Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Grant for SMEs announced

National Instruments has announced a grant programme to support micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in embedded development. Starting in 2009, National Instruments UK and Ireland began offering very low cost training and certification to unemployed scientists and engineers to help them develop skills to aid in finding employment. In 2010, recognising that many of the innovative advances in technology over the past 20 years have been developed by small, entrepreneurial companies, the company is offering grants for software, support and training to micro, small and medium-sized companies (often known collectively as SMEs) that are developing embedded devices in areas such as medical, energy and green engineering.

Knowing that SMEs often have limited resources, they have created a grant programme that will award up to £25,000 (ca €26.6k) in software, support and training to selected SMEs that are evaluating the NI platform as a component of their devices. The goal of the new grant programme is to help these companies reduce the cost and complexity of development by providing them with technology such as the National Instruments LabVIEW graphical programming environment. The National Instruments software and hardware platforms for graphical system design are ideal for accelerating the design, validation and implementation of new concepts. The LabVIEW graphical programming environment makes system development faster and more intuitive, opening embedded development to scientists and engineers who are experts in their fields but not necessarily in traditional embedded software. When LabVIEW is used together with the FPGA-based CompactRIO architecture it enables the use of the latest embedded technology without the need for costly custom designs.

"National Instruments UK and Ireland is committed to supporting innovation," said Robert Morton, Managing Director. "Through this grant programme, National Instruments is supporting scientists and engineers based in the UK and Ireland who are developing innovative solutions to the grand challenges the world faces in energy, sustainability and healthcare .”

National Instruments UK and Ireland will accept applications throughout 2010. To apply for the programme, SMEs must provide documentation on the company and the project and participate in an interview.

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