Collaborating with BEACON
How is BEACON funded?
BEACON is funded through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) by the Welsh European Funding Office (WEFO), part of the Welsh Government, under the Convergence programme for West Wales and the Valleys.
Who can work with BEACON?
New and existing small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in the Convergence region of Wales can work with BEACON.
Businesses outside Wales are also eligible but your work must benefit the Convergence region in order to qualify for support.
We can also work with larger private organisations and public sector organisations i.e. local authorities, central government, government bodies and higher education institutions.
When working with BEACON you will be asked to complete a form to assess your eligibility to work with us. If you are not sure whether you qualify, contact us and we will discuss your eligibility and how we can assist you.
Which areas are in the Convergence region?
The Convergence region for Wales covers 15 local authority areas in West Wales and the Valleys as follows:
- Blaenau Gwent
- Isle of Anglesey
- Merthyr Tydfil
- Neath Port Talbot
- Rhondda Cynon Taf
What does it cost to work with BEACON?
Working with BEACON does not require your business to make any financial contribution.
1. Events and workshops
BEACON offers workshops and other short activities. These usually last a maximum of one day, where assistance is provided to you under State Aid ‘De Minimis’ regulations.
The European Commission sets limits on the amount of assistance that can be given to organisations. There is a limit of €200,000 for all ‘De Minimis’ aid provided to any one organisation over a period of three fiscal years (ie. the current fiscal year and the two previous fiscal years). We will assess what aid you have had in the past to ensure you qualify for BEACON support.
Assistance from BEACON has a ‘De Minimis’ value of £500 for a seven hour day.
2. Collaborative Research and Development projects
These are bigger projects which can last from 1-2 weeks to 2-3 years. They will usually follow on from a short activity or initial scoping discussion.
The collaboration will be an on-going relationship between the enterprise and the research institution(s) for the period of the R&D project. We can provide free facilities and expertise; you provide contributions in kind – this is likely to take the form of activities that need doing to get the project completed.
Because these projects are collaborations, they are not subject to ‘De Minimis’ funding regulations. For collaborative research projects to run on a ‘No Aid’ basis there has to be a balanced collaboration, involving input, from both BEACON and yourselves.
If I collaborate with BEACON, who owns the Intellectual Property Rights?
All intellectual property rights (IPR) owned by you at the start of the project are retained by you. Where new intellectual property results from a collaborative research project BEACON would have an equal share in the new IPR. This would reflect the work BEACON has done on the project. We would discuss IPR with you before commencing any collaboration project to ensure all parties are in agreement. All research and development projects require a Collaboration Agreement to be signed.
Would BEACON publish the results of the research?
Where scientific information is gathered during the course of the project that is not commercially sensitive we would consult with you and seek to publish if that was appropriate.
This would usually be expected to benefit the commercial objectives of the project and raise the profile of your business.
Who will I be working with?
Within BEACON you may work with Aberystwyth, Bangor or Swansea University individually, or a combination of these institutions. Our Business Development Managers will discuss your requirements with you, and decide which institution(s), facilities and expertise would be most appropriate in your case.