Latest News

10 Jan

Growth Hub Event Consultancy: Invitation to Tender

The Chamber is seeking to recruit experienced consultants to lead the development and delivery of a suite of engaging and professionally-designed Growth Hub-branded seminars and/or action-planning workshops covering a range of topics.

06 Jan

Big House: Invitation to Tender

The Big House are looking for applications from specialist website developers to provide support and updates to The Big House website, for the duration of the project, running until September 2022.

24 Dec

East Midlands Chamber: Invitation to Tender

The East Midlands Chamber of Commerce have put out an invitation to tender for Graphic Design, Copywriting and Print Services. This will support the marketing activities for the ERDF-funded Digital Growth Programme and Digital UpScaler projects.

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


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.

Watch Innovate UK’s essential tips on pitching for investment for start-ups and small businesses

Impacting Business by Design (IBbD)

Impacting Business by Design (IBbD) is a Research England funded initiative to support businesses with the commercialisation of their design innovation activities.  Support is available for the experimental development stage of new product design – from design thinking, to the working prototype.  Businesses will contribute between 45% and 65% of project costs.

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


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.
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.



Energy for Business 

Energy for Business can support energy innovators and those who want to become more energy efficient by forging links between businesses and world-class academics, researchers and graduate talent in the energy field.

Delivered by the Energy Innovation and Collaboration team and funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), this low-carbon innovation project offers product research and development, business support and capital funding to SMEs in the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire region.

For more information visit the Energy for Business website or email






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

ScaleUp360 Virtual Incubation and Accelerator Network Project

The Virtual Incubation and Accelerator Network (VIAN) project is  a three year European Funded programme led by Sheffield Hallam University, delivered in partnership with East Midlands Chamber of Commerce, Doncaster Chamber of Commerce and The Business Village @BarnsleyBIC. 

It delivers tailored support to entrepreneurs, from pre-start / early stage to investment ready businesses,  across the Sheffield City Region (Sheffield, Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham, Bassetlaw, Bolsover, Chesterfield, Derbyshire Dales and North East Derbyshire) who have the ambition to establish high growth businesses. 

Eligible candidates  will receive tailored support to accelerate their growth via workshops, mentoring and 1:1 support.

For more information on the programme, or to access support, please complete the expression of interest form and an advisor will be in touch. 

Details of workshops can be found here 

The VIAN project is receiving up to £2.8 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Department for 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. 

Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses UK Programme

Small businesses play a vital role in creating jobs and economic growth in the UK. Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses UK programme addresses the support gap for growth-orientated small businesses, helping them to unlock their economic and job creation potential. Designed by business education experts and run in partnership with leading UK universities and business schools, the programme is fully funded for all participants.

The 10KSB UK Programme is a partnership between Goldman Sachs, the Goldman Sachs Foundation and leading UK universities.

For more information visit the website 


Through the INSTILS programme, part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the East Midlands Academic Health Science Network, Medilink East Midlands offers support to SME’s to innovate products, services and processes. The programme offers a mix of high value, cutting edge Life Science sector specific expertise; cross-sectoral expertise from universities; grant funding; and networking opportunities.

View online brochure

View case studies here

For more information call 0115 822 3154 or email

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.

Project case studies

Accrofab Ltd

ASAP Water Crafts Ltd

Composites Evolution Ltd

Resonant Systems Ltd

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.


Sheffield Innovation Programme

Sheffield Innovation Programme (SIP) is an initiative which aims to stimulate business growth and promote the development of long-term relationships with SMEs by providing access to academic expertise and university facilities. The support is in the form of bespoke research and innovation based consultancy, workshops and other events.   Eligible businesses in the D2N2 area will be based in Bassetlaw, Bolsover, Chesterfield, Derbyshire Dales and North East Derbyshire local authority areas.

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.