Businesses across the South West are set to cash in on a new £4 million funding programme, run by the University of the West of England, Bristol.

Available to both small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and large companies, the Innovation 4 Growth scheme will part fund research and development projects with grants of between £25,000 and £150,000.

Financed by the UK government’s Regional Development Fund, it will help businesses develop new or improved products, technologies, processes or services - safeguarding existing, or creating additional, jobs as a result.

 Professor Martin Boddy said: “We are delighted to offer support to promising enterprises across the South West. Not only in the Bristol area, but right across the region - from Truro to Tewkesbury, Bideford to Bournemouth - the fund will enable us to help businesses innovate and grow.

“Any company with plans for research and development, or thinking about an innovative project, should consider applying. We would typically fund 35 per cent of project costs for SMEs, and a bit less for larger companies – so a significant portion of expenditure can be claimed.”

The application deadline is Monday, March 10, with dedicated advisors to provide assistance with both the short application form and the overall process.

Businesses should complete the brief online registration of interest form. An advisor will then contact them within three working days to discuss the potential application and to organise further telephone or face-to-face support, if required.

Applications will be evaluated by a panel of business experts. There may be a further call after the March 10 deadline, but this will be dependent on the availability of funds after the initial submission.

Timescales in relation to claiming grants are also short, with all funding having to be issued by the end of the 2014/15 financial year (April 20, 2015). Eligible costs, however, are broad, and include project staff salaries and expenditure on materials, capital equipment, tooling, training and market assessment.

Further details of the scheme and the registration of interest form can be found at: