University to help businesses innovate as part of £20.3m project

Nottingham Trent University is to receive a share of £10.1m in European funding designed to help more than 2,000 businesses boost their innovation.

This is a really exciting opportunity to meet new businesses and support their ideas for innovation

Mike Carr, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Employer and Economic Engagement)

Nottingham Trent University is to receive a share of £10.1m in European funding designed to help more than 2,000 businesses boost their innovation.

The D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has today announced that a tri-university bid for money from its €251m European Structural and Investment Funds Programme has been successful.

The Enabling Innovation bid by Nottingham Trent University, the University of Nottingham and the University of Derby is by far the largest collaborative programme between the three universities in the D2N2 area (Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire), aimed at matching their expertise to the needs of business. The partnership will also invest public and private-sector match funding into the project, bringing its value to more than £20m.

Nottingham Trent University is receiving £3.8m from the European fund which, combined with matched funding, means it will spend £7.6m on helping businesses to innovate through a range of schemes such as:

  • the creation of dedicated technical hubs in food and drink, materials engineering, computing and data, and design innovation, all offering unprecedented access to university expertise and graduate talent, supporting businesses around innovation and new technologies
  • a business innovation programme delivered by Nottingham Business School to provide leadership training
  • the contribution of 20% towards 60 graduate salaries for up to a year within businesses requiring support to take new products or services to market
  • the support for academically led projects and student-led consultancy work aimed at engaging with businesses
  • the additional intensive specialist support for innovative businesses developed through the University's existing Hive incubator scheme.

Mike Carr, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Employer and Economic Engagement) at Nottingham Trent University, said: "This is a really exciting opportunity to meet new businesses and support their ideas for innovation. It is our hope and intention that many of these companies will start an ongoing relationship with the University that could provide interesting opportunities for knowledge exchange, graduate employment and experiential teaching and learning while also supporting local economic growth."

The Enabling Innovation programme will run until 31 March 2019 and is expected to help at least 2,500 businesses in the region.

Funding is from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) portion of the D2N2 LEP's allocation of €251m in European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF). D2N2 is a private sector-led partnership of business, local authorities, skills and training providers, social enterprise and community organisations and other organisations, which promotes economic growth and jobs creation across Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.

  • Notes for editors

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    • European Structural and Investment Funds – The projects are to receive funding from the England European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014- 2020. The Department for Communities and Local Government and the Department for Work and Pensions (and in London, the intermediate body Greater London Authority) are the Managing Authorities for European Regional Development Fund and European Social Fund funding through the Growth Programme – funds established by the European Union to help local areas stimulate their economic development. By investing in projects the funds will help to support innovation, businesses, skills and employment, with the aim of improving local growth and creating jobs. For more information, visit https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding.
    • D2N2 is the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) for Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire. Local Enterprise Partnerships are private sector-led, locally owned partnerships between business, local authorities, skills and training providers, and community and voluntary organisations. There are 39 LEPs in England.
    • Nottingham Trent University’s five-year strategic plan, "Creating the University of the Future", has five main ambitions: Creating Opportunity, Valuing Ideas, Enriching Society, Connecting Globally, and Empowering People.
    • The Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education was awarded to Nottingham Trent University in November 2015. It is the highest national honour for a UK university and recognises the institution's world-class research. Pioneering projects to improve weapons and explosives detection in luggage, enable safer production of powdered infant formula, and to combat food fraud, led to the prestigious award.

University to help businesses innovate as part of £20.3m project

Published on 24 May 2016
  • Category: Business; Press office

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