Productivity Through Innovation

Improving productivity through business innovation

Productivity Through Innovation (PTI) allows businesses to access a broad range of funding, services and support activities to improve their productivity and their market competitiveness.

Developed in partnership with the University of Nottingham and University of Derby, the programme focusses on improving the performance of the businesses involved. This programme is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)

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SMEs will be able to work with academic experts and access industry standard facilities across all three of our university campuses. Grant funding is also available for 20% of a graduate’s salary for up to 12 months, to work on a specific productivity based project.

How we support your business

Eligible businesses will be expected to commit to a collaborative project with the University, who will provide a bespoke support package that will aim to improve productivity processes, product quality and enable investment in new technologies.

The collaboration will be designed to have maximum positive impact on your business. Benchmark productivity data will be gathered before and after the collaboration to evaluate the impact and results of the support.

The collaboration will be based on a detailed, two stage diagnostic, that focusses on 5 key productivity drivers:

  • Skills & Talent

    • 20% grant towards the salary of a graduate for up to 12 months
    • Recruitment support from our dedicated Employability Team including advice on how to attract, select and keep talented individuals
    • A recruitment toolkit

  • Management and Leadership

    • Academic led research and consultancy projects from our award-winning Nottingham Business School, covering a variety of topics including business strategy and process innovation, employee engagement, curating a culture of innovation and implementing change.
    • A programme of Management and Leadership events to develop your management team and enable participants to network with like-minded business leaders.

  • Research & Development

    • Technical and academic support for new product development
    • Access to industry standard facilities
    • Testing and improving existing product quality and efficiency

  • Investment

    • Research and consultancy support to assess financial health and identify alternative revenue streams
    • Signposting to other services who can offer dedicated access to finance support

  • International Trade

    • Research and consultancy support to identify and target new markets.
    • Signposting to other, dedicated support service for international trade and exporting advice

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Working with NTU
Find out more about how NTU supports SMEs

Cost to business

Subject to eligibility, all support is part funded by the University and the European Regional Development Fund. The only cost to you is your time and commitment to improve, innovate and grow your business.


Support through the project is funded by the European Regional Development fund. To be eligible you must be an established SME in the D2N2 area (Derby/Derbyshire, Nottingham/Nottinghamshire) with an ambition to innovate to improve your productivity. Further suitability for the project will be established through the diagnostic.

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are defined as:

  • less than 250 employees
    • annual turnover under EUR 50 million or;
    • annual balance sheet less than EUR 43 million

If you are unsure whether or not you qualify for support, please contact us.

Contact our team

Funding is available from 1 April 2019 until 31 March 2022

If you are interested in accessing these services or would like to know more, contact our team by email or by calling +44 (0)115 848 8899.

Further Information

We have secured funding from the European Regional Development Fund which means that most services provided as part of this programme are of no cost to eligible businesses.

Productivity Through Innovation is one of many projects which D2N2 has supported with European funding. Further details of these projects and much more, can be found on the D2N2 Growth Hub site.

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Still need help?

Our team
+44 (0)115 848 8899