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The Department for International Trade (DIT) has signed a three-year, £2.6m deal with Capita to supply a digital grand management platform, GrantIS, that will enable the department to distribute grants to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
The DIT will be the first to use the new platform, which will allow businesses to apply and receive grants from the department’s £38m European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), which was established to help SMEs find new overseas markets.
The fund is part of the government’s European Structural and Investment Funds Growth programme 2014-2020.
The platform will provide SMEs with information about the fund and how to apply for it, as well as enable government advisers to support applicants in real time, and provide an audit trail.
In June 2020, the DIT announced a new trade strategy, aiming to boost the UK’s technology industry, including increased exports and international investments.
Andy Start, CEO of Capita Government Services, said the company is delighted to be working with the DIT “to support the UK’s SMEs and to help increase the value of Britain’s exports as the country exits the European Union”.
International trade secretary Liz Truss announced the plans, developed in partnership with the sector, as a response to industry calls for support for UK tech. The strategy is also intended to foster the development of companies in the long term and support their recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Now is the time to harness our talent and potential and unleash it on the world stage,” said Truss.
In 2019, the UK attracted a record £10.1bn worth of investment – up 44% on 2018 – which was more than Germany and France combined. The goal of the new measures is to ramp that up and help companies make the most of international trade and investment opportunities, including additional future free trade agreements.
Read more about government IT
- Think-tank says Covid-19 has shown the importance of a ‘digitally enabled’ public sector, but there is still a long way to go to realise the full potential of technology.
- The government is creating a new Central Digital and Data Office, which will be led by Home Office tech boss Joanna Davinson.
- While the devolved nations press on with their digital plans, the UK government has delayed its digital strategy – yet this is too important for the economy to be put off any further.
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