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Calling Ealing’s innovation pioneers

Small businesses in Ealing can now apply for the pioneers’ fund, a £1 million scheme designed to support innovation of products and services in the borough.

Delivered in partnership with West London Business, the fund provides grants to Ealing’s entrepreneurs, micro and small businesses and can be used for testing, prototyping innovations, supporting adaptations and diversifications of products or services in the following sectors:

  • Aviation/logistics
  • Food
  • Creative/media.

Grants from £50,000 to £200,000 are available.

We encourage collaborations between businesses of all sizes, private investors, and academic institutions to co-develop, co-test and co-fund ideas and to launch new products and create local jobs.

Eligibility criteria

The grant is open to those that meet the following criteria:

  • Entrepreneurs and small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) – with up to 250 employees, an annual turnover of up to £25.9 million and a balance sheet of up to £12.9 million in total
  • Based in Ealing
  • Projects can last from 12 to a maximum of 18 months
  • Projects must demonstrate a potential economic and/or employment benefit for Ealing.

Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for decent living incomes, said:

“We’re looking for innovative ideas to help us meet the borough’s ambition to support growth in key sectors, driven by businesses with a commitment to Good Jobs and supporting the transition to net zero.

“If you are in one of our priority sectors and have an idea for an innovative project in your business, we would love to hear from you.

“The project team is particularly keen to hear from smaller businesses who would benefit from the financial support and partnering opportunities afforded by innovation funding.

“All proposals will be carefully considered and the team will try to provide feedback to all parties submitting a full application. Crucially, any ideas submitted will be treated as commercially confidential and we will respect fully any intellectual property of the originator, regardless of whether we choose to award a grant.”

How to apply

Download the application form and fill out Part A (project outline) including:

  • 400-word description of the problem your idea is seeking to solve
  • Which sector your innovation falls in?
  • A description of how the solution will work
  • Timeline estimate and project cost
  • Potential partners you will need to involve
  • Project benefits, including any current estimates of business turnover/jobs growth potential.

What happens next

We will respond in the next 72 hours with advice on whether you should proceed to stage two of the application process.

The applications will close at 4pm on 31 December 2021. We will approve grants in principle by the end of January 2022 and will make payments by 31 March 2022.

The pioneers’ fund is part of the additional restrictions grant fund, a discretionary government fund for a range of businesses, which must be distributed by 31 March 2022. As part of this fund, businesses in Ealing can also take part in the free business support programmes that are currently available.

Good jobs for Ealing

Ealing’s Plan for Good Jobs is the council’s action plan that sets out the short-term actions that are needed to help Ealing’s economy recover from the pandemic. The plan sets out a number of key priorities for the council and its partners including helping residents into gainful employment by making it easier for them to find jobs, retrain and develop new skills for growth sector employment.

A focus will also be on protecting and nurturing existing businesses and encouraging local employers to work with the council to create good jobs.

Ealing’s Plan for Good Jobs is the council’s commitment to help the borough get back on its feet and create a sustainable economy.

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