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Volume 496: debated on Wednesday 9 September 2009

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what progress has been made on establishing a new national proof of concept fund. (280369)

There is no dedicated proof of concept fund. To ensure businesses receive the most cost effective and comprehensive range of support a new national framework for proof of concept support was adopted by the RDAs in March. The framework comprises funding of up to £500,000; access to facilities, including business incubators, laboratories and science parks; and tailored help including help with business and financial planning and coaching on how to pitch for investment. This new national framework ensures help is targeted to the specific needs of businesses. It avoids the overlap and duplication that would be created by a dedicated proof of concept scheme. All RDA support for proof of concept will be fully aligned with the national framework by 31 March 2010.