Huppert’s SMART move to reward innovation
December 8, 2011
MP Julian Huppert has succeeded in bringing back the SMART awards scheme for industry which will reward innovation among Cambridge’s small companies.
Julian pushed for the scheme to form part of the government’s multi-million pound Innovation and Research Strategy launched today (Thursday, December 8).
And today he received assurances from Science Minister David Willetts that small companies will be encouraged once again to develop innovative products through the re-launch of the awards scheme.
Julian won a SMART award for innovation in 2004 while running his own biotech company, Cambridge Laboratory Innovations Ltd, and was keen to see the scheme reintroduced to support other small businesses.
During Questions in the House of Commons today (Thursday, December 8), he told Mr Willetts: “This excellent scheme supported small companies to develop risky, innovative products but over the years it has been watered down in terms of financial support and success rates.”
He asked if the government’s Innovation and Research Strategy launched today would reverse that decline and support small and medium enterprises.
Mr Willetts announced that the government was going to bring back the SMART awards scheme on a national basis, properly financed.
Julian said: “I am delighted that the government is committed to bringing back the SMART awards which give small companies the chance to take a risk with innovative ideas. It is only through supporting these companies to take such a risk that we can make the breakthroughs in research, innovation and technology that allow us to stay a strong global player.
“The government’s Innovation and Research Strategy makes a strong commitment to high tech and small and medium sized businesses and will boost growth not only in Cambridge and across the eastern region but the country as a whole. This should create a strong environment for entrepreneurs and innovators.”