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Productivity Through Innovation

Improving productivity is key to economic growth and it is important as a region that we utilise and share our innovations, knowledge, skills and talent to achieve this.

The Productivity Through Innovation (PTI) project is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

ERDF logo

About the project

PTI cover image

The Productivity Through Innovation (PTI) project offers fully funded support to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, Derby and Derbyshire to improve their productivity and market competitiveness.

We will work closely with you to understand the business and identify any barriers to your performance and take opportunities to improve and accelerate business growth.

This will result in a tailor-made package of support of one or both of the options below.

Funding to employ a graduate

A grant to fund 20% of a salary for a graduate-level role for up to 12 months to address a skills gap in your business (graduate can be from NTU or another university), alongside support on the recruitment process to find the best and lost suitable candidates to join your business.

Consultancy with an NTU expert

A funded consultancy with NTU academics and/or technical experts with industry experience, which could include but is not limited to:

  • expertise from our award winning and internationally renowned Nottingham Business School on topics such as supply chain management, developing your business strategy, enhancing your marketing, employee engagement and process innovation.
  • expertise in the latest technology, including computing, data science and product design from across the university to assist your new product development

The project is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

How PTI can make a difference to your business

We will work directly with participating businesses to identify and deliver meaningful, innovative and sustainable productivity improvements, in order to:

  • increase revenue
  • identify inefficiencies and reduce costs
  • develop, improve and implement products, services or processes
  • fulfil and bridge skills and knowledge gaps
  • bring in new, fresh talent
  • improve business strategy and performance
  • explore new markets to acquire new customers and enhance market competitiveness.

Who is eligible for support?

  • Most SMEs operating in Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.
  • SMEs with a minimum of 5, but less than 250 employees.
  • SMEs with an annual turnover under EUR 50 million or annual balance sheet less than EUR 43 million.

Further suitability for the project will be discussed based on a diagnostic with the team.

If you do not meet the above criteria or are unsure, please contact us regardless as we may be able to signpost you to other support available.

What businesses are saying about PTI

The whole process was very useful - the workshops, the one-to-one consultancy, and additional tools that Rob provided. It helped us to understand how we need to manage the overall process. The workshop and discussions showed us there is more to managing the supply chain process. The consultancy is especially crucial now and useful for SMEs. I think the supply chain will have a huge impact on the profitability businesses.

Yunan Zheng, Director at Bravo Lighting Ltd

The graduate, Jack, was instrumental in the launch of a brand collaboration, he is honestly amazing and I can’t imagine not having him here!

Pam Digva, Brand Director and Co-Founder, Lacehouse Kitchen Ltd (T/A Sauce Shop)


How NTU supported Tom's business through our IT security consultancy

Tom Hemmingway from AppliSaaS Ltd

Contact our team

Support through this project will be available until 31 March 2023. If you are interested in accessing these services or would like to know more, contact us on the details below.

For consultancy and technical support, contact David Shipley, Business Relationship Manager by phone on +44 (0)115 848 4472 or via email at

For skills and talent opportunities, contact the NTU Talent team on +44 (0)115 848 2189 or by email at

Privacy and data retention

This project has been developed by Nottingham Trent University (NTU), University of Nottingham and the University of Derby with the express purpose of improving the region’s productivity to drive business growth and social prosperity.