– Credit: Angela Sharpe Photography
Firms are being urged to seek grants after research showed businesses in the region claimed up to 70pc less government innovation funding than other parts of the UK.
East Anglian companies received an average of £1,922 in Innovate UK grants per business, which is 70.4pc less than the North East, which claimed the equivalent of £6,504.
On average, businesses in the region also claimed 25pc below the UK average of £2,563 per firm.
Innovate UK grants provide funding for businesses carrying out research and implementing innovative technology and systems.
Funding groups in Norfolk and Suffolk have raised concerns that businesses in the region are missing out on funding and grant opportunities.
Chris Starkie, from New Anglia LEP, said: “We recognise this is an issue and we have responded with a range of opportunities designed to support and drive innovation.
“Our Growth Through Innovation Fund offers grants from £,1000 to £25,000 for companies in Norfolk and Suffolk wanting to invest in innovation and R&D (research and development).
“So far it has awarded nearly £1.1m to 63 projects, generating almost £1.4m in private match funding.”
He added: “We also help businesses to secure the funding they need to develop their project ideas through Norfolk and Suffolk Innovation Grant Mentoring.
“Submitting a good application increases your chances of getting your funding and this scheme aims to support small to medium business owners or managers, including micro business owners and sole traders based in Norfolk or Suffolk.”
Karen Taylor, group head of grants at Catax, highlighted the importance of grant funding for businesses to grow and develop.
Karen Taylor, from funding specialist Catax, said: “There is great variation in the level of grant funding being received around the UK, but the East of England is lagging behind other parts of the country.
“Grants can be a crucial source of funding for businesses, giving many the financial resources they need to invest in new research and innovations.
“It might be that there is still a prevailing lack of awareness of these grants in the region, and this needs to be addressed.
“These findings should serve as a call to action for businesses in the east of England to seek out the grants that could get their project off the ground.”
Norfolk Live News
Norfolk Live News
Norfolk Live News | Updated
George Thompson, Local Democracy Reporter