Smart Concept Fund

The Smart Concept Fund is a Business Support initiative offered by the University of Wolverhampton, with part-ERDF funding. It provides Proof of Concept grants to SME’s that are looking to develop and launch innovative products on the market.
One recent beneficiary is a Wolverhampton – based company developing a new anti-cancer therapy.

Disulfican Ltd, have been awarded a 50% grant worth £22k from the Smart Concept Fund to purchase a live cell-imaging system. This equipment is seen as vital to the ongoing development of the promising new cancer treatment based upon the use of Disulfiram (DS), an old anti-alcoholism drug.

Without the grant, Disulfican would have been unable to purchase the required equipment, which is needed so that it can participate in an international collaboration preparing the ground for clinical trials. The DS compound possesses excellent anticancer activity with low toxicity to normal cells, but breaks down quickly in the bloodstream and loses its anti-cancer profile. By protecting the DS within a nano-particle, Disulfican Ltd have been able to maintain the drugs anti-cancer profile for longer, and proven that the treatment is effective against a range of cancers.

Disulfican is working in an exciting area of Life Sciences, but local SME’s in a range of sectors can benefit from the Proof of Concept grants on offer from the Smart Concept Fund. Find out more at:

Provider name: University of Wolverhampton
Project name: Smart Concept Fund
Location: Wolverhampton Science Park
Priority Axis: PA1
ERDF grant amount: £1.015m
Match Funding, Investment and Total Split:
Total project value £1.829m
University match funding £368k
SME match funding £446k
Local Enterprise Partnership Area:
Black Country – 35% share of project
Marches – 35% share of project
Stoke/Staffs – 30% share of project
Project start and end dates:
1st April 2017 to 31st Match 2020
Description of the project:
Proof of Concept Grant, typically in the range £5k to £25k at a reimbursement rate of 50% to SME’s that are carrying out a new product development project.
Achievements of the project:
Grant offers have been made against £405k of programmed expenditure by SME’s in the
region, representing commitment of 40% of the funding available through the project.
See newsletter item for case study example.
Contact Details for project:
Project Manager Alana Correa


European Union European Regional Development Fund


The project is receiving up to £1.015m of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.  The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (and in London the intermediate body Greater London Authority) is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations.  For more information visit


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