£4.2m European Funding Call for Information and Communications Technology

Call title – Information and Communications Technology in Cornwall and Isles of Scilly (OC05R18P 0896)

Closing date – 22 February 2019

Download the call specification – Read more

Up to £4.2 million is now available through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly (CIOS) for a project that will improve access to, and enhance the use and quality of, Information and Communications Technology.

The funding forms part of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Growth Programme, delivering economic regeneration from 2014-2020.

Cornwall and Isles of Scilly have one of the best rural networks anywhere in the world; it was estimated that by the end of 2017 that 86% of premises  had access to superfast broadband of 30+Mbps, of which 31% had access to ultrafast broadband of 100+Mbps. This superfast broadband infrastructure has been developed through the successive 2007-2013 Convergence Programme and 2015-2017 Government’s Broadband Delivery United Kingdom Superfast Extension Programme. In addition, a further upgrade will enable 7,500 premises with access to 30+ Mbps broadband, including 1,200 Small and Medium Sized Enterprises through the current European Regional Development Fund investment already committed through the 2014-2020 Growth Programme.

The take up of superfast broadband infrastructure remains at one of the highest levels in the country. Despite this progress, peripherality remains a continuing constraint for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, with the physical distance from national and international markets seen as a key issue prohibiting businesses from growing and accessing new markets. The significant investment made during the Convergence programme in broadband infrastructure has helped address this issue but the problem has not gone away completely. This is in part because, although take up of broadband has been high, many businesses have been slow to recognise the competitive advantage that using Superfast can bring. Whilst they are aware they can access faster broadband speeds, businesses do not always understand what can be achieved from using them. Consequently, businesses need to be supported in understanding how these new and emerging technologies can be fully applied and exploited and encouraged to understand how Information and Communications Technology can increase business performance and access new markets.

This call is looking for a project that will increase the coverage of superfast and ultrafast Broadband in areas where the market is failing and grow the number of small and medium sized enterprises making a productive use of digital technologies.

Applications must specify the activities to be delivered and must directly contribute to one or more of the following investment priorities:

  • 2a Extending broadband deployment and the roll-out of high-speed networks and supporting the adoption of emerging technologies and networks for the digital economy
  • 2b Developing Information and Communications Technology products and services, e-commerce, and enhancing demand for Information and Communications Technology

Applicant support

Potential applicants can make use of the Access to the Programme Team who offer free specialist support for applicants and can be contacted on  accesstotheprogramme@cornwalldevelopmentcompany.co.uk

More information about how this team can help.