EU funding available for research, development and innovation

Historically, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly have had low levels of investment in research, development and innovation (RD&I) but it is hoped the EU funding available through the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Growth Programme can change that.

Significant development in RD&I will help the region to realise the ambitions of a stronger economy and increased employment over the Programme lifetime, which ends in 2020.

Up to £30m has been made available to support investment in Research, Development and Innovation (RD&I) across the region.  Investment in innovation is an important driver for economic growth and productivity. Businesses that invest in RD&I are also more likely to grow in terms of employment and sales compared with businesses that fail to innovate.

Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly have excellent natural resources, growing clusters of innovative businesses and cutting edge infrastructure, including three innovation centres and a fibre-based broadband network that covers 95% of premises across the region.

Previous investment coupled with the new round of EU funding presents an excellent opportunity for the region’s businesses to develop new technologies and create high-value, knowledge-based economic growth.

This tranche of EU funding will focus on enabling the development of identified markets where C&IoS has an existing asset base and where there is potential for global growth and development in that market.

The region’s physical assets (buildings, connectivity etc), Knowledge assets (academic and vocational strengths) and business assets (businesses that can exploit new market opportunities) have been considered to identify 5 areas where investment should be focussed:

  • Marine technology
  • Agri-tech
  • Space / Aerospace
  • E Health and E Wellbeing
  • Digital economy

The funding will encourage a general uplift in RD&I spending across the region with a focus on high-growth businesses and those with growth potential. Investment will be targeted towards companies (existing and new) that can demonstrate opportunities for growth in terms of jobs and productivity.

Councillor Julian German, member of the Integrated Territorial Investment (ITI) Board which is responsible for overseeing the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Growth Programme, said: ‘Encouraging investment in the five areas of smart specialisation that have been identified is key to the overall success of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Growth Programme.’

Full detail about this funding opportunity and the application process can be found at

Further information about the European Regional Development Fund can be found at

Editor’s notes

The Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Growth Programme is part of the England Growth Programme, which will run from 2014-2020.  Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly is the only area in England to qualify as a ‘Less Developed’ region and has an allocation of €603.7million which is split as follows:

European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) €438 million

European Social Fund (ESF) €166 million    


The European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) has an allocation of £10 million in Cornwall and Isles of Scilly, aligned with the wider England Growth Programme.



Jason Sugden

Media Relations Officer for the Convergence support team

07854 039960

[email protected]

Economic Development and Culture

Economy, Enterprise and Environment Directorate

Cornwall Council, 4th Floor, West Wing, New County Hall,
Treyew Road, Truro, TR1 3AY


Email us at: [email protected]

Visit us at: Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Growth Programme

Follow us: @GrowthProgramme

Friday 4 December 2015