been established since 2007 and bioenergy research has been taking place at the University from as early as 1978. EBRI was recently awarded £8.2 million from the European Regional Development Fund to build a new world-class facility for West Midlands businesses working in bioenergy technologies and component supply chain manufacturers to try out, test and get ready for market new products and processes within this field.

The European Regional Development Fund Programme

The Department for Communities and Local Government is the managing authority for the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Programme which runs from 2007 to 2013. This is one of the funds established by the European Commission to help local areas stimulate their economic development. The West Midlands ERDF Programme has been allocated €400 million to invest in projects which will support local businesses and create jobs. Priority areas and themes for the West Midlands are: Innovation and Research & Development, Enterprise Development, Sustainable Urban Development, and Inter-Regional Activity.