A number of UK small and medium sized exterprises (SMEs) have been awarded 50,000 euros from a new EU research fund for small businesses.
26 UK companies have received the funding to help them develop research to grow their projects, many of which are in the green energy and health sectors.
Brainomix, a company based in Oxford, is using the funding to set up clinical trials across Europe to develop medical imaging software that is hoped will ensure more victims of strokes receive treatment.
The initial grant will fund a feasibility study for the project, after which the company will be considered for a further EU grant of up to €2.5 million.
Michalis Papadakis, CEO of Brainomix, said:
"The SME instrument has been extremely valuable.
"This funding from the EU provides backing to SMEs to carry out crucial studies, which is otherwise challenging to secure.
"The EU funding is allowing us to set up a multi-centre trial throughout Europe and will help to ensure our research is of the highest quality.
"If we can demonstrate this and provide a business plan we could be eligible for more funding in phase two.
"We hope our studies could revolutionise stroke care by ensuring more patients get life-saving treatment."
Newbury-based Power Stabilisation Limited, has also received the funding, which they will use for research into low-carbon energy-saving systems.
Keith Berry, Director of Power Stabilisation, said:
"The funding couldn't have happened at a better time for a small company.
"R&D is an expensive issue. The £40k will help us hone our breakthrough product and develop our business plan to the next level.
"Raising finance for small business is always difficult and although the competition to get to this stage was tough it's refreshing that we were able to raise this money through the European Commission."
Liberal Democrat MEP Catherine Bearder, who fought for the creation of the new £2.4 billion (€3 billion) small business fund during budget negotiations in the European Parliament, said the announcement showed the EU was becoming more focused on jobs and growth.
Commenting, she said:
"After having fought for the creation of this fund it is great to see it benefitting the vital local businesses in our communities.
"The EU can play a major role in fostering high-tech research and helping small firms bring their products to the wider European market.
"This shows how the EU reforming; becoming more focused on the needs of small businesses, cutting red tape and creating jobs locally."