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Innovation and New Products

Innovation is the successful development and introduction of new ideas. Investing in innovation, research and development is important for economic growth. Businesses that do so often emerge stronger and more competitive than they were before. If a company creates something unique it has intellectual property (IP) that it can protect and exploit.

Innovation Advice and Support

Innovate UK

innovate uk
Innovate UK provides funding and support to innovative companies to accelerate sustainable economic growth as well as access to experts through Knowledge Transfer Partnerships and specialist innovation networks.
Companies in the local area interested in accessing funding from Innovate UK can access further information on specific schemes as well as initial support and guidance regarding applying to the schemes through the Enterprise Europe Network Midlands (EEN).
For more details call 0115 9578746 or email ennoecdlc.keif@m-n.ou

Innovate 2 Succeed Programme

The Innovate 2 Succeed programme is designed to help innovation focussed SMEs identify business issues standing in the way of successful innovation and develop their own strategies to address them. Midlands based innovation/technology led, high-growth potential SMEs will receive tailored coaching support from a specialist innovation adviser.

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Growth through Innovation

If it creates something unique, a company has Intellectual Property (IP) that it can protect and exploit. There are many funding opportunities for companies who want to develop and exploit their IP. There are also schemes and initiatives in which companies can collaborate with research partners, such as universities, to develop new ideas.
Contact Great Business new ideas.

Local Support and Innovation Centres

Enabling Innovation


Enabling Innovation aims to stimulate research and innovation within SMEs in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire. The programme, run by the University of Derby, Nottingham Trent University and The University of Nottingham, offers free access to university expertise and technology.
SMEs across a wide range of sectors including manufacturing, materials engineering, computing and data, aerospace, food and drink, chemistry and satellite navigation may benefit from:

•In-depth support from academic experts.
•Workshop programmes designed to help businesses to innovate, explore new ideas and unlock their growth potential.
•Leadership and management development, including mentoring.
•Support for businesses to take on graduates via placement opportunities, allowing them to explore the benefits of employing graduates.
The project has been funded via the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), using funds secured by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Nottingham Trent University (NTU) can fund 20% of a graduate salary (up to 12 months) where the Graduate Talent will support the SME with innovation. Email tln@t.cuaetnua.k
Businesses can access support from local universities to take on graduates.

The Knowledge Exchange for Innovation(KEI) fund is designed to encourage collaboration between the University of Derby and SMEs to enable them to become more innovative and realise their growth ambitions by using the knowledge, technology and skills of the University.
Applications for KEI projects are welcomed from SMEs across a wide range of industries and sectors.



Enscite offers a package of business support activities aimed at local SMEs in the Transport Equipment Manufacturing (TEM) supply chains in order to facilitate growth, improve competitiveness and create jobs. Four growth programmes will focus on Leadership and Management, Sustainable Supply Chains, Logistics and Operations Management and Excellence Through Quality.
For more details and to book look at the Enscite website

Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses UK Programme

This scheme provides high-quality, practical education specifically tailored to the needs of UK small business leaders. Participants will receive 100 hours of teaching designed by leading experts and delivered through online and residential sessions. The programme gives participants an opportunity to meet and work with a wide range of business owners from across the country and also to join the National Alumni network of business owners who have undertaken the programme in the past. Applicants should have been trading for a minimum of 3 years, have turnover in excess of £250,000, between 5 and 50 employees. It is open to the major Shareholder or major Decision maker in a business from any sector or legal form. Look at the website for full details of the current application process
for the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses UK Programme.

Catalysing Growth Through Research for Transport Equipment Manufacturing

Catalysing Growth provides local SMEs in transport equipment manufacturing and associated supply chains who wish to improve existing products or develop new products, processes and services with access to:
• Fully-funded expertise and co-operation with university research centres and institutes
• Grant funding towards external capital and revenue costs of innovation projects.
The programme will operate until June 2019.
This project is a partnership between the University of Derby’s College of Engineering and Technology and The iNet @ Loughborough University

A Collaborative R&D programme led by D2N2-based SMEs and involving UK-based universities or research institutes is open for proposals until 15 January 2018.

Eligible projects will be SME led and from any technology, engineering or industrial area within Transport Equipment Manufacturing.

Nottingham Trent University


Nottingham Trent University can work with businesses through consultancy, research and bespoke courses. To make an enquiry use the contact deatils here.

The Future Factory Research and Consultancy Centre is to designed to support organisations through working with the University on collaborative projects around smart design, manufacturing and innovative technologies.

Ingenuity Gateway at the University of Nottingham


The Ingenuity gateway offer space to grow at the University of Nottingham Innovation Park (UNIP).

The Ingenuity business network, provides an ideal way for you to meet staff at the University who can provide you with the services you need for business development, when you need them.

Ingenuity plus provides links to Innovation Vouchers, Knowledge Transfer Partnerships, Knowledge Transfer Partnerships, Knowledge Dissemination and Enterprise Creation.

Innovation Vouchers are an easy way of accessing university knowledge and equipment. Primarily aimed at small- and medium-sized companies in the East Midlands, they provide for a programme of work to be undertaken by the University for a business at a subsidised rate.

Innovation Centres

Designed to assist small to medium sized businesses to successfully innovate and grow, some innovation centres are sector focused, some offer accommodation plus a varied range of services.